Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Coconut Candy Reviews: Stover, Ghirardelli and Ferrero

Life is better with coconut candy in a box of chocolates.   I decided to stock-up on coconut candy  at the grocery store before the next polar vortex, subzero cold wave invades Chicago in February 2014. 

 I bought Russell Stover’s, Ghirardelli and Ferrero Rocher’s coconut candies to taste-test for review …. And here are the results:

Russell Stover Review

Russell Stover’s coconut crunch patty is a sumptuous delight.  It’s very tasty chocolate-covered shredded coconut. 

The milk chocolate’s flavor rivals very expensive brands. The generous amount of coconut is almost like eating  a pricey coconut haystack.

The coconut patty is only one, just 1, of 3 assorted pieces in Stover’s  3.5 oz. “Photo Heart” Valentine’s Day box, selling for about $2.00.  It’s widely available at drugstores, online stores and big box stores.  I need more!

Ghirardelli Coconut Rendezvous Review

I missed the coconut in Ghirardelli's chocolate bar.  The milk chocolate is fabulous tasting and incredibly smooth melting in my mouth.

But  Ghirardelli's new  product misses the mark when it comes to coconut... there is simple not enough for a coconut lover like me.

The product is available at drugstores for about $1.50 on sale.

 Ferrero Rocher Raffaellos Review

Ferrero Raffaello’s Almond Coconut Treat is a delicately-flavored,  creamy sweet that I adore.   It’s a diaphanous textured truffle that hits the spot without a sugar overdose.    
The candy is a little luxury that's great with  flavored coffee after dinner.  It’s all Ferrero’s quality flavor without chocolate.

You can find the product at drugstores, online stores and big box stores.  Ferrero Raffaello’s  coconut truffles are available in a 5.3 oz. box,  with about 8 pieces.

Life is indeed better with coconut  candy in a box of chocolates.   I'm glad that cabin fever pushed me to try new, different taste sensations.   Russell Stover and Ferrero Raffaello get high marks after  my coconut candy taste-tests with Ghirardelli trailing far behind.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Coconuts In Black History And Beyond

Coconuts were part of the standard food provisions aboard slave ships for both the captives AND crew.

Brazil Stamp print of a coconut vendor


With this perspective, coconuts are as much a part of the economic history of the New World as cotton and sugar cane.
In the 1800s, coconuts were  very profitable for atleast one African-American.

 Mr. Ashbourne's Patents for Coconut Oil

We enjoy using coconut oil with a long shelf life because of Alexander P. Ashbourne. Ashbourne was the first American to realize the economic potential of coconut after the US Civil War.

This African-American was awarded 3 patents for coconut oil production and refining - Patents 163,962 in 1875, 194,287 in 1877 and 230,518 in 1880. 

Here's a link to the 1875  US Patent Office Gazette for Mr. Ashbourne's invention.

Ashbourne was a successful grocer in Philadelphia and Oakland, CA.  Clearly he was a great thinker and tinker: He was awarded numerous patents for a wide range of inventions.

West Indies couple and coconut palm

I feel that coconut products can fuel  renewed economic success for the descendants of slaves and everyone else that made it to the Americas and survived and thrived.

One African-American, Alexander P. Ashbourne, has already proved this.

Slave convoy in the shade of a palm tree


The Future Economic Potential for Coconut

New profitable markets for Coconut oil, coconut water and copra commodities are emerging RIGHT NOW in the world's temperate zones-the northern hemispheres. 

 Medical and cosmetic use of Coconut by-products like Dicaprylyl Ether and Caprylic/CapricTriglyceride  are the frontier of a new economy...  partially replacing the use of  black gold.


The old Black History may have been nurtured and sustained by coconuts in the dank, dark holds of a slave ships.  But  the future starts now with the coconut palm's solid economic foundation of renewable resources.

All-In Vegan With Key West Coconut

Smoothies and "No Egg" salad  by Key West's  Help Yourself Organic Cafe are made with REALLY FRESH coconut.  The coconuts are cut-down  from nearby palm trees.   Watch this YouTube video of the  owner cutting down fresh coconuts for her cafe's vegan offerings.

I made a version of the meatless  "no egg" salad recipe with fresh coconut meat and it is indeed YUMMY!