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Coconut
coconut
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About coconut Edit

The coconut (Cocos nucifera) is an important member of the family Arecaceae (palm family). It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos, and is a large palm, growing up to 30 m tall, with pinnate leaves 4–6 m long, and pinnae 60–90 cm long; old leaves break away cleanly, leaving the trunk smooth. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which is not a botanical nut. The spelling cocoanut is an old-fashioned form of the word.

Culinary uses of the various parts of the coconut include:

  • The nut provides oil for cooking and making margarine.
  • The white, fleshy part of the seed, the coconut meat, is edible and used fresh or dried in cooking. The dried form is usually grated.

Coconut water Edit

Coconut water is the clear liquid inside young coconuts (fruits of the coconut palm). As the fruit matures, the coconut water gradually is replaced by the coconut meat and air. A very young coconut has very little meat, and the meat is very tender, almost a gel. Coconut water has long been a popular drink in the tropics, especially in Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, such as Hawaii, and the Caribbean, where it is available fresh, canned or bottled. Coconut water is known as buko juice in the Philippines and is naturally fat-free and low in food energy (16.7 calories or 70 kilojoules per 100 grams).

Coconut milk Edit

Coconut milk is a sweet, milky white cooking base derived from the meat of a mature coconut. The colour and rich taste of the milk can be attributed to the high oil content and sugars. In Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia coconut milk is called santan and in the Philippines it is called gata. In Thailand it is called ga-ti (กะทิ) and used in many of the Thai curries. In Brazil, it is called leite de coco (literally, coconut milk). The term coconut milk also refers to coconut water (coconut juice), which is the naturally-occurring liquid found inside the hollow coconut.

Coconut cream Edit

Coconut cream is very similar to coconut milk but contains less water. The difference is mainly consistency. It has a thicker, more paste-like consistency, while coconut milk is generally a liquid. Coconut cream is used as an ingredient in cooking, having a mild non-sweet taste.

Coconut cream can be made by simmering 1 part shredded coconut with one part water or milk until frothy, then straining the mixture through a cheesecloth, squeezing out as much liquid as possible; this is coconut milk. The coconut milk is refrigerated and allowed to set. Coconut cream is the thick non-liquid part that separates and rises to the top of the coconut milk.

Cream of coconut is coconut cream that has been sweetened for use in desserts and beverages like the Piña colada.

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