- The fruit of the coconut palm, the coconut has a very hard woody shell covered with a thick, hairy husk. The shell is lined with a firm white pulp and the hollow centre contains a sweet milky-white liquid which makes a refreshing drink. The pulp is rich in fat. In western countries coconut is mostly used in desiccated (shredded) form in baking, confectionery and ices. In Indian, Indonesian, African and South American cooking, the pulp is used fresh or dried in chicken, beef or shellfish stews.