What is the shelf life a mature coconut

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 18, 2012 at 10:31 PM

Hey guys,

I was wondering if someone can tell me what the shelf life is for a mature coconut and what's the best way of finding out if it has reached this point



on August 20, 2012
at 12:16 PM

More importantly, what is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

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on August 18, 2012
at 11:37 PM

The shelf life of coconuts will vary based on your skill (and luck) in selecting them. A pristine, unopened coconut could be fine for 2 or 3 weeks or more, but the tiniest, unseen crack in the shell will start the decay process which advances quickly. In some cases, you won't know the condition until you open it. If you catch a bad one soon enough, you can salvage much of it.

Select nuts that feel very heavy for their size. Shake it - you should hear/feel the water inside. Inspect the shell for any cracking. It's sometimes very hard to see a minute crack, especially on a dark-shelled nut. Check the three "eyes". They should appear sealed and clean. Make your pick - hope for the best. I usually buy more than I need, w/ the expectation of losing some. I buy from a large Mexican grocer at about $1.10 ea. I might also crack an extra one open, check it, and freeze for later use rather than gamble on storing it for very long. Good luck!


on August 18, 2012
at 10:54 PM

This may be only semi-helpful, but I know that with young coconuts, the milk inside starts turning a pinkish color and begins to taste a bit sour when it's time has come and gone. I kept a young coconut in the fridge for well over a month before this happened.



on August 18, 2012
at 11:46 PM

I've found it depends on the season you buy. Typically, if I don't open the coconut within a couple days of buying, it's already started to go bad. I also had a lot more luck buying on the east coast, whereas the shelf life seems much shorter living out west.


on August 19, 2012
at 03:14 PM

At the moment, I'm only about 2 for 3 on getting a good coconut. It's unfortunate to have to toss one away, but they're generally not too expensive and last me a long time, so I don't mind too much. I think I'm getting better at selecting them, but it's taken a lot of practice.

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