Coconut Candy is a sweet candy made of coconut cream and coconut milk. It is produced in Ben Tre Province of Vietnam. The candy is also referred to as “Keo Dua ”, where Dua stands for coconut and Keo means candy in Vietnamese language.
The coconut candy was first made by Mrs Nguyen Thi Vinh in her home. She used to sell these candies to the local school children only. Her aim was to keep making them till she achieves the perfect taste. The candy became popular amongst the people and they started ordering in larger quantities from her. The candies were made by hands and Mrs Nguyen delivered them personally on bikes and bicycles. In due course of time, the orders started to come from retailers from other provinces and she formed partnerships with distributors and started producing the candies in larger quantities.
The coconut candy recipe is made of coconut milk, coconut cream, sugar and malt syrup. Ratio of ingredients plays an important role in the taste and texture of the coconut candy. Slight variations in the ratio will lead to a different taste and texture, therefore, the ratio of ingredients is always a guarded secret of the coconut candy manufacturer.
Coconut candy is made by first grating the coconut and then extracting the crème and milk from it. When the milk and crème are extracted from the coconut flesh, sugar and malt syrup are added to the mixture. The mixture is heated over high flames caused by burning the coconut shells. While the mixture is being heated, it is to be stirred continuously to ensure it is heated evenly. In the traditional times, the mixture was stirred with wooden paddles, however, now while they are being made in large industries, the paddles are replaced by electric motors. The mixture is to be stirred till the right consistency and texture is achieved. While the mixture is still hot, it is put into the moulds to be cooled and finally, the cooled candy mixture is cut into rectangular tablets. Once they are cut into tablets, they are then wrapped and packed to be sold.
50 gm of serving of coconut candy consists of 110 calories, 32 gm of sugars, and 5.4 gm of total carbohydrates and 0.85 gm of dietary fiber.
Coconut candy is eaten widely after meals as a part of dessert. Vietnamese are generally not fond of desserts and would rather prefer to have a fruit, sweet potatoes or coconut candy after a meal.
- Coconut candy from Vietnam is exported to other Asian and European countries. They are also exported to Australia and North America.
- In earlier times, coconut candies were wrapped in two layers, where the first layer or the outer layer is of paper soaked in vegetable oil and the inner layer has the edible rice paper. This is done to ensure that candy does not stick to the wrapping paper.