I may have found the perfect food. My brain is even still stumbling over the signals to and from my mouth in an attempt to even describe the amazingness that is Danielle Roasted Coconut Chips. Delectable comes to mind. Decadent. Scrumptious. Luscious. I am not generally a member of the OMG club but these are otherworldly. Subhanallah!
Let’s begin at the beginning, since the bag of chips is now, unfortunately, empty and my senses have almost returned to normal except for the inability to talk about anything else. I was shopping at Cost Plus / World Market on an entirely unrelated errand. I wanted to buy a furry papazan chair cushion to replace my somewhat flat and quite old existing papazan chair cushion. (It was available on the website, though I don’t think it is any longer, but I wanted to feel it in person before I buy. Texture is important to me :P). Unfortunately, they did not have any in stock, because apparently other people consider plush fake fur to be some sort of seasonal thing :P. *Sigh*. At this point, my feet wandered over to the international food end of the store, as they are wont to do, especially when propelled by my stomach, which had violated one of the number one shopping rules of my brain, namely: do not go shopping when hungry. I had already grabbed some other staple and experimental items when my eye fell on a selection of Danielle “Crispy Fruit Chips” in several flavors.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting that much or filled with a lot of enthusiasm when I picked up the package, looked it over, and tossed it in my basket. I realize that some people inexplicably just don’t like coconut (much like those who for some reason don’t like ice cream, or even more incomprehensibly: chocolate!). I am not one of those folks. In fact, the full disclosure is I can’t really think of a coconut product that I haven’t liked on some level, aside from some coconut juice drinks that didn’t wow me. The refreshing Nata de Coco drink that I reviewed recently was pretty good though, and I’ve since gotten some more of those. I also like just cracking open a coconut and eating it. I love coconut macaroons. A “cocomo” drink from Dutch Bros coffee is one of the best things imaginable to start my morning with (or hey, any time of day really). This is known formerly (and at other espresso establishments that haven’t yet met the wrath of the Mars company) as an “Almond Joy” (coconut mocha … sometimes with a wee bit of almond syrup too, at least that’s how I was taught to make it back in the day for authenticity). The actual candy bar, and its companion the mounds bar, isn’t bad either. I’ve even been known to eat sweetened shredded coconut straight from the bag :P. Last year or so I also discovered extra virgin coconut oil for cooking, which makes some AMAZING stir fries and adds a luxurious note to popcorn. And, I recently experimented with making some coconut milk panang curries and coconut cream squash puree soup, which I have to say turned out pretty good! But I have NEVER had coconut like these chips. This may be the best coconut product that exists, period.
I was expecting it to be a little chewy, because let’s face it, coconut in most of its forms is chewy. It’s one of its signature qualities, and I like that feature. Also, dried fruit in general is usually chewy. In fact, having grown up hand-preparing a variety of fruit to be dried in the sun (and then consumed, by me) I find the better the dried fruit is, the chewier it tends to be at the same time (no relation to those peculiarly plump prunes you can buy nowadays under the description “dried plums.” I’m not saying they’re bad, exactly, but they’re a far cry from what happens when you actually cut open a plum and leave it out in the sun to turn into a leather-like but delicious treat). So when I ripped into the bag once I got home, I was imagining sort of large chunk versions of the kind of shredded, moist, sweetened coconut you get in the baking department. In fact, it wasn’t chewy at all. But it was awe-inspiringly delicious.
The bag was filled with largish strips of absolutely crispy coconut, much crispier than the toasted coconut that ends up on cookies sometimes, so crispy and fresh there was not even a hint of chewiness. Crispy like freshly opened potato chips or bugles. Even Crisper. They were extremely thin, melt in your mouth crispy and not at all hard or something that would stick in your teeth (another slightly unfortunate coconut trait). Despite my association of chewiness with coconut, I had to admit after a moment thinking how they would be if they were chewy that the crispiness was decidedly a good thing.
And the taste… oh the taste. They were sweet and salty, just enough, and delectably buttery and rich tasting. If you have ever cooked with virgin coconut oil, it was that same beautiful mouthfeel that tastes like butter but so much better and richer than butter. The richness was akin to the decadent taste that accompanies the most delicious fattening and forbidden fried snack you can imagine. I had to double-check the nutritional information because it so resembled the most perfect version of deep-fried yummy something that it tasted like it HAD to be super bad for me.
But check it out. Ingredients: Fresh Coconuts, Sugar, Salt. They’re baked, not fried. The entire bag (which is the size of a small bag of chips) is a reasonable two servings of only 126 calories each, though I couldn’t help but eat almost all of them in one sitting, interspersed with moaning in delight about how amazing they were. My son managed to get a few away from me as well, and pronounced them good. They were also completely satisfying and filling, so much more so than a bag of “regular” chips (especially at this size).
In their beautifully crisp richness and ample flake size, these would be great in other utilizations. Perhaps sprinkled on top of some type of dessert? Or on some of that coconut cream soup? They’d probably hold up pretty well in trail mix (unlike regular coconut, which I have to say I’ve been tempted to add before but is kind of a mess that way because it is sticky and in small bits, neither of which these are). You’ll have to experiment because it was difficult for me to think beyond shoveling them into my mouth without swooning, which would have inconveniently interrupted the experience of savoring them. If you’re beginning to think that I’m stark “craving” mad, get thee to a store and try some of these yourself! They also have a website which lists many other stores where you can buy their products. If you’re one of those people who just doesn’t like coconut, I weep for you. They did have a bunch of bags of roasted chips made out of other foods (including some surprising choices, like okra, but at this point I think I’d try anything this company makes due to their astoundingly adept handling of the coconut). Despite the fact that I’m simply going to HAVE to try some other flavors after this experience to see what magic they have wrought, I can’t fathom anything tasting more perfect, in the world, than the coconut ones. Mere words cannot do them justice.