A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 08, 2008
Coco Bread

Coco bread is a Jamaican dish that has been popular in New York City restaurants since the 1970s. The Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery (founded in the Bronx in 1989, franchised since 1996) serves a coco bread and (usually beef) patty combo. The Tower Isle’s bakery (started in Crown Heights in 1968) sells coco bread to supermarkets and restaurants.

The name “coco bread” is a mystery because the bread does not contain coconut. “Coco” is a Jamaican name for tania, a tuber like the potato, but this is not an ingredient in coc bread, either.

It’s often remarked that it’s called “coco bread” because you split it open like a coconut. Others have commented that it takes a hammer to open a coconut!

Korky Vann has written in the Hartford (CT) Courant that “coco” is the name of a Jamaican brand of butter—one ingredient in “coco bread.”


Wikipedia: Coco Bread
Coco bread is a type of bread eaten in Jamaica and other areas of the Caribbean. Despite the name, coco bread does not contain coconut. It is a starchy, slightly sweet type of bread, and is split in half and stuffed with a Jamaican patty to form a sandwich.

WiWords, the West Indian Dictionary
coco bread
Noun
A light sandwich shaped bread. It is typically filled with meat or cheese or a patty and consumed as a lunch or snack item.

Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery - Menu
#1 Beef or Chicken Patty Combo, $2.59 (Small) $2.79 (Large)
Coco bread and patty - “The Original Combo”
(...)
Coco Bread $0.60

Negril 101: The Basics
Coco Bread: an oversized, slightly sweet, buttery bun. It does not contain coconut, but it is called this because you split it open like a coconut.

Jamaica Travel and Culture
Coco bread recipe
Ingredients
2 packets yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1 medium egg
1 cup warm milk
1 tsp salt
3.5 cups white flour
1/2 cup melted butter (...)

Alibaba.com
Jamaican Coco Bread
Place of origin:  United States New York
Model No:  24005
Fob Price:  FOB NYC USD 12.00~15.50
Port:  NYC
Payment Terms:  T/T,Western Union,Company Check/Credit Card
Minimum Order Quantity:  60 Pack/Packs
Supply Ability:  1,000,000 Piece/Pieces per Day
Package:  24 Baked and frozen per case. 60 cases per pallet. Tie-High 10-6, Cube .59, Case Weight 9.0 lbs. Available by pallet, truck load or container load.
Delivery Time:  72 hours
Brand Name:  Tower Isle’s

Google Books
A Dictionary of Jamaican English
By Frederic Gomes Cassidy and Robert Brock Le Page
Published by University of the West Indies Press
2002
Pg. 113:
COCO-BREAD sb dial; the sense of cocois uncert. See quot.
1959 DeC Tre /koko-bred/ a baked “dumpling” made by pounding dumpling dough out flat, folding over once, then baking. A more descriptive name for the same thing is /pakit-buk/. (No idea what it has to do with /koko/.)

Google Books
Jamaica Way
By Philip Manderson Sherlock
Published by Longmans
1962
Pg. 30:
At lunch-time groups of men and women gather under the shade of nearby trees to eat their ‘vittles’, tightly kneaded coco-bread, cod fish and ackee, ...

31 May 1962, Daily Gleaner (Kingston, Jamaica), pg. 14, cols. 2-6 headline:
FRIED COD-FISH AND COCO BREAD

New York (NY) Times
NEW YORKERS & CO.; Gimme a Slice and a Jamaican Beef Patty
By MICHAEL COOPER
Published: December 17, 1995
(...)
The idea of selling its Jamaican beef patties in pizzerias was one of the innovations that turned Tower Isle’s from a small family bakery in Crown Heights into one of the largest patty-makers in the world. The company now bakes 100,000 patties a day in its factory on Atlantic Avenue.
(...)
The company was founded almost by serendipity just before Easter in 1968.
(...)
The Levis opened a small bake shop on Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights and sold patties, coco bread and traditional Jamaican bread with hard dough. They called it Tower Isle’s after a popular hotel in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

21 August 1997, Hartford (CT) Courant, “Jamaican Patty Heads the Menu at Scott’s Bakery” by Korky Vann, Calendar section, pg. 10:
And don’t leave without an order of coco bread (named after a brand of Jamaican butter—no cocoa or coconut), an addictive, buttery roll that everyone who stops in eats like, well, candy.

Google Books
A Taste of Jamaica: Where to Find the Very Best Jamaican Food
By Paris Permenter and John Bigley
Published by Hunter Publishing, Inc
1999
Pg. 246:
Coco Bread. Ah, a warm, buttered piece of coco bread and a sandy beach...no one could ask for much more than that. This heavenly bread is best right out of the oven. Coco is the local name for tania, a tuber much like a potato.

Google Books
The Food Lover’s Guide to the Best Ethnic Eating in New York City: Revised and Updated Edition
By Robert Sietsema
Published by Arcade Publishing
2004
Pg. 156:
coco bread starchy accompaniment to patties

New York (NY) Daily News
COMBOS HOT AT GOLDEN KRUST
BY JARED MCCALLISTER
Sunday, May 9th 2004, 7:22AM
Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill’s new ReggaeFest combo meals are being introduced with a blitz of television commercials, newspaper and transit ads, billboards and radio spots - and New York Giants star running back Tiki Barber, who is the company’s celebrity spokesperson, is carrying the ball.

The cooked Caribbean meals range from a Jamaican patty and coco bread to plates featuring jerk chicken, escoveitch fish, oxtails and other dishes. The promotion is being produced in conjunction with Pepsi, and all the meals all come with a serving of soda.

The family-owned business - which began operating in the Bronx in 1989 and started franchising in 1996 - has more than 73 stores in six states, including 43 in the tristate area.

6 January 2005, Hartford (CT) Courant, “Jamaican Mi Hungry,” pg. G3:
Sandwiches are available on various breads, including our favorite, coco bread. (The light fluffy bread is named after a brand of Jamaican butter; there is no coconut or cocoa in the ingredients).

New York (NY) Times
July 20, 2005
Island Flavors in a Yellow Envelope
By JULIA MOSKIN and KIM SEVERSON
(...)
The Jamaican patty is served wrapped in coco bread, which is like an oversize, slightly sweet hamburger bun. It is called coco bread not because it contains coconut (it doesn’t), but because you split it open like a coconut. Although the combination first appears dauntingly starchy, the soft sweetness of the bread nicely offsets the spicy filling and the crisp crust.

“You eat it with the coco bread to soak up the spice and the juice,” said Shana Bennett-Reid, who works at Angel Flake Patties in Flatbush.
(...)
Not all patties are spicy. Vegetable patties in a whole-wheat crust may seem like an American health food invention, but they are authentically Jamaican. Many Jamaicans are at least part-time vegetarians because of the dietary laws of Rastafarianism.

Jerk chicken patties, a relatively new creation gaining popularity here and in Jamaica, can be hot or not, but they are always heavily perfumed with allspice and thyme, the classic jerk spices. At Jamaican Pride, one popular patty is filled with ackee, a soft, slippery-sweet fruit that resembles scrambled eggs when baked inside a crisp crust.

Besides coco bread, the squeal of brakes seems to be a constant accompaniment to patties; many of the best patty shops are near bus and subway stops. At any time of day, customers rush in holding two dollar bills, the usual tariff for a patty in coco bread.
(...)
Caribbean Food Delights, Tower Isle and Golden Krust, which sells its patties to hundreds of franchisees, are the big players in the market. The companies, which turn out hundreds of thousands of patties a day, are determined to make patties as popular as hamburgers and pizza.

Time To Eat Mon
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Coco Bread
Coco bread is generally eaten with Jamaican Patty. Generally many shops in Jamaica will sell Coco bread and Patty as a combined dish. When visiting Jamaica make sure you take stop and taste this wonderful snack.

Ingredients
2 packets of yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 fl oz of warm water
1.5 teaspoon salt
6 fl oz warm milk
1 lightly beaten egg
3 cups white flour
4 oz melted butter

Directions
1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water, then add in the milk, salt and egg while stirring.
2. Pour half of the flour and stir. Then slowly add flour to the mixture until it becomes stiff. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth. In a clean bowl, add oil and roll the dough in it until coated.
3. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rise for 1 hour. Cut the dough into 10 pieces and roll each piece out. Brush each rolled piece of dough with melted butter and fold it in half. Brush dough with more butter on and fold it again.
4. Place the folded dough pieces on a well-greased cookie sheet and pre heat the oven to 425 degrees and place a pan filled with water on the bottom rack.
5. Bake the coco bread for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Monday, September 08, 2008 • Permalink