ingredient information
Coconut Puree
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The coconut, one of the most important cultivated trees in the world, is Cocos nucifera of the palm family, Palmaceae. Only the one species is in this genus. "Descriptive features are: (1) the slender often leaning trunk, enlarged at base, ringed above and 8 to 12 inches in diameter; (2) many pinnate (feathery) leaves 12 to 20 feet long with basal sheath of coarse brown fibers, long petiole (stem) and numerous very narrow shiny yellow-green segments (pinnae or leaflets) spreading regularly in one plane on both sides of axis; (3) numerous whitish or pale yellow male and female flowers in branched flower clusters at leaf bases; and (4) fruit, the familiar coconut, egg-shaped or elliptic, consisting of a light brown fibrous husk 8 to 12 inches long, a hard shell and one very large hollow seed with whitish, oily edible flesh) "What we call the meat of the coconut is really food for the developing embryo and is technically called the endosperm. In the young fruit this is a liquid but it gradually becomes firm, and by nine months the meat is at its greatest thickness,The fruit botanically is not a nut but a drupe. The bluntly 3-angled husk is 3/4 to 1-1/2 inches thick. It does not split open spontaneously as some fruits do. The meat is about 3/8 inch thick. The large central cavity contains a watery or milky liquid often called coconut milk or coconut water. It is one of the largest seeds known, surpassed only by the 1-seeded, 2-lobed fruit of the double-coconut (Lodoicea maldivica), a tall fan palm of the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean. L. maldivica produces fruit weighing up to 50 pounds. The coconut palm is medium sized, usually 30 to 60 feet, sometimes as tall as 80 feet. "The slender trunk is enlarged to 16 to 20 inches in diameter at base, often slightly inclined there, and may be leaning as a result of the constant coastal breeze or after partial uprooting by a hurricane. The gray or brown trunk is lightly cracked. At the apex is the relatively broad evergreen growth of alternate, erect, spreading and drooping leaves," known as fronds. Purée and (more rarely) mash are general terms for food, usually vegetables or legumes, that have been ground, pressed, and/or strained to the consistency of a soft paste or thick liquid. Purées of specific foods are often known by specific names, e.g. mashed potatoes or apple sauce. The term is of French origin, where it meant in Ancient French (13th century) purified or refined. Purées overlap with other dishes with similar consistency, such as thick soups, creams (crèmes) and gravies — although these terms often imply more complex recipes and cooking processes. Coulis (French for "strained") is a similar but broader term, more commonly used for fruit purées. The term is not commonly used for paste-like foods prepared from cereal flours, such as gruel or muesli; nor with oily nut pastes, such as peanut butter. The term paste is often used for purées intended to be used as an ingredient, rather than eaten. Purées can be made in a blender, or with special implements such as a potato masher, or by forcing the food through a strainer, or simply by crushing the food in a pot. Purées generally must be cooked, either before or after grinding, in order to improve flavour and texture, remove toxic substances, and/or reduce their water content.