Kaong meat and nata de coco have things in common. First, they are both semi-transparent white. Second, they are both chewable, not so soft and not so tough, just enough for enjoyable munching. Third, hard to sweeten or it is more right to say that both cannot be sweetened.
Do you notice it too? Both if boiled in syrup for long and short period never take in the syrup sweetness. It never take any no matter how light or how strong the syrup is. Sweetened nata de coco and sweetened kaong meat are sweet just because they are submerged in syrup. It is the syrup that is tricking us to believe that they are sweet.
Please tell me I a wrong!
What is preventing the sugar particles from entering the white semi transparent product? Maybe the fiber matrix is well built that it never allow entry and exit of water and solutes.
Recently the drying and reconstitution experiment, the pieces of dried kaong meat regained their original form after soaking in water for 24 hour. The toughened fiber matrix reabsorbed water. How I wish I soaked them in syrup instead of plain water so I could see whether I can make a real sweet kaong meat. I want to know if it can absorb sugar particles and water together.
Gonna test this idea for both kaong meat and nata de coco.
Update as of April 26, 2013: My concept was proven wrong on nata de coco. It can be dried successfully but could not be returned back to its original form. See, Nata de Coco Drying and Reconstitution?