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Adventures in Young Coconut

Sunday, September 06, 2009

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]

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I never learned to like coconut. I had the dried grated type thrown all over my curry as a child and hated it, since then it's not something I keep in my pantry. But you describe it so fabulously, that you make me want to run out, buy one and eat it lol.
    4225 days ago
    You put the lime in the coconut and call me in the morning...remember that song? I was just in Kauai and I was worried about those baby coconuts way up there in the tree as I walked under them. Might knock some sense into me-ha! Thanks for that informative little "number", Dee! Hey were you ever in the Huntington Beach or Riverside area of California? I knew someone with your name if it literally is Dee Sparks. But, alas, I cannot put the name with a face. Did you know any Turners or Kings?
    4301 days ago
    I have had this once in Brazil although it was called coco verde. It was sold on Ipanema beach and in other public places, opened right there. Very refreshing.
    4302 days ago
    I LOVE the smell of coconut. I have coconut moisteriser, shower gel and perfume. LOL

    I was born and raised in the tropics and we ate coconut all the time. Us kids would get the nuts and Dad would strip off the shell and prize out the flesh. AHHHH Such happy memories.

    THANKS for sharing.

    Cheers Jilly emoticon emoticon
    4302 days ago
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    Could that be too where they get the Coconut oil. Rathere than oil as we know it, it is more a creamy type paste for want of a better word. Not solid, but a tad runnier and not liquid like Olive Oil.
    4302 days ago
    I loooove young coconuts and their water but am seldom able to find one.

    Thanks for the blog!
    4302 days ago
    Love this Blog, Dee! I have fallen in love with the coconut (after many years of thinking coconut is Yucky) because of learning of its outstanding nutritional value and astounding health benefits. I've seen those young coconuts in the store too and never knew what they were! Thank you for the enlightenment! I use as many different aspects of the coconut as I can in my cooking, now I'll have to try this too. (BTW, I don't like that word 'endosperm' though!) emoticon

    emoticon emoticon
    4303 days ago
    Thanks so much for sharing this, I watched the video on how to open then and I will have to try this method. The videos I have seen did not shave off the top and would use a cleaver, slam it in and then work the cleaver around it. Since I don't have a cleaver right now, I tried opening with a knife and would end up having to saw the darn thing, and after a half hour, as I finaly found a hole, I lost most the milk! They're too expensive to waste the milk and it is so good and sweet. I have made a soup out it! Thanks.
    4303 days ago
    Now, I am curious as to your interest in coconuts...are you just curious...are you looking for some dietary reason? Are you planning to cook with it?

    In St. Croix, coconut trees are prized..but they also require attention. When those nuts decide to let go, they can really hurt anyone who might be below the falling nut. At the beach club where we swam, the club periodically hired someone to climb the trees to remove any ripe or nearly ripe nuts to prevent anyone from getting injured by a surprise from above!

    We were surprised that there were not more coconut palms all over the island. They are a remarkably resilient tree. While we lived there, my husband planted every coconut he could find that would sprout!
    4303 days ago
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