The heart of the coconut had long been an important ingredient in many delicious desserts from the tropical islands. The problem was that getting the coconut cream from the pulp was easier said than done. Don Ramon Lopez Irizarry set out to find an easier way of doing this. In his small laboratory in Puerto Rico, he developed the original Coco Lopez by blending the delicious cream from the hearts of Caribbean coconuts with the exact proportion of natural cane sugar.
Suddenly Coco Lopez ® became the basis for a fabulous tropical drink called "Piña Colada" which made its first appearance in 1954. Quite a few bartenders and part-time mixers claim to be the inventors of the "Official Beverage of Puerto Rico."
Either way, there's no doubt that the unique combination of Coco Lopez ® Cream of Coconut, pineapple juice and Puerto Rican Rum is the most refreshing tropical cocktail you'll ever have. In fact, only the original Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut meets the necessary conditions of flavor and consistency to prepare the perfect Piña Colada!
What most people mean by coconut is actually the core of a mature nut, a hard sphere covered with shaggy brown “bark”, with a half-inch layer of firm white meat inside. But visit an Hispanic produce market and you’ll encounter the nut in its natural state: a large, green oblong of mostly fibrous husk, weighting five to six pounds a piece.
A machete-wielding vendor whacks the top off one of these behemots, preferring a straw for sipping the clean, sweetish “water” in the center. To complete the coconut experience, use a shard of shell or spoon to scoop out the soft, white custardy “jelly” - the part that would one day become the squeaky-crisp meat of a hard-shelled nut.
Green coconuts are harvested after only six months on the tree. For much of the world, coconut meat is not an end in itself, but a source of fresh coconut “milk”. The analogy to a dairy product is an apt one: The fat in coconut milk is closer in chemical composition to butterfat than it is to vegetable fat. As with cow’s milk, coconut milk has a cream that rises to the top.
Although making fresh coconut milk isn’t difficult, it does take time. When fresh coconut isn’t available or time is short, substitute canned unsweetened coconut milk like Coco Lopez ® in your recipes.