How to crack a coconut

How to crack a coconut

Q. My kids are clamoring for a fresh coconut. They’ve seen them in the produce aisle. How exactly do I open one of them? Is the liquid inside coconut milk? I am thinking of using it for a curry and letting them eat the flesh.
— Anita, Hackensack

A. I used to do this with my daughter all of the time. We’d play a game during which I’d ask her to pick any fruit she wanted and we’d buy it to experiment with at home. The simplest way to crack a coconut is to take a hammer and nail to it, while working in a bowl to catch all of the liquid. Take a large nail and place it in one of the “eyes.” Give it a healthy whack with the hammer and the coconut should split open. The liquid is not coconut milk. It’s tasty coconut water and can be consumed straight or mixed with other juices. As for the flesh, I’d use a butter knife and work my way around the edges to loosen it from the shell. It can be eaten raw, baked or toasted.

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Q. I’ve seen a few mentions of “longline-caught” fish in my market. What does this mean and how is this better than some other way of fishing?

— Calveen, Newark

A. Fishing, like farming of animals for consumption, is a highly regulated industry. Longline fishing means that long lines, rather than nets, are used to catch certain species, usually larger fish such as tuna and swordfish. The method is considered more ecologically sustainable and you may pay a higher price for longline-caught fish. For more information about sustainable fishing, visit montereybayaquarium.org and look for the link to “Seafood Watch,” a consumer-friendly guide on seafood to buy and eat.

If you have a question for Nancy Schneider, email askchefnancy@gmail.com.

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Published at Tue, 03 Jan 2017 13:00:00 +0000