Buying freshly grated coconut

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When we need grated mature coconut (niyog), we simply go to the market and buy it — freshly grated. Yes, freshly grated — it is grated right there and only after an order has been placed.

So, first, we choose the size of the coconut (larger means more grated coconut meat). Small, medium or large. The small ones cost less than the large ones, naturally.

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Then, the vendor splits the husk with a bolo (think machete).

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He then turns on the machine for grating. How do I describe the machine? A large basin is cut at the center where a metal rod with a ridged head is inserted. With the basin on its side, the machine is turned on, the rod rotates and the meat of the split coconut is pressed against the rotating head in a circular motion.

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The grated coconut falls down on the basin which catches it. The grated coconut is then gathered and bagged. The customer pays for it and he goes home to use it for cooking.