Coconuts are a mainstay in the diet of nearly one-third of the planet, it's considered exotic in the Western world. Experts describe the coconut as not just a fruit, but a nut and a seed as well – a drupe. It has three layers: the outside layer is known as the exocarp, and the fibrous husk or mesocarp is inside of it. The thin, woody layer surrounding the actual coconut "meat" is the endocarp. Since man inhabited the world, coconut trees were in existence. For centuries, the coconut has been claimed as a potent cure for nausea, rash, fever, earache, sore throat, bronchitis, kidney stones, ulcers, asthma, syphilis, dropsy, toothache, bruises, lice etc. While coconut milk is a wonderful base for all kinds of Thai dishes, coconut oil is becoming increasingly used in the U.S. for its nutritional benefits. One of the coconut’s most important aspects is what its medium-chain fatty acids mean for the human diet. The good thing is that rather than the high-fat food it was once thought to be, coconut is a powerhouse of nutrition and healing. They have a high fiber content, which makes you feel full longer and helps regulate elimination.
"Coco," meaning "monkey face," was the name given to this tropical food by Spanish explorers because of the three indentations on the bottom. But these indentations are the key for opening the coconut successfully. Insert a screwdriver into the softest hole to drain the liquid into a bowl, and then use a sturdy knife to circumvent the coconut's seam a few times. Give it a sharp "thwack" on a hard surface to break it into two pieces. Voilà!