Kos Dushi (Sweets)
Curašaoans love their sweets year round. Sugar, coconut and peanuts predominate in traditional sweets, which can be purchased on Punda street corners, at bakeries and at tokos.
Most keep a week or longer unrefrigerated, and make an interesting although temporary souvenir. Why not give your friends back home a real taste of Curašao?
Some Curašao sweets are local variations of international favorites. Sunchi are meringue "kisses" made of sugar, egg whites and food coloring, fragile and highly perishable.
Panseiku is a kind of praline: toasted peanuts and almond essence, cooked in a brittle glaze of dark brown sugar.
Chewy local taffy, kaki˝a, is still painstakingly pulled by hand using a metal taffy hook.
Other sweets are purely local. The vividly named djente kachˇ ("dog's tooth") has thick, irregularly shaped chunks of coconut cooked in a sugar syrup.
Freshly grated coconut patties, kokada, are also held together in a sugar syrup,
tinted with food coloring for a festive look.
1/2 fresh coconut, grated, or
1 1/2 cups dried, unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
juice of 1/2 lime
food coloring (optional)
Boil the water and add sugar, one spoonful at a time. Cook
until it becomes a thick, pliable syrup.
Add the coconut and
continue stirring until the mixture hardens. Stir in the
lime juice and food coloring.
Let cool slightly, then form
Serve on broken pieces of coconut shell.
Milk-based ko'i lechi ("milk things") are flavored with vanilla or almond extract and formed into neat squares or circles.
If you hanker for nuts try tentalaria: ground peanuts or cashews in a sugar cream, or zjozjolÝ, chewy sesame seed bars.
Children young and old will love chupabŔbŔ ("suck and drink") - homemade sugar syrup lollipops made in fanciful animal-shaped molds; somehow they seem to have much more flavor than store bought ones.