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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Nata De Coco

The coconut tree is widely available in the Philippines and is also known as the "tree of life", as every part of this tree has a use. Even in Sanskrit, it is called "kalpa vriksha" meaning "tree which gives all that is necessary for living", for the same reason.

One of the products derived from the coconut tree is the nata de coco (Spanish for 'cream of coconut') made from fermented coconut water.Produly Filipino in origin, nata de coco is usually used in desserts, eaten by itself or as an ingredient in "halu-halo", a concoction of assorted sweetened fruits with shaved ice, milk and sugar.

Today, one of the visits in an Asian shop in Mitcham revealed a new form of nata de coco, this time as a pickle, aimed as an appetizer. This was hence worth a try, as it was just surprising!

By itself, nata de coco can easily absorb the liquid that it has been soaked with, hence the concept of it being pickled is not unlikely. Made with organic papaya vinegar, sugar, garlic, raisins, bell peppers, black peppers and salt (which are usual pickling ingredients), this tart version of the nata de coco is a quite a pleasant surprise. However, if the preference is to savor the sweet version, then better not go for the hunt of this jar!

2 comments:

markymark2099 Monday, January 12, 2009 8:53:00 PM  

I feel like coco jam on bread now... :P

heartandhearth Wednesday, January 14, 2009 9:10:00 PM  

What an interesting find! Pickled Nata de Coco! Ironic how I've not yet seen one around here where it is produced. Or perhaps, I have not paid enough attention at the grocery aisles. Thanks for following my blog!

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