The Coconut Tree


Botanically a palm, the coconut is known in Hawaiian as KUMU NUI - the great source. Known as the "tree of life" in many other languages, no other plant on earth gives so much. Food, drink, oil, fuel, weavings, rope, lumber, beer, sugar and bowls just to name a few uses of this incredible plant. Living up to 100+ years, coconuts are unique in that they produce fruit year round. 

Guide to opening coconuts

If you've never opened a coconut before, dont worry! Your 1st one might take five minutes, second a minute or so. By your third you'll be opening them in just a few seconds. In Fiji we met kids as young as eight who open dozens of cocos daily, so you can too! 


It helps to understand that there are different types of coconuts, each opened with different tools.

young coconuts


Young coconuts or "poppers" are the easiest of all ages to open. You’ll want a Brazilian coconut key (the best invention ever) to pry off the cap and pierce through soft husk. Push all the way into the coco. Twist as you pull up, removing the cork. Its that simple!


spoon and rubber meat coconuts

Macheteing open a coconut can be intimidating the first time. But once you understand the basics anatomy of a coco you'll find it an easy task. We always open ours on a stump which keeps the coco off the ground and clean. Hold the coco at a slight angle, keeping your hand protected and away from where you'll be chopping. Chop down, removing pieces of the husk with each whack until you are through the shell and can see the white meat. Pierce the meat, pour water into a container and set aside. Flip coconut over and split in half by chopping firmly parallel to the grain. It helps to imagine a line from the cap to tip. Using your hands, pry the two pieces apart to access the meat.