Whither Sweetened Shredded Coconut?
In my childhood there were tons of cooky and cake recipes that called for this product. Bakers produced sweetened shredded coconut. No more. I've contacted Bakers and they're not making it anymore. I've gone to three grocery stores in my area. Nada. Of any brand. What has happened to sweetened shredded coconut? Is there an affordable source?
So -- Me Not Being A Baker and all -- I went on a little field trip today during my regular shopping run. I found a dozen or so different flaked sweetened coconuts, all between $1 and $3 per pound -- each market had at least two brands -- and was surprised to find -- Me Not Being A Baker and all -- that they weren't what I expected, which was like corn flakes, squarish, between 1/4" and 1/2", like wood shavings. What Flakes actually were was, well, shredded, between 1/4" and 1/2" long and between 2 and 3mm wide. Shreds were virtually identical in length but were between 1 and 2 mm wide.
So I think we are talking mostly semantic rather than functional differences and I can't imagine -- Me Not Being A Baker and all -- how it would make any difference if you used Flakes rather than Shredded.
The one place that had both -- Safeway (the Shredded is in the Red Bag and the Flakes are in the Blue) -- showed almost no difference that I could see in the actual product.
Bob's Red Mill Unsweetened Shredded are indeed much finer and are widely available, and I'd guess you could just mix those with some Karo syrup or home made sugar syrup until they are the sweetness you like, with the added benefit being you can control the sweet level and ingredients.
Safeway says they have sweetened shredded coconut -- their own brand 14 oz for $2.89.
Costco Business Center in Lynnwood has Azar Sweet Shredded Coconut 10 lbs Item # 345682 for $27.07 (less if you pick it up in person).
Amazon shows a couple of versions with Arabic writing on them, which makes me wonder if you might also find it at ethnic markets like Apna Bazaar or 99 Ranch.