When selecting coconuts look for those that are heavy for their size and in which the coconut water swishes around when shaken.
Coconuts can be stored at room temperature for two weeks without loss of quality.
In order to crack the coconut there are three soft spots at the top of the shell. Pierce these with an ice pick, or similar sharp tool, drain the milk; then tap all over with a hammer until the hard shell cracks and falls off. Coconuts can be used in many dishes and usually is shredded.