also spelled makapuno
(literally meaning “almost like full”)
chewy, soft coconut meat
The Philippine Coconut Authority translates macapuno as coconut “sport” — it is the very soft endosperm of coconuts. What this means is that instead of the interior lining of the coconut shell being the firm solid white we’re all familiar with, it is more like translucent jelly.
The particular tree from which makapuno is taken is a dwarf mutant with the scientific name Cocos nucifera. Dolores Ramirez of the University of the Philippines at Los Baños (UPLB) is widely credited for working on the genetic systems controlling the macapuno endosperm of coconuts.
Macapuno is considered a delicacy in the Philippines. It is preserved in heavy sugar syrup, usually as long shreds. You can buy bottled macapuno, which can be used as an ingredient in haluhalo. It can be made into candy and is also a popular flavor of ice cream.
Think macapuno strings, balls, tarts, bars, pastillas… ube macapuno cake… even Bibingka de Macapuno!
Macapuno in the News… and Trivia!
In the news: About 10 students from a high school in Quezon City were hospitalized in July 2015 after eating tainted makapuno candy.
Trivia: Indonesia has just recently overtaken the Philippines as the world leader in coconut production!
Other Filipino terms related to coconut: niyog (mature coconut), buko (young cocont), gata (coconut milk or cream)