Seven Fruits I First Tried in Colombia

1. Maracuyá  (Passion Fruit)

Maracuyá is my favorite juice, by far.  It also shows up in desserts like cheesecake or ice cream.  Also, one of my friends makes a mean maracuyá mojito.  I’ve never seen this fruit eaten solo — always in a juice or dessert.

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2. Granadilla (Google translated as passion fruit or passion flower?)

Granadilla looks a bit like maracuyá, but it is eaten plain, not as a juice.  You can either scoop out the insides (which have a texture like brains or snot, an American once commented) with a spoon or sort of slurp them out.  I am especially a fan of their seed-y ness (almost as much as pomegranates).  We get these at school with lunch a fair amount.

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3. Mangustina

This fruit doesn’t show up that often — I’ve never seen it at school and not all stores have them.  Mangustina are often sold in the street in a wheelbarrow, or in small bags by men who weave among cars at traffic lights.  When my family was here, we bought some at a light and then I left them in the taxi.  The white pulp inside is sweet and a bit tangy — totally different than anything else.

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4. Tomate de árbol (Tamarillo in English.  Has anyone ever heard of that?)

I know this fruit as a juice, but have never seen it eaten alone.  The juice is thick and tastes like a combination of orange cherry tomatoes and grapes.  I like it because it’s not too sweet, and it feels very potent.

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5. Uchuvas (Gooseberries?)

These are made into a juice or eaten plain; at school, they often serve uchuvas with sliced strawberries.  They are very acidic and sharp, and look almost exactly like cherry tomatoes.

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6. Lulo (Solanum quitoense or naranjilla — even Wikipedia has no English name)

Lulo is another juice-exclusive fruit, with a taste similar to kiwi.  The juice is light green, so I was surprised to recently learn what the fruit itself looks like.  Lulo also pairs very well with vodka or rum.

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7. Guanabana (Soursop)

Guanabana is popular both as a fruit and as a juice.  As a fruit, it is served in big slimy laddle-fulls, at school and often, on the street.  I am not a fan of the texture, especially the giant black seeds that you have to tease away from the fruit and spit out; however, I think the juice (white, often blended with milk) is okay.

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You can see why I am proud when I can name the juice of the day in the school cafeteria — so many new fruits!

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5 responses

  1. My dear neighbor,
    You did not need to travel all that way to find gooseberries! They grow within 100 feet of your front door on Prescott Road! I hope you will stop by in August when they are ripe and let me share some.

    ;-D

  2. I go down to Colombia a couple of times a year and as far as I am concerned the have the freshest and best tasting juices anywhere I have been. Muy, muy sabroso!

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