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Excerpt from Man Skills
How to Crack Open a Coconut
You're right, clanking it against a sturdy wall or brick would do the job, but such a ham-fisted approach would guarantee most of the lovely juice inside the nut is wasted. So, this technique is for the controlled, idiot-proof approach ...
Step 1. Rest the coconut in the middle of one hand, with the tip at one end and the 'eyes' at the other. If you have a bowl to hand, hold the coconut over it to catch the juice.
Step 2. Find a blunt implementthe back of a knife or a heavy stone-and bang the coconut around its center, rotating the seed until it gently starts to split open. As the crack widens, pour the juice into your bowl or straight down your trap. Once the juice has drained, to get to the flesh continue knocking at the coconut shell until it opens. You should be left with two even halves, but no one's measuring.
Step 3. To reach the juice without splitting the nut open, hammer a sharp tip into the 'eyes' of the nut-a nail or sharp stone should suffice. Insert a straw and you've turned that coconut into a tall drink to sipped at leisure. If you've been washed up on deserted island, however, you may struggle for straw so should skip this altogether.