Colombia is a tropical land with a great variety of fruit growing in the wild, in people’s gardens and in farms. Some you may be familiar with, others will be mysterious to you. Let’s look at a few in this first installment of a series…
Sounds like Tchee-ree-moe-yah (note the Y isn’t pronounced like a J in this case)
Also known as custard apple. Sometimes spelled cherimoya. Related to the soursop (guanabana). It’s sweet pulp’s flavor is a bit like that of a pear. Seeds spread out through the flesh. When ripe they tend to split open and then the ants get in there, so eating them quickly is a good idea! The tree is known as a chirimoyo.
Sounds like Man-gauss-tee-noh
Also known as mangosteen. Originally from islands in the Indian ocean. Grown here and sold in many markets. Sweet, juicy and tangy. Each segment of the fruit has an almond shaped seed in the middle of the flesh.
Sounds like Sah-poe-teh
There’s a variety of zapotes in Colombia. The zapote costeño, if you can find it, is particularly delicious as a juice if you freeze the pulp then throw it in a blender with milk and panela sugar. The pulp is fibrous, almost spider web like, sweet and wrapped around a large pit. Mexicans know the zapote as “mamey” which is from the same fruit family.