I don’t know how widely available coconuts are in NYC, but I happen to live near a large Caribbean community, so I am always seeing piles of both shucked and un-shucked coconuts at bodegas and grocery stores. Out of curiosity, I bought one that had been divested of its fibrous outside, and brought it home, where it languished for a week in my fridge while I figured out what to do with it.
When I got around to it, I started with a serrated bread knife. That didn’t work so well. It cut into the flesh about a centimeter in, but then met with resistance. Obviously, this was a question for Google. This is the method I found:
Tools needed: a nail, a hammer, a fluffy towel, a rug.
I found the three holes where the eyes were, and drove the nail into those spots. Then I turned the coconut upside down and let the liquid pour out into a bowl. It was surprising how much came out! I tentatively tried a sip. It’s similar to coconut water that you can buy in a bottle or juice box, but a little bit thicker and sweeter. It’s not something you can chug like commercially sold coconut water, but it’s pretty tasty.
I then wrapped the coconut in a towel, put it on the kitchen floor, and pounded it with a hammer.
“Woah, woah!” Mike said from where he was watching the ordeal in the office. “You complain about the guy upstairs? You need to put that thing on a rug.”
Good point. I put it on the entry rug, and continued to hammer it, until I hit the sweet spot where I had sawed it already, and it split prettily along those lines.
I carved the white meat out with a spoon and tasted it. It actually didn’t have much of a taste, and had a rubbery texture that crunched in my teeth. I liked it, though I could only eat a half of the coconut. Coconut meat is rich in fatty oils.
Bottom line: It’s kind of a fun thing to do, cracking open a coconut. You might have heard coconut water is good for hangovers, what with it’s naturally-occurring electrolytes (three more than Gatorade, even). I can’t imagine wanting to get into a coconut this way if my head is pounding. But if you want the coconut water and meat without all the refining and extra packaging, this might by the solution for you.