November 28, 2009

Quenepa

The quenepa, also known by the name mamoncillo, is similar to the lychee and eaten much the same way. Peel off the thin green rind and eat the interior except for the large pit in the center, which can be roasted like a sunflower seed. Tasting like a sweet lime with a hint of banana, the pulp is gelatinous and juicy but very scant. Due to the small amount of edible fruit, it is most commonly boiled and used in cold drinks.

Nutrition Info
Serving Size: 100 g, husks removed

Amount per serving:
Calories from fat: 1Calories: 58
Fat: 0.1g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 0mg
Total Carbs: 13.5g
Fiber: 0.1g
Sugars: g
Protein: 0.5g
Vitamin A: 0% Vitamin C: 0%
Calcium: 0% Iron: 3%

Availability
Available in summer.

Also Known As
Ackee
Genip
Limoncillo
Spanish lime

Handling and Storage
Store at 35 to 40 degrees.

Varieties
Melicoccus bijugatus

November 21, 2009

Mamoncillo

mamoncillo, fruits and health, dailyfruits.blogspot.comOne of the minor fruits of the family Sapindaceae, the mamoncillo (Melicoccus bijugatus Jacq., syn. Melicocca bijuga L.) has, nevertheless acquired an assortment of regional names, such as: ackee (Barbados only; not to be confused with Blighia sapida, q.v.); genip, ginep, ginepe, guenepa, guinep (Barbados, Jamaica, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago); grosella de miel (Mexico); guayo (Mexico); honeyberry (Guyana); Jamaica bullace plum, kanappy (Puerto Rico); kenet (French Guiana); knepa (Surinam); knepe (French West Indies); knippa (Surinam); limoncillo (Dominican Republic); macao (Colombia, Venezuela); maco (Venezuela); mamon (Colombia, Venezuela, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Argentina); mamon de Cartagena (Costa Rica); marmalade box (Guyana); mauco (Venezuela); muco (Colombia, Venezuela); quenepa (Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Colombia); quenepe (Haiti); quenett (French Guiana); sensiboom (Surinam); Spanish lime (Florida); tapaljocote (El Salvador).

Description

The mamoncillo tree is slow-growing, erect, stately, attractive; to 85 ft (25 m) high, with trunk to 5 1/2 ft (1.7 m) thick; smooth, gray bark, and spreading branches. Young branchlets are reddish. The leaves are briefly deciduous, alternate, compound, having 4 opposite, elliptic, sharp-pointed leaflets 2 to 5 in (5-12.5 cm) long and 1 1/4 to 2 1/2 in (3.25-6.25 cm) wide, the rachis frequently conspicuously winged as is that of the related soapberry (Sapindus saponaria L.). The flowers, in slender racemes 2 1/3 to 4 in (6-10 cm) long, often clustered in terminal panicles, are fragrant, white, 1/5 to 1/3 in (5-8 mm) wide, with 4 petals and 8 stamens. Male and female are usually borne on separate trees but some trees are partly polygamous. The fruit clusters are branched, compact and heavy with nearly round, green fruits tipped with a small protrusion, and suggesting at first glance small unripe limes, but there the resemblance ends. The skin is smooth, thin but leathery and brittle. The glistening pulp (aril) is salmon-colored or yellowish, translucent, gelatinous, juicy but very scant and somewhat fibrous, usually clinging tenaciously to the seed. When fully ripe, the pulp is pleasantly acid-sweet but if unripe acidity predominates. In most fruits there is a single, large, yellowish-white, hard-shelled seed, while some have 2 hemispherical seeds. The kernel is white, crisp, starchy, and astringent.

Season and Harvesting

In Florida, the fruits ripen from June to September. In the Bahamas, the season extends from July to October. Ladders and picking poles equipped with cutters are necessary in harvesting fruits from tall trees. The entire cluster is clipped from the branch when sampling indicates that the fruits are fully ripe. At this stage, the rind becomes brittle but does not change color. If picked prematurely, the rind turns blackish, a sign of deterioration.

Keeping Quality

Because of the leathery skin, the fruit remains fresh for a long time and ships and markets well. The tropical horticulturist, David Sturrock, related that horsemen in Cuba often hung branches of mamoncillos on the saddle horn to enjoy and relieve thirst during long rides.

Food Uses

For eating out-of-hand, the rind is merely torn open at the stem end and the pulp-coated seed is squeezed into the mouth, the juice being sucked from the pulp until there is nothing left of it but the fiber. With fruits that have non-adherent pulp, the latter may be scraped from the seed and utilized to make pie-filling, jam, marmalade or jelly, but this entails much work for the small amount of edible material realized. More commonly, the peeled fruits are boiled and the resulting juice is prized for cold drinks. In Colombia, the juice is canned commercially.

The seeds are eaten after roasting. Indians of the Orinoco consume the cooked seeds as a substitute for cassava.


Food Value Per 100 g of Edible Portion*
Calories 58.11-73
Moisture 68.8-82.5 g
Protein 0.50-1.0 g
Fat 0.08-0.2 g
Carbohydrates 13.5-19.2 g
Fiber 0.07-2.60 g
Ash 0.34-0.74g
Calcium 3.4-15 mg
Phosphorus 9.8-23.9 mg
Iron 0.47-1.19 mg
Carotene 0.02-0.44 mg (70 I.U.)
Thiamine 0.03-0.21 mg
Riboflavin 0.01-0.20 mg
Niacin 0.15-0.90 mg
Ascorbic Acid 0.8-10 mg
Tannin 1.88 g
Amino Acids
Tryptophan 14 mg
Methionine 0
Lysine 17 mg
*Analyses made in Cuba, Central America and Colombia.

Seed Hazard

It has been said that the pulp fibers coat the lining of the stomach, adversely affecting the health, but this has been denied by the Government Chemist of the Department of Science and Agriculture in Jamaica who declares that fatalities in children are the result of choking on the seed. When coated with pulp, it is very slippery, is accidentally swallowed and, because of its size, lodges in the throat, causing suffocation or strangulation.

Other Uses

Juice: A dye has been experimentally made from the juice of the raw fruit which makes an indelible stain.

Flowers: The flowers are rich in nectar and highly appealing to hummingbirds and honeybees. The honey is somewhat dark in color but of agreeable flavor. The tree is esteemed by Jamaican beekeepers though the flowering season (March/April) is short.

Leaves: In Panama, the leaves are scattered in houses where there are many fleas. It is claimed that the fleas are attracted to the leaves and are cast out with the swept-up foliage. Some believe that the leaves actually kill the fleas.

Wood: The heartwood is yellow with dark lines, compact, hard, heavy, fine-grained; inclined to decay out of doors, but valued for rafters, indoor framing, and cabinetwork.

Medicinal Uses: In Venezuela, the astringent roasted seed kernels are pulverized, mixed with honey and given to halt diarrhea. The astringent leaf decoction is given as an enema for intestinal complaints.

November 14, 2009

Mamey Sapote

Mamey Sapote is a fruit that is technically a berry, though a very large one.

The Mamey Sapote tree grows 40 to 60 feet (12 to 18 metres) tall, occasionally up to 140 feet (42 metres.) Its leaves grow up to 12 inches (30 cm) long and 4 inches (10 cm) wide. The tree is evergreen, but may occasionally lose its leaves during some winters. Young trees will die when the temperature hits 32 F (0 C); even mature trees can't stand temperatures below 22 F (-6 C.)

The tree doesn't grow true to seed. A tree grown from seed needs seven years of growth before it starts producing fruit; trees grown from grafting can produce fruit in three to five years. An average tree will produce in the range of 200 to 500 fruits a year, though very large trees may double that.

There many cultivars, flowering at different times of the year with small white blossoms. The trees then produce fruit that can be 3 to 8 inches (7 1/2 to 20 cm) long, and weigh 3/4 to 6 pounds (1/3 to 2 3/4 kg.) An average-sized Mamey Sapote fruit is the size of a large potato. In fact, its thick, coarse russet-brown skin makes it look like a sweet potato.

Mamey Sapote fruit bruises easily when ripe, so it is usually picked and shipped when only partially ripe.

There will be one large, glossy black seed at the centre (occasionally up to 4 seeds.) Both the skin and the seed are inedible.

The flesh inside is a pale green when unripe, ripening to a salmony orangey pink. It has a slightly grainy texture.

Some describe the taste as a bit like pumpkin and almond; others describe the taste as pumpkin, avocado and honey, or peach and apricot. The truth is, the flavour varies by cultivar, though it will always be sweetish.

Named cultivars include Magaa, Pac, Pantin, and Tazumal.

Not closely related to other fruit called sapotes.

Cooking Tips
You can just peel and eat the fruit fresh, or use it to make smoothies, milk shakes or ice cream.

Nutrition
Per 100g: 107 calories, 1g protein, .5g fat, 28g carbohydrates, 22mg calcium, 6 mg sodium, 225mg potassium, 23 mg vitamin C.

Storage
Allow to ripen at room temperature for 3 to 5 days. Once ripe, store in fridge and use within 3 days. When ripe, it will yield to a gentle squeeze.

History
Native to Central America. Introduced into Florida in the late 1880s.

Also called
Calocarpum mammosum, Calocarpum sapota, Pouteria sapota (Scientific Name)
(practicallyedible.com)

November 7, 2009

Persimmon

Diospyros kaki Linn
Ebenaceae
Common Names: Persimmon, Oriental Persimmon, Japanese Persimmon, Kaki.

Related species: Black Sapote (Diospyros digyna), Mabolo, Velvet Apple (D. discolor), Date Plum (D. lotus), Texas Persimmon (D. texana), American Persimmon (D. virginiana).

Origin: The oriental persimmon is native to China, where it has been cultivated for centuries and more than two thousand different cultivars exist. It spread to Korea and Japan many years ago where additional cultivars were developed. The plant was introduced to California in the mid 1800's.

Adaptation: Persimmons do best in areas that have moderate winters and relatively mild summers--suitable for growing in USDA Hardiness Zones 7 to 10. It can tolerate temperatures of 0° F when fully dormant. However, because of its low chilling requirement (less than 100 hours), it may break dormancy during early warm spells only to be damaged by spring frosts later. The leaves are killed by 26° F when growing. Trees do not produce well in the high summer heat of desert regions, which may also sunburn the bark.

DESCRIPTION

Growth Habit: The persimmon is a multitrunked or single-stemmed deciduous tree to 25 ft. high and at least as wide. It is a handsome ornamental with drooping leaves and branches that give it a languid, rather tropical appearance. The branches are somewhat brittle and can be damaged in high winds.

Foliage: Persimmon leaves are alternate, simple, ovate and up to 7 inches long and 4 inches wide. They are often pale, slightly yellowish green in youth, turning a dark, glossy green as they age. Under mild autumn conditions the leaves often turn dramatic shades of yellow, orange and red. Tea can also be made from fresh or dried leaves.

Flowers: The inconspicuous flowers surrounded by a green calyx tube are borne in the leaf axils of new growth from one-year old wood. Female flowers are single and cream-colored while the pink-tinged male flowers are typically borne in threes. Commonly, 1 to 5 flowers per twig emerge as the new growth extends (typically March). Persimmon trees are usually either male or female, but some trees have both male and female flowers. On male plants, especially, occasional perfect (bisexual) flowers occur, producing an atypical fruit. A tree's sexual expression can vary from one year to the other. Many cultivars are parthenocarpic (setting seedless fruit without pollination), although some climates require pollination for adequate production. When plants not needing pollination are pollinated, they will produce fruits with seeds and may be larger and have a different flavor and texture than do their seedless counterparts.

Fruit: Persimmons can be classified into two general categories: those that bear astringent fruit until they are soft ripe and those that bear nonastringent fruits. Within each of these categories, there are cultivars whose fruits are influenced by pollination (pollination variant) and cultivars whose fruits are unaffected by pollination (pollination constant). Actually, it is the seeds, not pollination per se, that influences the fruit. An astringent cultivar must be jelly soft before it is fit to eat, and such cultivars are best adapted to cooler regions where persimmons can be grown. The flesh color of pollination-constant astringent cultivars is not influenced by pollination. Pollination-variant astringent cultivars have dark flesh around the seeds when pollinated. A nonastringent persimmon can be eaten when it is crisp as an apple. These cultivars need hot summers, and the fruit might retain some astringency when grown in cooler regions. Pollination-constant nonastringent (PCNA) persimmons are always edible when still firm; pollination-variant nonastringent (PVNA) fruit are edible when firm only if they have been pollinated.

The shape of the fruit varies by cultivar from spherical to acorn to flattened or squarish. The color of the fruit varies from light yellow-orange to dark orange-red. The size can be as little as a few ounces to more than a pound. The entire fruit is edible except for the seed and calyx. Alternate bearing is common. This can be partially overcome by thinning the fruit or moderately pruning after a light-crop year. Astringency can also be removed by treating with carbon dioxide or alcohol. Freezing the fruit overnight and then thawing softens the fruit and also removes the astringency. Unharvested fruit remaining on the tree after leaf fall creates a very decorative effect. It is common for many immature fruit to drop from May to September.

November 1, 2009

Mabolo


Mabolo also known as velvet apple is native to the Philippines with its tree known as Kamagong. The mature leaves of mabolo tree are dark green, the newer ones are showy, pale green or pink with silky hair. The fruit often grow in pairs of threes on opposite sides of a branch. The Mabolo fruit has a thin, brownish-maroon skin coated with golden-brown hair. The skin gives off a strong, unpleasant cheesy odor, but once it is removed, the fruit is quite odor free and has a distinct, sweetish flavor. The seedless variety of mabolo is easily distinguished from the seedy ones as they are flatte
  • Scientific Name: Diospyros blancoi
  • Origin: Philippines
  • Varieties: Many cultivated varieties, distinguished by color, taste and quantity of hair on the twigs and leaves.
  • Tree height: 10-33 m
  • Fruit diameter: 8-10 cm
  • Season: towards end of hot season

Other Names:
  • India: Peach bloom
  • Malaysia: Sagalat (scarlet fruit) or buah mentega (butterfruit)

Nutrient Value per 100g: The fruit is considered a fairly good source of iron and calcium and a good source of vitamin B.
  • Calories: 504Protein: 0.75 g
  • Fat: 0.22-0.38 g
  • Carbohydrates: (other) 5.49-6.12 g
  • Fiber: 0.74-1.76 g
  • Sugar: 11.47 g

Medicinal uses:
  • Decoction of bark and leaves are used for skin problems. You can either drink or pour the tea on your bath water.
  • Decoction of bark is use as remedy for cough

Culinary uses: It is eaten fresh, as a dessert and for making drinks

Other uses: Use for making wooden combs and utensils

Serving Suggestion: Slice the flesh andseason with lime or lemon juice to be serve as dessert. The flesh is also diced and combined with that of other fruits in salads. The fruit should be refrigerated for a few hours before serving for the odor to be totally remove.

Toxicity: The fur in the mabolo skin may be irritating to sensitive skin.