Guatemalan Dessert: Coyoles en Miel

Guatemalan Dessert: Coyoles en Miel

Coyoles, that’s something I haven’t figure out what to call them in English; or Spanish outside of Guatemala for the matter. I am not even sure what fruit is. A coyol, singular, comes from a palm tree, and quite possibly is just a baby coconut or palm tree seed.

Coyoles, plural, whatever they are, in Guatemala they are cooked and turned as preserves. Coyoles en miel, as any fruit en miel as explained yesterday, are slowly boiled with panela (unrefined brown sugar), canela (cinnamon), clavos (cloves) and water until you get the brown syrup known as miel (honey).

These en miel preserves, as mentioned to MO, are very old recipes; I am sure this en miel came with the conquistadores and they probably acquired it from the Muslins who lived in Spain. Remember, azúcar is an Arab word.

Los orígenes más remotos de la palabra azúcar se hallan en el sánscrito çarkara, de donde pasó a la lengua persa pelvi como sakar, y de ésta, al griego sakharon. Del griego pasó al árabe como sukkar y, más tarde, al árabe hispánico assúkkar; finalmente, en el siglo XIII, llegó al castellano como azúcar.

Los arboles que façen sombra dulz e donosa,
Son los Sanctos miraclos que faz la Gloriosa,
Ca son mucho mas dulçes que azucar sabrosa,
La que dan al enfermo en la cuita rabiosa.
Gonzalo de Berceo

A partir del español, la palabra fue incorporada al catalán y al francés con la forma sucre, así como al portugués con la grafía açúcar. Desde el francés, se propagó al inglés sugar, al alemán Zucher, al búlgaro shelker, al danés sukker, al holandés suicker, al polaco cukier, al rumano zakar, al ruso zakharu, al sueco socker y al turco sukker. (Source: La palabra del día)

Guatemalan Spanish word warning: Watch out, coyoles (kəˈjōˌllāz) is used in Guatemalan Spanish as cojones. So don’t go around asking for coyoles.

© 2009 – 2016, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.

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  • Reminds me of a Japanese dish of vegetables found in convenience stores (you pick and choose). Forget the name though!

  • Eric

    Wow, Rudy, se vende coyotes en miel ? Que barbaro! Oh, wait — I think I read that incorrectly … Ja-ja-ja !
    On my next visit, I must spend less time flirting with the waitresses in Dona Luisa’s, and more time seeking-out coco en miel and all of these other street foods in your photos. Por supuesto, una visita a las mujeres que hacen las tortillas ….
    I can always count on well executed photos that sure make me hungry whenever I “tune-in” to LAGDP. Fantastico !

  • Erick

    I’m with Eric. When I was a kid in Guate, “coyoles” was for the most part NOT used to refer to a dessert. For instance, you wouldn’t catch me going around saying “esos coyoles estan bien ricos!” Not a chance.

  • ahem… again… where can I get some??

  • Erick that’s so funny. Rudy i love all your pics but the food ones are my favorite. Haven’t heard The word coyoles in 29 years.

  • Vanessa

    Where can one find something like that in houston? And I knew coyoles as a soap? Thats what I was looking for originally! But that looks good!!! Lol!!!

  • Alejandro Alvarado Castillo

    Great!! This fruit comes from Mexico, from a region called Veracruz; the name comes from the náhuatl “coyolli”, which means…… palm 🙂 Here in Mexico you can find “coyoles en miel”, in the middle of the fruit there’s a small coconut (size similar to a hazelnut) and it can be used to make “atoles” (hot beverage with corn dough) or it can be use to meake flour for cakes or cookies 🙂

    • Gracias Alejandro, well a lot of stuff actually comes from Mesoamerica, a region that also includes Mexico and most of Central America. Thanks for sharing about coyoles en miel, I didn’t know one can find them all the way up north in Veracruz.