When purchasing a coconut at the store, be careful to choose one that is still heavy with juice. Shake it and if it seems dry, chances are there is a crack or leak in the shell, or it may have sat on the shelf too long, the juice having all but evaporated through the eyes. Check the eyes, they shouldn't look dark or mouldy. Coconuts with lighter brown shells generally are not as fully matured.
Store fresh coconut once it has been opened in a plastic bag in the fridge. Eat within 4 days of opening.
Tips & Tricks:
The easiest and quickest way to crack a coconut is with a cook's cleaver. Use the blunt side of the cleaver and whack the coconut a few times all around the center until it cracks open cleanly into two, nearly-equal halves. Catch the juice as it drains from the cracks.
Eat in moderation as it is high in fat. Grate the fresh coconut and dry roast for a delicious side dish to accompany a curry, or serve over fruit.