To be sure that your coconut is fresh, the first thing to do is to weigh it. The more it contains water, the heavier it is.
Then, shake it near your ear : you should ear the water inside. This garantees freshness and a tasty flesh. You'll just have to sip this fresh water before eating the flesh!
Brown coconuts have dark spots on their bottoms, looking like eyes. Those have to be clean and neat. In any way, there shouldn't be any mold or cracks on the shell.
Coconuts can be used in savory or sweet recipes!
On the sweet side, you can quickly bake it as "rochers", or as a flan.
On the savoury side, coconut milk will match well with fish, shellfish, but also meat like chicken.
More coconut recipes here!