A few days ago I went grocery shopping, and when I reached the ‘fresh produce’ section I found lovely small coconuts on display, I approached the stand and the sight of them took me years back to a Sunday morning, in Germany, in a small summer fair I went to with a bunch of friends. That was the first time I ever tasted fresh coconut in my life. I remember the stand, the young man standing behind his beautifully displayed freshly cut coconuts, and the small fountain of coconut water beside them. And I definitely remember my first bite; the texture, the taste. I loved everything about fresh coconuts, I got a few pieces and snacked on them while walking.
Until that moment I only had dried shredded coconuts , which I’m not a huge fan of to be honest; I’d eat a bar of chocolate with dried coconut, some yummy Arabic desserts with it as an ingredient, but I’m not that much into it.
But I’m known for my obsession with coconut oil, not for cooking though, for beauty purposes. I find it to be a perfect skin moisturizer, hair mask, body scrub, lip balm… I use it alone or get creative mixing it with other natural ingredients and it always works beautifully.
Anyway, back to the grocery shop… I held a coconut in my hands and thought to myself: “why the hell don’t I buy these regularly?”, and few minutes later I was holding it inside my kitchen. I put it on the table, as if it was a beautiful centerpiece, couldn’t stop looking at it proudly, happily, lovingly… and then it hit me, I never bought a coconut in the shell before, how would I open it?
I know this might seem like a silly question to someone who’s used to buying whole coconuts, but believe me, I had no clue. So I did what I do best in such embarrassing situations, I turned to google.
After watching a selection of videos and reading a bunch of articles on how to “easily open a coconut”, I went back to the kitchen, had my gloves on, a pair of glasses (to protect my eyes from any flying bits as one video suggested), a hammer in my hand, I centered the coconut on the counter, and held my arms up high, which felt more like shooting a crime scene from a twisted movie rather than an attempt at opening a coconut, but well, google knows best, right! so I gave it the first hit, a gentle one, and God! those coconuts are hard, I mean rock-hard! My next step was supposed to be a harder hit, but instead, I chickened out, I got so scared, I mean, what if I hit it and it bounced back hitting me in the head, what if I fell unconscious, I know this is how a child should think , but I couldn’t handle it, I gave up. and waited for my husband to deal with it.
My husband came home from work, he was excited to see a coconut in our kitchen, probably thought I was an expert and would prepare it in minutes for us to feast on, but I told him the ugly truth, he told me his ugly truth, that he never did it before either, but luckily he wasn’t a coward like me, he took the hammer and hit it, repeatedly… but he too gave up when he saw that absolutely NOTHING happened to the coconut. So, we sighed, left it there, disappointed and embarrassed (as our elder son was watching us fail).
I decided I’m never buying whole coconuts ever again, I’ll have to search for shops that sell it cut into slices and ready to eat.
The next morning we woke up to a lovely surprise: a crack along the shell, my son was so excited, he woke up his dad to the news, all it took was one last hit, and the coconut was finally open, we de-meated it and enjoyed it together… well, I believe Adam didn’t like it that much, it was “too chewy” for his taste, but I certainly loved every bite of it.
Will I ever buy whole coconuts again? I might, only if my husband was ready for the work, because I’m definitely not gonna try opening them, ever, in my life.