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Remind yourself of tropical destinations and amazing vacations when you learn how to choose and cut fresh pineapple and coconut. Get the tips on coconut here, and then find out how to handle pineapple.
When you're choosing a coconut, look for a heavy one. You should be able to hear the coconut milk sloshing around inside—the more milk, the fresher the coconut. The three eyes (round, hairless areas that are slightly indented and softer than the rest of the shell) should be dry, and there shouldn't be any mold or mildew on the skin.
Opening a coconut is a delicate operation. If you just smash it with a hammer, you'll be in for a messy surprise. Coconuts contain a whitish juice called milk that needs to be drained first.
If you want to use the coconut shell as a fun tropical cup or bowl, don't hammer it to crack it open. Instead, cut it in half with a hand saw (be careful not to cut your fingers!). This method is not very sanitary, however, so you won't be able to use the meat if you cut your coconut this way, but sometimes you just need a coconut shell.