African Asian Australia and Oceania Latin American

Coconut milk (drink)

Coconut milk (drink)

Coconut milk, derived from grated mature coconut pulp, is a creamy, opaque liquid prized for its richness and distinct flavor, largely owed to its high oil content, primarily saturated fat. It holds a significant place in the culinary traditions of Southeast Asia, Oceania, South Asia, and East Africa, with further culinary applications extending to the Caribbean, tropical Latin America, and West Africa, where coconut cultivation was introduced during colonial times.

Varied by fat content, coconut milk is categorized into coconut cream (or thick coconut milk), boasting the highest fat content; coconut milk (or thin coconut milk), typically containing up to 20% fat; and coconut skim milk, with minimal fat content. However, commercial coconut milk in Western markets may not always adhere strictly to these distinctions.

In addition to its culinary uses, coconut milk serves as a base for milk substitutes, known as “coconut milk beverages,” which are distinct from traditional cooking coconut milk. Furthermore, Puerto Rico offers a sweetened, processed variation known as cream of coconut, popular in desserts and beverages like piña coladas, though it should not be confused with coconut cream.

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Bon appetit!

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