Coconut sweets and the murky Mekong River in Vietnam

Coconut sweets and the murky Mekong River in Vietnam

9th May 2018 14 By livinguktaiwan

The other day I went on a day tour to the Mekong River in Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. The Mekong River is 4350km long running through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia before finally arriving to Vietnam and then out to the South China Sea.
P_20180505_142141_vHDR_Auto.jpg

Frankly speaking, the river was a bit of a disappointment as by the time the river gets to Ho Chi Minh, its at the end of its journey and the water quality was quite terrible. You can see how murky it is on this boat trip.
P_20180505_120202_BF.jpg

The highlight of the trip was actually the visit to a coconut candy factory to see how they make the sweets using fresh coconuts. You can see the entire process at the end of this post where I’ve condensed it into a one minute video.
Screenshot_20180506-003412.jpg

The process starts with chopping the coconuts in half and extracting all the flesh out. The chunks of coconut flesh are then thrown into the first machine which finely shreds them. Next the coconut is then soaked in hot water for an hour to soften it. They coconut bits are wrapped in muslim and put under a compressor which extracts the milk.Screenshot_20180506-010515.jpg

Sugar and caramel is added to the coconut milk which is boiled in a massive pan over high heat till it thickens. During this stage, the liquid needs to be stirred constantly, and this is done with a motorised paddle instead of hand.
Screenshot_20180506-010409.jpg

Once the liquid thickens to the right consistency it is removed and cooled down a little. Watch how the lady does it with a plate.Screenshot_20180506-005853.jpg

The cooled down liquid now becomes a semi solid form and before it hardens it is moulded into long strips like this.Screenshot_20180506-005921.jpg

Next, the strips go through a cutting machine, and then each sweet is wrapped by hand. In the video you can see the astonishing speed at which the ladies wrap the sweets. The video is only a minute long, so hopefully you will watch it to the end.
Screenshot_20180506-003455.jpg

Before I leave, it would be rude not to share some sweets with you 😊
Screenshot_20180506-011449.jpg