Thursday, February 9, 2012

Strange Fruit

31 January 2012

Now that it's summertime, there are more interesting Brazilian fruits available.  Some are even right here in the garden.

Here is a fruit called Monstera Deliciosa, whch I mentioned in a previous entry.  It seems to ripen very slowly; I have been watching it for months waiting for another one to photograph (and taste).  This photo shows the plant - now that the two fruits have fallen, it is blossoming again.  This is one of those plants that grows on another plant, but I think its roots do go down to the ground as well.  (I'll have to check this again in daylight to be sure.)
The fruit resembles corn on the cob in size, shape and appearance. The hexagonal bits are like the aerodynamic tiles on the outside of the space shuttle (in case the fruit should reach the stratosphere).
The tiles come right off when poked at, exposing the fruit within, which does somewhat resemble the way corn grows, but the innermost core resembles a stick more than a corncob.. The black specks are not dirt but part of the fruit.
It smells and tastes like a combination of banana and pineapple, very unique and delightful.  Unfortunately, the top end of it was still too green on the inside and was not edible.

Unlike the Monstera Deliciosa, which only grew three fruits in six months, there is a type of palm tree called Butia capitata which has provided massive amounts of fruit in a matter of days.  The flower is a good meter long and quite beautiful.
 In this photo you can see the flower and the resulting cluster of fruit. This is MUCH bigger than it looks, even in real life.  I collected fruit from it for several days and finally had to concede defeat, unable to eat all the fruit it produced because it ripened all at once. There are more clusters on this and other trees, so I should be ready for the next round.
The fruits are small and remind me somewhat of loquats.  They are tangy and sort of flowery, with a thin skin and a large seed in the middle.

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