Unusual Fruit -- NOT TO MISS CUISINE

Long before I met my husband, I spent 18 months living in Toronto, Canada. Most of the people I lived and worked with were from Latin America. I remember that one of the families I knew was from Colombia. On their wall was a large poster of the many different fruits of Colombia. Dozens of fruits that seemed completely unfamiliar. I remember thinking that it would be great to try all of them. And now, having tried many of them, I must recommend that you try some too. The fruits are definitely one of the NOT TO MISS CUISINE items of Colombia.

This week, with the focus on the Amazon regions of Colombia, I thought I would spotlight some of the amazing fruits of the region.

Seje -- found in the Amazon and Pacific Coast regions. This fruit is most similar to a date and is the size of a marble. It is cooked before serving. Unfortunately, I could not find a picture of this fruit.

Copoazu -- (Theobroma grandiflorum) -- This fruit is a relative of the cacao and its seeds can also produce chocolate. The plup is used to make marmalade.

Anon -- (Annona squamosa) -- You eat the fleshy segments and spit out the hard seeds -- think watermelon. It is so delicious that it is well worth the trouble. It is never cooked.

Why not give some of this fruit a try while in Colombia?



Anonymous said…
We'll be traveling to Colombia some time next year and I can't wait to try some of these. But, we've been warned about eating raw fruit because of the potential for getting sick. Do you know anything about how to try the fruit safely? I've heard some people rinse or soak the fruit in a bleach solution (very diluted), and of course peel first even those with edible skin. Any other advice about how to avoid getting sick while partaking of the cultural delights :)?
Colombian Mommy said…
My husband suggests the following:

1- Do not eat the skin of anything -- just eat the pulp.
2- Use the diluted bleach solution to rinse.
3- Don't buy pre-prepared drinks that are made with fruit and water unless you know the water is from a bottled source.
4- You will probably be staying somewhere where the cooks already use these techniques and you should be able to trust them. Most restaurants are okay. The real concern is stuff on the street.

In my own opinion:

I have eaten mango biche, pizza, empanadas, and all sorts of things off the street. I have gotten sick (though not that often -- once after eating raw sugar cane) and after one trip I did come home with giardia. I didn't mind the sugar cane experience, but giardia is horrible.
Anonymous said…
I think I know the poster of which you speak, we have one too--it was given to us by friends before they returned home to Colombia. They lived in the US during graduate school. They were both Colombian and at times they would disagree about what a fruit was called or when I would ask about a name they would shrug and say they didn't know! Followed by the statement about how many different grew in Colombia!
Mike said…
Thanks for the great recommendations... I REALLY miss the assortment of fruit and veggies that were available when we were in Cali. Some more of my favorites(maybe not as exotic) that I would recommend... guanabana(chirimoya), granadilla, guama, mamoncillo, and of course those gigantic avocados!

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