I so want to post more about food, but these times are busy. However, I am posting this, hoping to help anyone in the US (particularly in New England) who needs buko/young coconuts in time for Christmas.
Last week I went to Hannaford hoping to find some buko (young coconuts) to make into pichi-pichi (for the juice) and to mix with cassava cake and sapin-sapin. I did not find a single one. Desperate to get them, I approached a guy unloading some produce from crates, asking who I could talk to if I wanted 15 pieces of young coconut, which I knew they carried before. I was asked for my name and telephone number, and would be referred to their manager (in the produce section). I told them I would need the coconuts by the next week. I also added 5 yucca (although I had several frozen grated yucca packages in my freezer).
Next morning, I had a follow up phone call about who would be the acting manager to assist me (they left a message). I was told they would try to see what they could do about my order.
In the afternoon I was told the coconuts would be coming to their store the next day, then I would just have to ask a guy to get them from the cooler at the back. Whoa!!! So soon! I did not expect that! I was expecting them in about 5 days if they could actually get those.
So off I went to the store on the afternoon of the second day after I made my request. Now they are sitting in a cooler, out in the garage (protected somehow from freezing by the insulation of the cooler.)
Now I am thinking of making them tomorrow into buko salad (although I originally intended to make a fruit salad) instead of just using some in pichi-pichi or cassava cake. My Filipino Christmas party will be on Sunday. My menu so far includes cassava cake, sapin-sapin, dinuguan at puto, bopis, escabecheng tilapia, beef lengua with onions and mushroom, and humba. Giveaways will be hopia, siopao, ensaymada, pan de coco, and lengua de gato plus some jams and pickles. I told my friends it would be potluck.
I hope you have a Hannaford store near you so you can do the same if you plan to make anything with more than 5 buko for Christmas or New Year. I love how they have accommodated my request and so fast too! They just made me into a loyal customer!