Treasures of Colombia: Cocada Rellena (Colombian Street Food)

Today, we will explore a new treasure of Colombia, Cocada Rellena, or Coconut Drops as it is known in Jamaica.

There are many controversies, hullabaloo, and disagreements about the origin of this “sweet tooth” snack. In the Eighteenth Century, Mexican researchers argued that the Cocada was originated in Mexico. In contrast, Antonio de Alcedo in his Geographic-Historical Dictionary in 1789 linked the Cocada to Angola.

treasures of colombia with stacey ann smith

Treasures of Colombia – Cocada Rellena (Colombian Street Food)

By: Stacey -Ann Smith.

He suggested that the sweets might have originated from the Portuguese colony that is in South Central Africa. Of course, the Colombians also claim that it originated right here in Colombia, in the coastal region; either way, it is popular throughout South America.

In his study on “Sweets”, Antonio de Alcedo stated that the Portuguese Colonizers brought similar looking sweets to that of the Cocada called “Anguish dessert”, to Angola.

This Angolan dessert was made of:

  • striped hard coconut
  • sugar
  • water
  • whole cloves
  • cinnamon
  • egg yolk to give it that distinguished color

Similarly, the Colombian cocada consists of:

  • cinnamon
  • thin strips of coconut
  • milk
  • sugar
  • panela
  • cloves

Additionally, the other South American countries have their own version of the coconut drops. Likewise in Jamaica, we too have our own version.

In Jamaica, coconut drops consist of:

  • chunks of coconut
  • ginger
  • sugar

And of course, each person has his own way of spicing it up – the amount of ginger or sugar added.

In Colombia and Jamaica the “Cocada” or “Coconut Drops” are typical traditional snacks that have represented both countries well for ages. These snacks/desserts are loved by both tourists and locals and can be “munched on” any time of day and they are very economical. The cost for Cocada varies, depending on the size.

If you ever visit Colombia and have a “sweet tooth” buy a Cocada or two! A small one costs two thousand pesos (2000 COP), that’s equal to eighty Jamaican dollars ($80 JMD).

Next time you explore our country, have a taste of this savory Treasure of Colombia – and Jamaica.


About the writer:

Stacey Ann Smith is from Kingston, Jamaica.  She is an alumnus of Camperdown High School and she graduated from The Shortwood Teachers’ College having earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Modern Languages, Spanish and French. Presently, Stacey is an English teacher at a University in Colombia.  She describes herself as a vivacious and loving person who also has a passion for traveling, taking pictures, her son Nicholas and Ashley, her adorable feline.

Copyright © 2019


3 thoughts on “Treasures of Colombia: Cocada Rellena (Colombian Street Food)

  1. Coconut is a delicious colombian dessert…i love it…thanks Stacey…. I’m so fascinated about the topics of tour articles….
    Well done


  2. Awesome!! She is doing an excellent jog to show all the delicious food we have in Colombia and at the same time explore our culture with Jamaica’s too. Great job dear teacher.


  3. You forgot to pay the lady, Stacey! 😂😂😂… anyway, this really proves our motto “out of many…” there are so many similarities among the nations.


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