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Coconut grater in Philadelphia - who sells them?

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Smellchipper Jul 20, 2006 11:19 AM

Howdy!
Am looking for a coconut grater and have been to three Indian groceries, an Asian supermarket and a Chinese restaurant supply place. No luck. In an ideal world I'd find this:
http://www.wildernessfamilynaturals.com/coconut_grater.htm
otherwise I'm looking for this
http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/pDetail....
Not looking for a stool with spikes though. Any leads?

  1. jen kalb Jul 20, 2006 02:01 PM

    In NYC I have seen these occasionally in Indian stores, particularly those that carry sri lankan products. You might find in So. Philly, esp in an indonesian place.

    If all else fails, you can mailorder from Kalustyan in NY -they sell one with a suction mechanism on the bottom.

    alternatives:
    opening the coconut, peeling the brown skin off the pieces and grating on a hand grater or using the grating blade of a food processor - works fine.
    buying frozen grated coconut in indian/chinese groceries.

    1. s
      Smellchipper Jul 20, 2006 03:10 PM

      have you used the kind that Kalustyan sells?
      http://www.kalustyans.com/pictures/Co...

      They actually carry these at Subzi Mandi in Bensalem but their kitchenware rooms are so messy that a store employee couldn't find all the pieces to it even after 20 minutes of searching.

      Peeling the brown skin off is a real pain and I usually peel some of my fingers in the process. Talking 30 minutes from whole coconut to grated pieces that way.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Smellchipper
        jen kalb Jul 20, 2006 04:58 PM

        no, I havent tried these - I currently use frozen grated and shredded coconut. One trick I am told with these graters is getting the coconut split in exact halves.

        In the past I did the thing with draining, baking a little, which supposedly helps separate the shell from the nut and then cracking, prying out the meat, paring, etc. If you can do THAT in 30 min you are doing well IMO.

        1. re: jen kalb
          s
          Smellchipper Jul 21, 2006 12:30 AM

          Yah, frozen is almost as good, but when I'm in no short-cut mode (summer months) I like to use fresh. Getting the coconut split into equal halves sounds difficult, especially since a lot of coconuts are egg shaped. Maybe I should just get the hand grater thing. It just seems like such a shame, especially since I've been nuts about this for the past few days and have actually managed to convince my wife (or she's given up) that we NEED a cast-iron, table-mounted coconut shredder.
          I did the baking thing a few times and it is a lot easier to get the meat out, but there's still the problem of peeling the skin. Also, I found the flavor a bit altered from the baking.

          1. re: Smellchipper
            s
            Smellchipper Jul 22, 2006 02:25 AM

            Well I took a field trip to the Thai (Vietnamese?) market on Washington btwn 11th and 12th today. Got a grater that seemed promising http://img225.imageshack.us/img225/66...
            but it was hard to test out because the two coconuts I bought from them were rotten. Seems like it takes a lot of forearm strength to grate an entire coconut. I got tired after a few minutes without having made tremendous progress. Possibly this was due to the coconuts being rotten, or possibly my technique needs work. But what a fun place! The Lucky Box is sheer marketing genius, and I got a huge stone mortar and pestle.

            1. re: Smellchipper
              s
              Smellchipper Aug 6, 2006 01:05 PM

              That grater really wasn't getting the job done, so I decided I needed a stool. Went to the 1st Oriental Supermarket on 6th and Washington and found one in the far right corner with all the woks and strainers. Sheer grating perfection! After two coconuts I started to get the hang of it and whittled my time down to 10 minutes per coconut. Positive I can get it down to 5. My wife wants a divorce.

      2. Tonyjlive Jul 20, 2006 03:16 PM

        Don't know for sure, but I would venture a guess that you may be able to find one at Fante's in the Italian Market. I'd call first to save yourself a trip if they don't sell them.

        1. p
          pamd Jul 20, 2006 03:20 PM

          what about getting a microplane zester/grater- works on coconut. I think they have them at Kitchen Kapers.

          http://www.microplane.com/40020.shtml

          1. s
            Smellchipper Jul 20, 2006 03:39 PM

            No, I have a microplane already. Grating the coconut is the easy part, getting the meat out of the shell and peeling it is the time-consuming part. Fante's doesn't have them :(
            If it weren't so hot and I didn't have a baby attached to me I'd go traipsing all over south philly.

            1. missclaudy Aug 6, 2006 09:31 PM

              Very cool, I LOVE a new kitchen tool that costs $1.99 and I admire your tenacity.Can't wait to get my paws on one of these and a stool. Great sleuthing ! Your wife will get over it, buy her a present.

              1. s
                Smellchipper Aug 7, 2006 01:27 AM

                Instead of a present I made her eat grated coconut for breakfast and coconut chutney for dinner.
                http://www.epicurious.com/features/go...
                One day my daughter will ask if she can use my stool and my heart will go to pieces (or she'll be so embarassed by the stool that she'll call ahead to make sure we hide it before she invites her friends over).

                1. p
                  plopez Feb 28, 2007 08:56 AM

                  http://www.culinaryexotica.com/cocgra...
                  i just got one from this place. i havent tried it yet but i looks like it will do the trick. im ususlly picky about stuff made in india or china and this one seems worth it. plus the people at bucks seem very nice and they shipped in a week!
                  pablo

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: plopez
                    s
                    Smellchipper Feb 28, 2007 06:06 PM

                    you may want to use water to help the suction cup stay in place, because you'll need to turn the handle hard to get the coconut out. The other hand, of course, holds the coconut half. Iovine's has started selling better coconuts recently, altho I think the best ones in the area are sold by Subzi Mandi.

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