Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Hard Nut to Crack: Breaking Florida's Coconuts

Friends of ours from North Carolina have recently moved to Miami, and are starting to take advantage of the local harvest on their property.  They are pretty reluctant to call it a homestead, but hey, any time you can pick something up and eat it off your own property, that is one step closer to self-sufficiency.


They have more coconuts then they can handle.  They weren't opening them fast enough, so they had a volunteer (Jen’s father) head down to Key Largo to learn the fine art of coconut cracking from the professionals.  Now, you may have read somewhere on Pinterest that this can be done daintily in your kitchen using your potato masher and paring knife.  A coconut would crack your head if it had the chance, so theres no room for nice on this job.  Anything worth doing is worth doing right, and in this case that means you need a machete and claw hammer.

  • Most store-bought coconuts will have the husk removed already.  If locally foraged, this will need to be removed by taking repeated low angle hacks with a machete.       A claw hammer may be necessary separate husk fibers and to loosen coconut from remaining husk material.  Hack, pry, repeat.  
  • Once the coconut has been separated from the husk, locate its equator.  This will be a horizontal ring around the coconut when the eyes are facing upward.  Using the blunt edge of machete, take firm whacks along equator, rotating coconut in between each hit. After a few turns the coconut will magically split like a plastic Easter egg. Whack, rotate, repeat.

Jen has been making fresh macaroons, and has promised us a sample.  They sound great, but I’m more interested in swinging a machete, there just aren't enough excuses to pull out pirate weapons this far inland.

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