The coconut is an intimidating fruit, with its rock-hard woody shell, keeping intruders from its sweet meat. With a little persistence and strategic manoeuvring you can release the coconut water, cut open the coconut and use both the meat and decorative shell. On one end of each coconut are three soft spots, referred to as "eyes." Locate these eyes before proceeding.
Hold the coconut in one hand over a bowl with the eyes on one end.
Firmly tap the middle of the coconut with the back of a meat cleaver. This will begin to crack the coconut around its centre. Coconut water will begin to leak out into the bowl.
Rotate the coconut in your hand, keeping the eyes on one end, and exposing the uncracked portions of the coconut's centre. Tap the middle of the coconut with the back of the meat cleaver to extend the crack around its centre. Continue until the coconut splits completely in half
Position a spoon, bowl side down, between the coconut meat and shell. Pry the meat from the shell with the spoon, and pull off the meat with your hand. Continue until all the meat is gone.
Set the coconut shell in a well-ventilated, warm area and allow it to dry for several hours.