It has been said that coconut candy originated in Mo Cay district, Ben Tre province, Vietnam. Ms. Nguyen Thi Ngoc (1914) is considered as the first person made coconut candy in 1930s. Ms. Nguyen Thi Vinh (1945) who lived in Ben Tre city, Ben Tre province has changed the way producing coconut candy, open Thanh Long factory – the first coconut candy factory in Vietnam. At this time, in Ben Tre province – the kingdom of coconut, there are about 150 coconut candy factories producing about 30,000 ton of candies every year. If you have chance to visit Mekong Delta, do not miss coconut candy villages where there are lines of green coconut trees and coconut candy factories to learn more about local life, how people make living, process of making candies from coconut.
Coconut candies are wrapped in rice paper because they are very sticky
Main ingredients of coconut candy are coconut milk, sugar and maltose. To make delicious candies, ingredient must be chosen carefully. Brown coconut with thick, white and chewy meat provides sweet and greasy coconut milk. Sugar must be high-quality and as yellow as fresh turmeric. Maltose should be made from smelling round sticky rice. They also add durian, peanuts, chocolate, egg, milk, pineapple juice, pandan leaf juice… to make different kinds of coconut candies.
Process of making coconut candy:
- Peeling brown coconut, separate coconut meat from shell, ground coconut meat.
- Extract coconut milk from coconut meat.
- Add durian/pandan leaf juice/chocolate/egg/milk/pineapple juice… to coconut milk if needed.
- Cook the mix of coconut milk for about 30 minutes. This is the most important step, the cook must stir continuously to make sure the mix doesn’t turn hard. Nowadays, at some factories, they use a special machine to stir the mix. The mix is cooked until it turns thick.
- Pour the mix in a mould covered by a thin layer of coconut oil. Add peanuts/durian.
- Cut thickened mix into pieces of coconut candies.
- Wrap pieces of coconut candies in thin rice paper.
- Wrap the candies with rice paper again by paper and put ready candies into boxes or plastic bags.
Mix of coconut milk is cooked for about 30 minutes, a special machine is used to stir the mix
Workers are wrapping and packing coconut candies
There’s no better than tasting chewy and sweet coconut candies while drinking green tea. Delicious coconut candy is one of the most popular souvenirs to buy in Mekong Delta. Coconut candy is not only a food but also the soul of Ben Tre as well as Mekong Delta. Eating coconut candies makes Ben Tre people who live far from their hometown.
If you would like to try riding horse cart, you should do Mekong Delta Tour.