Ah - coconut. Most everyone, including myself, is familiar with coconut - brown, hairy looking fruit on the familiar looking tree.
Lately, though, I've been reading about something called young coconut. What is this, I wondered. Being curious as I am I found a wealth of information on young coconuts!
They look different outside:
Taste different inside: "The meat in a young coconut is softer and more gelatinous than a mature coconut, so much so, that it is sometimes known as coconut jelly. When the coconut has ripened and the outer husk has turned brown, a few months later, it will fall from the palm of its own accord. At that time the endosperm has thickened and hardened, while the coconut water has become somewhat bitter." [Wikipedia]
Why young coconut you may ask (as I did): "When the coconut is still green, the endosperm inside is thin and tender, often eaten as a snack. But the main reason to pick the fruit at this stage is to drink its water; a large unripe coconut contains up to one liter." [Wikipedia]
Well now, my friend from the Philippines said she goes to a Thai store and took me on an adventurous field trip to 'her' store. Ah - I have seen this before!
Now that I have acquired said young coconut, how do I get it open?? Again the internet to the rescue:
Easy as it shows in the video and successfully opened coconut on first try!! Wooohooo!! The inside was indeed soft, gelatinous and easy to scoop. Drank up the coconut water (which is not coconut milk) "Coconut milk, called "santan" in Malay and "Katas Ngungut" in Kapampangan, is made by grating the endosperm and mixing it with warm water. The resulting thick, white liquid is used in much Asian cooking, for example, in curries. Coconut water from the unripe coconut can be drunk fresh." [Wikipedia again]