VietnamFood & DrinksVietnamese Coconut Candy 101

Vietnamese Coconut Candy 101

Once setting your foot in the prosperous land of the Mekong Delta, don’t hesitate to give the incredible local food a try. For a sweet tooth, you should never miss the sticky, chewy, yet tasty Vietnamese coconut candy.

History of Vietnamese Coconut Candy

First introduced in the 1930s, Vietnamese coconut candy was created by Ms. Nguyen Thi Ngoc in Ben Tre Province—the so-called “Kingdom of Coconut.” But it was not until 1970 that Thanh Long—the first factory of this sweet—appeared, and the industry has flourished since then.

Nowadays, more than a hundred factories in Ben Tre produce this confectionary, making an association of coconut candy suppliers. Interestingly, this specialty is delivered throughout the country and exported to China, Laos, Australia, Germany, Sweden, etc.

Making of Vietnamese Coconut Candy

Traditionally, Vietnamese coconut candy is only made of three ingredients: coconut, sugar, and malt. However, creating this small bite-sized bonbon is far from easy. People have to follow specific requirements and steps as follow:

First, picking coconuts is undoubtedly crucial in making Vietnamese coconut candy. The chosen ones should be old with hard and thick flesh, unlike those used for fresh coconut water

A special machine squeezes the chosen coconut to take the copra. Then fresh coconut milk is extracted from it

Next, the milk is boiled with sugar and malt. Thanks to these machines, laborers no longer have to stand by a burning stove and stir the mixture until it is thick

After that, the mixture is poured into molds, covered by a thin oil layer and left to dry

People peel dried candies off the molds and cut them into pieces

The sweets are wrapped with transparent rice papers, which are edible but often mistaken for normal plastic wraps. Finally, they go into boxes and are ready to sell

Types of Vietnamese Coconut Candy

Traditional Coconut Candy

This one is made from simple ingredients using the same process as above. It is sometimes called “durian-free coconut candy,” so don’t be surprised if the seller gives you a package with this name.

Durian Coconut Candy

Combining two aromatic fruits, this type of candy offers the sweet, greasy taste of coconut and the mesmerizing smell of durian. Since some stores offer a particular version with added peanuts, if you have an allergy, choose the non-peanut pack.

Pandan Coconut Candy

Pandan is widely used as the odorant of Vietnamese sweets and coconut candy is not an exception. Unlike the strong taste of taro, durian, or cocoa, this flavor is mild and, therefore, keeps much of the original taste. Like the durian version, this one is a common souvenir among Mekong Delta visitors.

Taro Coconut Candy

For those curious about Vietnamese coconut candy but afraid of its strong smell, this new creation might be a good choice. Apart from its captivating purple look, you should opt for the distinctive taste of taro with coconut.

Cocoa Coconut Candy

The candy’s appealing taste is derived from its one brown side containing cocoa and the yellow side representing durian. If you want a safe choice for your first time trying Vietnamese coconut candy, pick this one, and you won’t regret it.

Places to Buy Vietnamese Coconut Candy

Thanh Long

The 50-year-old Thanh Long offers more than just coconut candy. It offers diverse products like milk rice paper, sugar apple candy, banana candy, etc. Visiting its showroom, you will be introduced to the production line and given delicious samples.

Address:

  • 67 Ngo Quyen, Ward 6, District 10, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 212B Dong Khoi Boulevard, Phu Khuong Ward, Ben Tre City, Ben Tre Province

Price: VND 30,000 – VND 50,000

Ba To

This brand is famous not only for its sweet taste but also for the lawsuit in 2004. Mrs. Hai To, the brand’s owner, came to China to prove that coconut candy is from Ben Tre. To protect the products, her picture is now printed on the candy package, apart from the logo.

Address: 97 Le Quoc Hung, Ward 12, District 4, Ho Chi Minh City

Price: VND 35,000 – VND 70,000

Yen Huong

Yen Huong has existed for over 30 years and is loved for its original coconut flavor. It also has a reputation for banana candy, which is another of Ben Tre’s products.

Address: 143 Dong Khoi Boulevard, Phu Khuong Ward, Ben Tre City, Ben Tre Province

Price: VND 35,000 – VND 70,000

Nep Huong

Unlike the aforementioned names, which produce and specialize in Vietnamese coconut candy, this store offers you a wide range of sweets from the North to the South. Besides, it provides many different brands of each product for you to choose from.

Address: 42 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Le Dai Hanh Ward, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi

Opening hours: 7:30 AM – 7:30 PM

Price: VND 30,000 – 45,000

Summary of Vietnamese Coconut Candy

To wrap up Vietnamese coconut candy, “cheap” and “unique” are all you need to say! With the proper package and portable shape, this is a suitable candidate for your choice of souvenirs. For a closer look at this candy, tour the Mekong Delta to try making it first-hand and discover the beauty of this vigorous land.

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