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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Coconut Blues and the ART of buying the Right Coconut

Buying the right Coconut has always been a challenge to me. The ratio of me picking up the good coconut was always 50:50. But now I have learned the art of buying The RIGHT coconut after applying some secret principles.
Coconut Blues:

1. When I first came here, my friends suggested that I should buy frozen coconut. But the one which I bought from the famous Indian store was almost stinking(as per my senses). So I stopped buying the frozen ones and switched to the fresh coconut. But again the ratio of buying the good one was 70:30(70 being the bad one). Annoyed husband suggested that we should stop using coconut. 
2. But you know most of our recipes demands coconut so I couldn't stop buying it. So I switched to the American stores. First few times I was really lucky to get the good ones but later on the same story repeated. 
3. This time I was annoyed and decided to put a message on Facebook, looking for suggestions from friends on how to buy the right one. Shobana suggested that I should use MTR Shredded Coconut (Frozen). Sailaja said she has been lucky in buying the good ones of late. Aruna said that she breaks the coconut right in the store so that she doesn't bring the wrong one home. 

4. Later I did a brainstorming session with my family friend and my dear MOM and this is the outcome of it.

ART of buying the Right Coconut:

 a. The coconut here does not have the tail part(Naru/Fiber). So we can see 3 eyes of the coconut. Touch them and see if they are dry, if yes they could be a good one. If they are wet then 90% it would be stale. 

 b. Again these 3 eyes of the coconut should be in the same color as the rest of the coconut. If it is little dark or if you see black spots then don't buy them.

 c. You should be able to see the stripes or lines on the coconut outer shell.

 d. Coconut should feel heavy and when you shake there must be lot of water in it. Less water indicates that either it is stale or it is aged (Muthuna Kai in tamil)

P.S: When you break the coconut apart, do not waste the water. You can either drink it as it is or add it in your curry or dessert preparations.
As soon as I break them apart, I put the coconut (with the shell or cut in to pieces) in a ziploc bag and store it in the freezer. They stay good for a month or two. Later, you can thaw it in your microwave for 30 seconds and use it right away.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that you might still end up buying the wrong one even after applying all these rules. But the ratio would definitely come down :)

Later when I spoke today, Amma said we can also identify by smelling near the 3 eyes of the coconut. 


Vrinda said...

U didn't try the Daily delight brand? Once u try that u wont buy the real whole coconut...I cant liv without Daily delight coconut,try if possible...

RV @ Food for 7 Stages said...

@Vrinda, I am yet to buy that one. At this moment I have 2 packs of MTR frozen coconut and 1 fresh coconut at home :) I got your message only after I bought them :( Will definitely try it soon.

Sandhya Hariharan said...

heyy RV!!

Buying coconut is quite a challenge...
My mum had taught me a technique to pick a cocnut..
Using the back side of the ring.. when u tap the coconut , if we get a rhythemic.. proper sound.. then its good..
but it sound tends to disappear.. its not good...

RV @ Food for 7 Stages said...

@Sandhya, I have tried tapping technique, but somehow I always get mislead and end up buying the wrong one:( might be my ears are not trained to differentiate the sound:)

Sanghi said...

Mmm.. super coco info radhika.. even i have ended up buying stale ones.. after that my MIL told me to break in store and buy. Photos look lovely descriptive!

abraham said...

wonderful.... thanks for sharing that info...

RV @ Food for 7 Stages said...

@Thanks Sanghi, Abraham.

Spice said...

Thanks for sharing the info....i'm big fan of buying fresh coconut...not for cooking but love to eat, but most of the time they end up in trash can, next time will try your tips & try my luck....

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Radhika
I am a 1st timer here. Before I could read the recipes , I came here. I really appreciate your observation and the disclaimer at the end. Then I saw you are an engineer, which goes in line with your analytical capability :-)
Keep a watch on the 3rd eye of the coconut ( from where it spouts). It carries lot of info.
Let me see what all great recipes you have. Please do visit my blog , u will enjoy reading
Have a nice day

Pavani said...

Thank you very much for the tips RV.. My probability of buying good coconut is 0%, so these tips are going to be real helpful when I buy the next time.. Thanks again.

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