Thursday, January 26, 2012

Alien Ingredient #8: Coquitos

These tiny nuts come from a palm tree native to Chile called the Chilean Wine Palm (Jubaea chilensis). I first saw them on an episode of Iron Chef, the Battle Coconut where Morimoto had that crazy looking Coconut Crab. They look like fun, so I ordered some from the produce company.

Even though these little guys (see the nickel in the photo for reference) come from a different palm from the coconut, they look and taste just like miniature coconuts. What you see here is already husked and cracked out of its outer shell and is completely edible. I snacked on a couple for giggles, er, research, and they are just what you'd expect.

When the coquitos arrived, I happened to be making some chocolate truffles and walked by the pan of ganache on my way to fetching the mandoline to see if I could slice these guys into rings for garnish—sure can—when I decided that the accidental dipping of a coquito speared on a skewer into the warm chocolate ganache might not be a bad thing. Mounds on a stick, anyone?

Vote: Fun but not again—their cuteness cannot overcome their exorbitant price, given that they are pretty much limited to garnish.

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