Shredded, sweetened coconut, like that used to make coconut macaroons at Amelia Café and Bakery in Durham, NC, is commonly used in the United States.
Imagine for a moment, freshly grated, fine strands of coconut for your coconut cream pie, coconut pastry cream, and even to make coconut candy. It’s no wonder Almond Joy and Mounds taste so good!
Travel over the Pacific Ocean to a tiny U.S. territory, the island of Guam. The natives of Guam, the Chamorros, have perfected the home method of extracting coconut meat. The Chamorros use a kamyo (come-dzu) to shred the coconut right out of the shell. Though the original idea is from Asia, the Chamorros build a taller and wider bench to comfortably sit on while “kamyoing” the coconut. Whether on island, or abroad a kamyo is prized possession for islanders.
Check-out the pictures and video below to see how Chamorros cut, grate, and use fresh coconut.
You may also purchase frozen, grated coconut at your local Harris Teeter (frozen berries section) or at Grand Asia Market in Cary, NC.
COCONUT CANDY (how-to video below)
2 c. sugar
1 T. butter
4 ½ c. grated, fresh coconut (Two coconuts make 4-5 cups. I would buy three if in the states, preferably at an Asian store. Most of the time, at least one coconut has spoiled.)
Tools: cleaver or machete, kamyo, newspaper, cup, 2 large plastic bowls, large frying pan (non-stick would work best), long wooden spoon, tin foil, non-stick pan spray
1. Heat the frying pan (a non-stick works great for easy clean-up and easy stirring) on medium.
2. Pour sugar into the pan and allow it to gradually melt. Stir constantly.
3. Add the butter when the sugar is partially melted.
4. Lower the heat. You need to melt all the chunks of sugar without burning it.
5. Carefully break the chunks of sugar apart by softly pressing on it with the thick edge of a wooden spoon.
6. Once all pieces of sugar have dissolved, increase the heat a little bit.
7. When the sugar is a really dark brown, add the coconut and stir.
8. The candy should be sticky. There should be more coconut than sugar.
9. Remove from the heat.
10. Pour the candy into a non-heat conducting – durable plastic bowl.
11. As the candy cools, it will thicken. Place in fridge for a few minutes to speed up the cooling process.
12. Spray a sheet of tin foil with pan spray.
13. Once coconut candy is slightly warm, form into one inch balls.
14. Let cool completely.
More info: Amelia Café and Bakery, 905 West Main Street, Durham, NC 27701 / 919-683-5600 / [email protected]
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30am to 9:30 p.m., Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday – CLOSED