Elephant Toenails

Elephant Toenails


  • 1 fresh coconut
  • 1/4-1/3 C. coconut water, depending on the size of the coconut
  • 3/4 C. sugar


  1. Poke or bore several holes into the coconut and drain out the coconut milk which is inside. Set it aside while you prepare the meat of the coconut.
  2. Crack the hard coconut open with a hammer and remove the coconut in chunks. You will need to separate it all from the hard shell but you do not need to peel off the dark skin of the coconut meat. If you find the meat is tightly attached to the shell, put it in a low oven for 15-20 minutes. This will make it easier to separate the meat from the shell.
  3. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the coconut into long strips.
  4. Mix the coconut strips, coconut milk and sugar in a heavy frying pan. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until the liquid and sugar have completely coated the coconut and the shavings have dried out. If the shavings are not completely dried out, put in a low oven while watching them carefully. They should not be sticky when you store them; preferably very dry.
  5. Cool completely. Enjoy!

Step-by-Step Instructions


  1. 11-17-2011

    Are these a creation of your growing-up years! What fun that must have been! Not many elephants in Italy. :o) This could be the dessert to an Elephant Stew recipe I have in another cookbook.

    • 11-17-2011

      Yes, my mom made them when we were growing up. At the end of the recipe should be a button that says Step-by-Step Instructions. This will take you to the blog showing you, as the name says, Step-by-Step, how to crack a coconut, etc. Enjoy!

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