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.
Over half a century ago, Don Ramon Lopez-Irrizarry developed the original Coco Lopez. Living in Puerto Rico, Don Ramon sought a way to make enjoyment of coconut meat easier. Up until then, jus getting to the heart of the coconut was a task in itself. The sweet, white coconut meat was protected by a rock-hard shell-like rind, and it had to be broken at jus the right moment to obtain the peak flavor.
In his small laboratory, Don Ramon worked and developed Coco Lopez, a delicious homogenized cream made from the tender meat of the coconut, and blended with the exact proportion of natural sugar, at the perfect combination of pressure and temperature, resulting in a pure, smooth coconut cream. The small plant was able to produce about 20 cases daily, which involved processing about 300 coconuts. The label on the can displays a photo taken by Don Ramon’s nephew of a tropical scene, sky and palm trees. An open coconut half was transposed on top of the picture, and the current label design is still based on the original photo.
Coco Lopez quickly became an island favorite, used by the residents to prepare traditional island dishes. It was also used as a basis fot a fabulous tropical drink called Piña Colada. Quite a few bartenders and part-time mixers (one at Barra China in Old San Juan and the other at The Caribe Hilton in San Juan) claim to be the inventors of the OFFICIAL BEVERAGE OF PUERTO RICO, as proclaimed by the Tourism Department of Puerto Rico. But there’s no doubt the the unique combination of Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut, pineapple juice an Puerto Rican rum turns out to be the most refreshing natural tropical cocktail you’ll ever have.
As the popularity of Coco Lopez grew, Don Ramon’s small factory was unable to keep up with the demand. In the late ‘60s, Coco Lopez and Inudstrias La Famosa, Puerto Rico’s largest processors of canned products, agreed to join forces for the muatual goal of large-scale production of Coco Lopez.
The merger was a phenomenal success!
In recent years, the Caribbean has become a favorite vacation destination for Americans. In response, many U.S. restaurants have added Caribbean cuisine to their menus. Since coconut is a popular flavor in this cuisine. American cooks are discovering that Coco Lopez is a convenient ingredient for creating Caribbean foods at home.
Coco Lopez processes 70,000 to 85,000 coconuts per day or approximately 50 million coconuts each year. Most of the coconuts are grown in the Dominican Republic and processed at a modern production facility in San Cristóbal, D. R.
Distribution of Coco Lopez continues to grow. It has expanded to over 60 countries around the world. You can find Coco Lopez in Europe, the Middle East, Japan, South and Central America, the United States and as close as your neighborhood supermarket.
If you still have not tasted a piña colada, try one today. Be sure it's made with Coco Lopez. Only then will you enjoy the perfect, the original pina colada from Puerto Rico. Salud!