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If You Seek Cream of Coconut, Look About You

 My recipe calls for sweetened coconut cream. What are the brand names for it and in what kind of store can I find it? Farmer Jack and Meijer don't carry it.

 Some of our favorite people live – as you do – in Michigan, and we visit at least once a year. And, as is our habit wherever we travel, we stop in grocery stores, camera and clipboards in hand, making nuisances of ourselves, looking for unusual products and trying to discern what products should be there but are not.

How can we put this nicely? The good people of Michigan should be in open revolt! Nowhere have we seen larger grocery stores with less variety. Nowhere do we see larger grocery stores with more white-bread products and fewer exotic or interesting products. We look for an ethnic aisle and find a shelf or two of taco mix and soy sauce. It does not surprise us that you cannot find sweetened cream of coconut. But it does shock us!

There are several brand names on the market. Coco Lopez is surely the market leader. We also know of Goya, Savoy, Costamar, Roland, and Coco Casa. Some of them are probably unsweetened, but if that's all you can find, mix an equal amount of sugar with the cream of coconut, and you'll have roughly the right combination.

Never have we intentionally sent someone to a liquor store, but if you strike out in the grocery stores, you might broaden your search. Cream of coconut is essential to the piña colada, mixed with pineapple juice and rum, and if you can't find it in a liquor store, you'll have to leave Michigan or go online.

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