Summer is in full swing now – it’s nearly impossible to imagine a distant coastline without the palm trees, and large coconut trees with bunches of green, yellow, brown, orange fruits which we call coconuts.
The name “coconut” came from the 16th-century Portuguese word “coco”, meaning “head”. Such a comparison is obviously due to the three indentations that coconuts have on one side, and that feature resembles a human’s head with eyes.
In Latin coconut tree is called Cocos nucifera. This name is derived from the Latin “nux” and “fera”. Put together, they can be translated as “nut-bearing”. The funny thing though is that botanically speaking, coconut is not a true nut but a drupe, like plum, olive, mango, or cherry. And its edible contents that we all love and enjoy, namely the coconut water and the coconut flesh (or meat), come from the endocarp, which is commonly called “a stone” or “a pit” – a part that we usually discard while munching on other stone fruits.
Coconut water is a liquid endosperm that eventually, as the fruit develops, transforms into an edible solid endosperm that we all love and widely use in recipes. This sweet, creamy flesh can be sold in the form of big chips, coarse shreds, or finely grated scrapes. But no matter the form, coconut is a versatile ingredient, delicious not only in sweet treats but also in savoury preparations.
Had you ever tried pork ribs with piña colada sauce or a coconut soup, you’d definitely know how this ingredient shines. And to prove just that, we’ll bake onion rings and get them covered with shredded coconut to see how easy an appetizer can be cooked.
- Preheat your oven to 200 ˚C.
- Slice ½ half of a big yellow onion into rings and set aside.
- Now prepare three separate plates. Put some ½ cup of flour mixed with a pinch of salt and pepper into the first. Beat 1 egg and put it into the second plate. In the third plate, you’ll want some ½ cup of coconut flakes.
- Take one ring and dredge it into flour, then dip into egg and finally coat with the coconut shreds.
- When all rings are ready, transfer them onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper and pop into the oven for 8 minutes. Then flip and bake for another 5-7 minutes until golden brown.
Serve with a yoghurt-sriracha-honey sauce and stay cool.