Coconut-Filled Wafers with Milk Chocolate from Italy

I am partial to coconut-loaded treats, as my taste buds adore the fruit to bits. Coconut’s refreshing touch and flavor that it brings whenever it stands center-stage as a headlining ingredient is welcomed with open arms. Since the weather is warming up here in the Lion City (with spring showers every now and then), it’s time to roll out the red carpet for a coconut treat! With the idea of expanding my snacking selections in a recent trip to the shops, a pack of fun-sized Loacker coconut wafers from Italy hopped into my basket and made its way into my snack stash. Pondering on the Italians’ connection to coconut, I realized that it is time to grab my metaphoric magnifying glass and embark on some sleuthing.

When I think of Italy, I imagine beautiful rustic cities with golden Mediterranean sunshine showering the surroundings with its radiance, and Vespa scooters riding along cobblestone lanes. The coconut trail in Italian desserts includes coconut gelato, coconut cream cakes, and one of my favorites: macaroons (not to be confused with macaron). Stepping away from the characteristics of a quintessential Italian holiday, my sleuthing boots led me to a fascinating discovery about Loacker’s roots, which makes tasting this coconut delight rather intriguing. This is where the foodie mantra of “never judge a book by its cover” kicks into gear!

Loacker’s hometown, on the other hand, features another region in Italy that I have yet to ‘explore’ in my foodie adventures. Located in the northern part of Italy, the South Tyrol province borders Switzerland and Austria. Being one of the alpine regions in Italy, the region’s towns look like they would feel right at home in feel-good cozy stories and movies, with breath-taking snow-capped mountains and cascading hills donning lush greenery as its backdrop! From connecting with nature through hiking and relaxing along pristine lakes, to visiting vineyards and wine-tasting, this region is where the Mediterranean’s charm meets the alps’ snugness. These worlds live together harmoniously, which makes the explorer in me excited. My interest in these wafers continued to grow while I explored South Tyrol through my screen. It will be incredibly interesting to have a taste of how a location that is home to amazing alps in Italy would celebrate coconut’s glorious tropical flavor profile in a confection. There’s only one way to find out!

Three primary elements form each ‘finger’. These wafer fingers, which are longer than my index fingers, feature alternating layers of waffley wafer biscuits (which seems to be identical to the ones they use in regular wafer stacks) and a smooth and creamy coconut filling. Even though I will gladly munch on any dessert/sweet that embraces coconut’s presence, I am especially delighted to sink my teeth into these wafers because it includes one of my favorite friends in the sweet tooth realm: milk chocolate.

It’s time to take the first bite! The filling captures the spirit of coconuts as the fruit’s distinctive flavor shines throughout, while the wafer biscuits are perfectly crispy and pack a crunch. The addition of 29% milk chocolate is a delightful touch. Milk chocolate complements coconut’s presence with its gentle depths of sweet and cocoa notes, hence showcasing coconut’s flavor. If this treat is a band, the coconut-wafer combo takes the lead and chocolate is the backing vocals.

If you’re living in a warmer region, it is ideal to store the wafers in your fridge as they do melt. From taste-testing both refrigerated and non-refrigerated ones, my vote goes to the ones that are cold because the flavors are elevated.

Munching thoughtfully on a wafer finger whilst attempting to identify the layers of flavors, I realized that the taste exudes vibes of something recognizable. Jogging my foodie memories, it dawned upon me that the flavor possesses a light echo of macaroons. These wafers aren’t identical to macaroons to a ‘T’, but they do whisper “macaroons” to me. Reading a tidbit of information from the ingredients list gave me a fuller picture: finely-shredded coconut flakes (“46% in the cream filling”, as stated on the packet) are included in the coconut filling. Macaroons’ primary ingredient is shredded coconut too.

The wafer biscuit’s role in the wafer-coconut partnership reminds me of crisply-baked shredded coconut that encrusts macaroons when they are baked. Meanwhile, the filling’s flavor arouses my memory of tasting the soft core of macaroons, which possesses the sweetness and nuttiness of coconuts. Unlike macaroons, however, the wafer’s coconut filling is smooth rather than chewy.

The part that surprised me whilst sleuthing to learn about Loacker’s coconut filling is that the coconuts are sourced from some of the Lion City’s neighbors, namely Indonesia and the Philippines! It’s always fun to discover globetrotting ingredients that come together in a treat for foodies to enjoy a global experience, especially in an era whereby almost everyone is staying on their home grounds and dreaming of hopping onboard a flight for a holiday.

Overall, the experience was thoroughly enjoyable. Considering that Loacker’s home is in the cool alpine region of South Tyrol, I am impressed by this coconut delight and it feels right at home in the tropics!

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