Unlike the meat from older, riper coconuts, fresh young coconut meat is only about 0.1 to .05 mm thick so that the coconut meat can be scooped out easily. Coconut meat from young coconuts smells and tastes less like coconut and is somewhat sweeter but contains significantly less fat and as such fewer calories. Coconut meat is rich in calcium as well as phosphorous, which is especially important for athletes.
General information about the cocnut:
From Wikipedia: “The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family) and the only species of the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the whole coconut palm or the seed, or the fruit, which, botanically, is a drupe, not a nut. ...
Coconuts are known for their versatility ranging from food to cosmetics. They form a regular part of the diets of many people in the tropics and subtropics. Coconuts are distinct from other fruits for their large quantity of water (also called "juice"), and when immature, may be harvested for their potable coconut water. When mature, they can be used as seed nuts or processed for oil, charcoal from the hard shell, and coir from the fibrous husk. When dried, the coconut flesh is called copra. The oil and milk derived from it are commonly used in cooking and frying, as well as in soaps and cosmetics. The husks and leaves can be used as material to make a variety of products for furnishing and decorating. The coconut also has cultural and religious significance in certain societies, particularly in India, where it is used in Hindu rituals.”
“The various parts of the coconut have a number of culinary uses. The seed provides oil for frying, cooking, and making margarine. The white, fleshy part of the seed, the coconut meat, is used fresh or dried in cooking, especially in confections and desserts such as macaroons. Desiccated coconut or coconut milk made from it is frequently added to curries and other savory dishes. Coconut flour has also been developed for use in baking, to combat malnutrition. Coconut chips have been sold in the tourist regions of Hawaii and the Caribbean. Coconut butter is often used to describe solidified coconut oil, but has also been adopted as a name by certain specialty products made of coconut milk solids or puréed coconut meat and oil. Dried coconut is also used as the filling for many chocolate bars. Some dried coconut is purely coconut, but others are manufactured with other ingredients, such as sugar, propylene glycol, salt, and sodium metabisulfite. Shredded or flaked coconut is used as a garnish on some foods. Some countries in Southeast Asia use special coconut mutant called Kopyor coconut (Kopyor in Indonesia) or macapuno (in the Philippines) as dessert drinks.”
Nutritional information for coconut meat:
“Per 100-gram serving with 354 calories, raw coconut meat supplies a high amount of total fat (33 grams), especially saturated fat (89% of total fat) and carbohydrates (24 g). Micronutrients in significant content include the dietary minerals manganese, iron, phosphorus, and zinc.”
Coconut meat in specific cuisines:
Indonesia: “Coconut is an indispensable ingredient in Indonesian cuisine. Coconut meat, coconut milk, and coconut water are often used in main courses, desserts, and soups throughout the archipelago. ... Klapertart is the famous Dutch-influenced dessert from Manado, North Sulawesi, that uses young coconut meat and coconut milk.”
Philippines: “One such variety of coconut is known as macapuno. Its meat is sweetened, cut into strands, and sold in glass jars as coconut strings, sometimes labeled as "gelatinous mutant coconut".”
India: “Coconut meat can be eaten as a snack sweetened with jaggery or molasses.”
Thanks to its soft consistency, the meat of fresh young coconuts can be scooped out easily and eaten raw. It is also a popular ingredient in smoothies (often in combination with coconut water) and used to make coconut milk. And it is a favorite in fruit salads and chilled desserts.
“The spelling cocoanut is an archaic form of the word. The term is derived from the 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish word coco meaning "head" or "skull", from the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features.”