Cocos & Coquitos

A coco and a coquito - Un coco y un coquito

A coco and a coquito - Un coco y un coquito

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Paraguay is full of coconut trees. However they do not bear the large coconuts people like to drink cocktails from during beach vacations. Paraguayan coconut trees, known as “Mbocayá” (Guaraní) or “cocoteros” (Spanish) bear small coconuts. To Paraguayan these small fruits are “cocos” while the larger coconuts are “cocos brazilero.” Cocos are a little smaller than a golf ball with a thin layer of orange pulp covering a hard brown shell. Inside this shell is white coconut meat. (This image is a little clearer than my photo below)

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El Paraguay está lleno de cocoteros. Los cocos de cocoteros paraguayos no son esos grandes del cual uno suele tomar tragos en la playa. Los cocoteros paraguayos, conocidos como “Mbocayá” en Guaraní tienen cocos chiquititos. A estos se les dice “cocos” mientras que a los grandes se les dice “coco brasilero.” Cocos son más pequeños que una pelota de golf. Hay una capa de fruta naranjada cubriendo una cáscara dura y marrón. Adentro de esta cáscara se encuentra la pulpa blanca del coco. (Esta imágen es mejor que la mía.)


Mbocaya fruit - Fruta del Mbocaya

The interior of a coco - el interior de un coco

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Cocos have many uses in Paraguay. Cocos are used to make soap known as “jabón de coco” which is available as bars as well as soap flakes. This soap is said to be good for the skin and for removing stains in laundry. Cocos are also harvested in large quantities for use in biodiesel.

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Los cocos tienen muchos usos en Paraguay. Los cocos se usan para hacer jabón de coco en pan y suelto. Se dice que el jabón de coco es muy bueno para la piel y también sirve para sacar manchas de la ropa. Los cocos también se cosechan en escala industrial para hacer biodiesel.


Paraguayan Coconut soap - Jabón de Coco paraguayo

Paraguayan Coconut Soap - Jabón de Coco paraguayo

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Children in the countryside use the inner (brown) part of the coconut for a variety of games. Cocos make great makeshift marbles, jacks and balls for slingshots.

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Los niños del campo usan el interior (marrón) del coco para una variedad de juegos. Los cocos pueden servir de canicas, tiquichuelas, y de pelotas para honditas.


cocos paraguayos

Cocos, delicious and fun! - ¡Cocos, deliciosos y divertidos!

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The inner white meat of “cocos” is also used in mate dulce, the delicious dessert version of mate.

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La pulpa blanca del coco también se usa en mate dulce.

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“Cocos” should not be confused with “coquitos.” “Coquitos” are a popular snack often consumed alone or alongside a steaming mug of cocido or coffee. They are approximately the same size as “cocos” and are taste like a mix between a cracker and a breadstick. “Coquitos” are available in bakeries, supermarkets, and “almacenes” or “despensas.” They are usually sold by the kilo. Prices range between Gs. 8,000 and 12,000 per kilo and a ¼ kilo is about 25 coquitos – more than enough for an afternoon snack! If you’d like to try your hand at making homemade coquitos try this coquito recipe from Tembi´u Paraguay (an excellent site dedicated to Paraguayan food).

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No hay que confundir cocos con “coquitos.” Los coquitos son un panificado muy popular que se consumen solos o acompañados de una taza caliente de cocido o café. Son más o menos del mismo tamaño de los cocos y saben como una combinación de galletita y palito. Se venden en panaderías, supermercados, y almacenes y despensas. Por lo general los coquitos se venden por kilo – un kilo cuesta entre Gs. 8,000 y 12,000. ¡Un cuarto de kilo viene a ser más o menos 25 coquitos, más que suficiente para una rica merienda! Si quieres intentar hornear coquitos te recomiendo esta receta de Tembi´u Paraguay, un sitio excelente dedicado a la comida paraguay.

Actually you could buy many more cocos and coquitos for Gs. 1000. - En verdad podrías comprar muchos cocos y coquitos por Gs. 1000


Posted in Flora y Fauna, Food - Comida Tagged with: ,
7 comments on “Cocos & Coquitos
  1. Sany says:

    Where can you buy this soap.

  2. paraguay says:

    It is available in all supermarkets in Paraguay.

  3. Sany says:

    Any supermarkets in USA?

  4. paraguay says:

    I have never run into it here. I just bring back bars in my suitcase.

  5. Alberto says:

    I went to a Deli market in White Plains NY, and there you can find almost anything from Paraguay. I think I saw some Paraguayan made soap there too.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Where can I buy mbocaya fruit?

  7. paraguay says:

    I’d try Mercado 4 in Asuncion. Outside of Paraguay… good question!

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