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Buying the shrink-wrapped coconuts (in shell) at the store is similar to playing Russian Roulette. All this trouble of getting the water out and breaking the shell only to find out the coconut is rancid (and sometimes unripe).

Sometimes you can see dark spots on the outside of the shell which seem to indicate mould on the inside of the shell, but there seems to be plenty of rancid ones that don't show any spots.

Here's what they generally look like:

shrink wrapped coconut

Are there definitive signs of rancidity (and ripeness) one can detect at the store before the 'autopsy'?

  • Regarding the similar question. Here, I'm looking for an answer on the rancidity in particular, as there seem to be plenty 'young' coconuts that are rancid and pass the test in the other question's answer. – MandoMando Mar 27 '13 at 15:58
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    I am aware that this is not a duplicate, else I would have closed the question – rumtscho Mar 27 '13 at 16:23
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    Why are they shrink wrapped? Coconuts already have very strong natural packaging! – TFD Mar 27 '13 at 18:59
  • can you get away with unwrapping at store with intent to purchase and have a feel of the eyes and a sniff? I have bothered my green grocer with weirder requests... – Pat Sommer Mar 28 '13 at 4:21
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If the eyes of the coconut feel dry and slightly soft, its a good coconut. If they look/feel damp/mouldy then the coconut has gone bad.. You may have issues with this though as the coconuts you buy are covered. Any cracks in the shell is also a good sign that the coconut flesh is mouldy.

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  • the trouble is that I've recently picked a few young/coconut complying to all of the above 'fresh' indicators and they were rancid. I've also picked some less 'sloshy' presumably older ones that had little but very tasty water and were just heavenly. – MandoMando Apr 5 '13 at 15:20
  • looks like the soft-eye is a consistent sign for a mouldy coconut. The water content less so. – MandoMando Apr 12 '13 at 18:02
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From a coconut grocer:

Not only the coconut should sound nearly full of water (slosh test), it should feel (oddly) heavy given the fact that they are supposed to be hollow.

Also the extra weight suggests more meat in the fruit as well.

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