Friday, May 08, 2015

National Coconut Cream Pie Day, In the News, and Enjoy

National Coconut Cream Pie Day - Today is National Coconut Cream Pie Day!

National Coconut Cream Pie Day is celebrated annually on May 8. This day was created in honor of the delicious pie made with a sweet coconut cream filling.

The origin of this pie is a bit difficult to track down, but according to Vegetarians in Paradise, the coconut cream pie may have come into existence around the early 1900s.

Since sugar was becoming plentiful on the continent, the candy and pastry business blossomed. All sorts of fruits and nuts were incorporated into confections, making coconut meat a desirable product.

Soon tea and spice traders were shipping whole coconuts to London, an operation that proved impractical and expensive. A French company, J.H. Vavasseur and Company, set up operations in Ceylon with a unique solution for shipping coconuts to Europe. They shredded the coconut meat and dried it thoroughly, making it easier to pack without spoilage.

By the early 1890s, they were shipping six thousand tons of desiccated coconut, a figure that multiplied by ten in 1900. While Europeans were going nuts over coconuts, interest in the United States hardly produced a nod until 1895 when Franklin Baker, a Philadelphia flour miller, received a shipload of coconuts in payment of a debt from a Cuban businessman.

After a few unsuccessful attempts to sell the enormous cargo before the nuts spoiled, he made a decision that put coconuts into the hands of home cooks, commercial confectioners, and pastry chefs alike. He set up a factory for shredding and drying the coconut meat. By the early 1900’s, coconut cream pie and coconut custard were the rage. Coconut frosting topped all sorts of cakes, while grated coconut added its distinct aroma and flavor to cookies and confections.

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    Enjoy - Relax and enjoy these images and videos!