Coconut is the coconut palm's fruit, widespread in all tropical countries. It looks like a large ovoid-shaped drupe, consisting of an outer, green and smooth shell, completely covered with dark brown filaments. Inside this shell there is a whitish liquid which, with the ripening of the fruit, turns into a sweet and white pulp.
In Italy the coconut is on the market with only the brown shell, which must be broken with either a hammer or a meat grinder to eat the pulp. This can be eaten fresh, in wedges or grated, or it can be used in pastry-making for cakes, puddings and ice creams. Coconut pulp is available in grocery stores, supermarkets or greengrocers, also dried, grated (it must be soaked in water before use) and in slices, always dried.
The coconut palm plays a vital role in the economy of tropical island populations. The shiny and resistant leaves of this plant are used to build the roofs of the huts, while the fiber of the walnut is used in braids for ropes, mats and carpets and finally the shell, when worked, is transformed into bowls kitchen utensils. From the fruit oil, milk and flour are extracted.