Coconut comes in so many forms, it can be confusing. There are green coconuts and brown coconuts, fresh coconut, frozen coconut and dried coconut.
The most common packaged coconut is the sweetened coconut that comes in a bag, sometimes called angel-flake. You also can find it unsweetened, but it’s harder to find. The sweetened kind is usually soaked in a sugar syrup. It sometimes comes in a can instead of a bag, and it’s often used in baking because it’s so easy to find.
I like to use frozen coconut in cooking for two reasons: It’s not sweetened, and it has a softer, more natural texture. Once it’s thawed, it’s more like freshly grated coconut.
In many recipes, you can exchange the two. The bagged coconut will be drier and will have a slightly chewier texture.
— Kathleen Purvis
The Charlotte Observer