However, the coconut water is consumed as a drink fresh from the coconut by many, and it can also be used in recipes.
Coconut milk is actually a combination of equal parts of shredded coconut and water, simmered and then strained through cheesecloth, squeezing out as much of the essence of the pulp as possible.
You can find canned coconut milk and cream in most markets along with canned fruit juices or try your hand at making your own.
Do not confuse sweetened "cream of coconut" (used for desserts and mixed drinks) with unsweetened coconut milk or cream.
More about Coconuts and Coconut Recipes:• Coconut Selection and Storage
• Coconut Forms and Availability
• What is coconut milk? FAQ
• Coconut History
• Coconut Lore and Legends
• Coconut Cream Recipe
• Coconut Milk Recipe
• How to Toast Coconut
• Coconut Recipes
Coconuts Photo © 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.