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June 29, 2021

In Venezuelan gastronomy, we have a fruit with a Caribbean flavor and smell, which easily reminds us of the beach, the sun and the sound of the ocean waves. Do you know which fruit we are talking about? Yes, the coconut! One of the most tropical fruits available in Venezuela.

Coconut can be consumed in many ways: as a drink (coconut water), the pulp of the fruit, or you can make various preparations from it. In this article, we will show you 4 recipes that you can prepare using coconut, and as a plus we will comment at the end about a very typical Venezuelan snack whose main flavor is this tropical fruit.

Arepa de Coco

What is it?

It is a corn cake with coconut flavor, commonly consumed in the state of Zulia, its cover is hard and its interior is very soft. They are served alone as a garnish for meats or soups, or with the filling of your choice. They can be prepared fried, roasted or baked.

How is it prepared?

For this recipe, you need 2 ½ cups of P.A.N. Precooked White Corn Meal, 3 ½ cups of water, 250 g of grated papelón, 5 cloves, 2 ½ cups of dry, grated coconut, 1 teaspoon of salt, 24 banana or cambur(as we said in Venezuela) leaves.

In a pot, heat the water with the papelón and the cloves until it dissolves and forms a syrup. Let it stand until it cools and remove the cloves. Reserve ½ cup of the syrup for later. Then, in a bowl place the papelón syrup, the grated coconut, the salt and the Harina P.A.N. and stir all the ingredients together.  Divide the mixture into equal parts, form into balls and then flatten in your hands, creating a disk shape. Cover each side of the disk with one of the bananas or cambur leaves and grill on the hot grill for 6 minutes on each side. When cooked, remove the leaves and brush with the papelón syrup. Finally, place the arepas back on the grill on both sides to brown.

Besos de Coco

What is it?

It is one of the most typical Venezuelan pastry sweets, in which two typical ingredients of the region are used: papelón and coconut. Besos de Coco are a type of sweet cookie, crunchy at the sides but with a soft and caramelized interior.

How is it prepared?

For this recipe you need 1/2 kg wheat flour, 1/2 papelón or panela, 1 teaspoon cloves, 3 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 large grated coconut, 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon baking soda.

The first thing to do is to melt the papelón with the cloves in 1/2 cup of water. When it is ready, reserve 1/2 cup of syrup for later. Add grated coconut to the melted papelón, add the wheat flour, 3 teaspoons of cinnamon, the baking soda, and mix very well until homogenized. With a spoon place portions of the mixture in a buttered pan, adding the syrup that was previously set aside and bake for 30 minutes or until they increase in size. 

Cocada

What is it?       

It is a typical Venezuelan drink, with a refreshing, sweet and creamy flavor. It is quite common to find this drink on the beaches of Venezuela, usually in stalls that also sell typical Caribbean alcoholic beverages such as piña colada.

How is it prepared?

To prepare a cocada you only need a few ingredients: 1 cup of chopped fresh coconut, 1 glass of milk, sugar, ice, cinnamon powder and condensed milk.

The preparation is very easy, all the ingredients are mixed at high speed in a blender and condensed milk and cinnamon can be added to taste.

Arroz con Coco

What is it?

It is a preparation of white rice boiled in coconut milk and coconut flakes. It is consumed in many Latin American countries, especially in the coasts of Venezuela.

How is it prepared?

To prepare this dessert you need: 2 cups of rice, 4 cups of water, 8 cups of coconut milk, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 whole allspice sticks, 4 cloves, 1 can of condensed milk, 2 cups of grated coconut (sweetened), 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cinnamon powder to taste.

The steps are as follows: Place the rice and water in a large pot. Cook over high heat until the rice is ready.  Add the coconut milk, cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Mix well with the help of a wooden spoon, lower the heat to medium-low and let it cook like this for 10 minutes. Add the condensed milk and mix well. Lower the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes. Stir constantly to prevent the rice from sticking. Add the grated coconut and salt and cook until the rice has a creamy consistency and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat, let cool slightly and sprinkle cinnamon powder on top to taste.

Cocosette

What is Cocosette?

It is a cookie filled with coconut cream. The most delicious thing about this sweet snack is its crunchy coating, and the sweet and smooth flavor of the coconut inside.

Cocosette was created by Nestlé Savoy, a Venezuelan company that specialized in candies, chocolates, confectionery and wafer cookies, founded in 1941 in Caracas, Venezuela. In 1956, Susy, Cocosette and Samba products were introduced in the market, a trilogy of wafer-type cookies for lovers of sweets full of flavor and quality. Cocosette has a characteristic slogan "Eat it with kisses" and its flavor is tropically addictive. 

 

These are some of the products consumed by Venezuelans that have Coconut as their star ingredient. You can prepare some of the recipes mentioned above or try a delicious Cocosette while imagining you are in front of a Caribbean beach.