Give me a dessert menu and I’ll skip over the inevitable death-by-molten-chocolate cake, the crème brulée, the sorbet—and definitely the cheese (although I always feel like I should want to eat cheese after dinner because then I’d be European or at least a legitimate food writer). I’ll toy with the idea of a fruit dessert or anything with caramel, but I’m truly loyal to nothing but coconut.
Some highlights in my life of coconut:
• The coconut buns at the Mexican bakery Kings Bakery (2846 Mission St., 415-282-4550), situated near the 24th Street BART station (and run by a Chinese guy, from what I understand). You’d never know the sesame seed sprinkled buns are filled with coconut and sugar—but it makes for a fantastic surprise.
• The cold coconut tapioca “soup” afloat with little slippery, transparent balls of tapioca (nothing like the instant puddingy stuff you might have had as a kid), which I ordered almost daily at New Hong Kong Menu (667 Commerical St., 415-391-3677) when I used to work near Chinatown. I just checked. They still serve it.
• The Toasted Coconut-Sesame Brittle Ice Cream from Haagen-Dazs, from their new “Reserve Series.” Aren’t they fancy.
• I hate to brag (not really), but my coconut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Find the recipe in my cookbook, Picnics.
• And as a P.S. to my last blog about Manila Oriental Market—on top of fish, they carry the most dreamy, soft loaves of bread made with butter, eggs, normal stuff, all streaked with grated coconut, from Sheng Kee Bakery in Brisbane. In a moment of low-blood-sugar-induced coconut craziness, I ate three slices of it plain before I even snapped this photo (and then, using my deft skills as a food stylist, wrapped it back up, hoping you wouldn’t notice).