They are all derived from fresh coconuts, but differ in how they are processed. Desiccated coconut is the shredded white flesh of the coconut from which all the moisture has been extracted. it can be bought either flaked or in shredded strands.
Desiccated coconut in all its forms is suitable for both sweet and savory dishes, but is used mainly in cakes and biscuits. The longer strands and flakes are usually used for garnishing and decorating.
Creamed coconut, sold in cans or as a block, is formed from desiccated coconut that has been ground to an oily paste which thickens and sets when chilled. The block is sealed in plastic, and once opened, can be stored in the refrigerator for many weeks. Simply cut off pieces to use. Add creamed coconut to traditional Southeast Asian and Indian curries, or to stews, casseroles and soups to enrich and flavor them.
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