With over 70 fruits growing in Colombia, a walk through any market in the country can be an adventure in itself. Here are the answers to The Wild World of Colombian Fruits: Part 1:
#1: Guama (ice cream bean)
At first glance, guama looks like a giant pea pod. Crack it open and you’ll find huge black seeds encased in a white pulp. The pulp tastes sweet, and some have described it as a vanilla ice cream flavor. It’s native to the Amazon rain forest.
#2: Tomate de árbol (tree tomato, tamarillo)
This egg-shaped fruit native to the Andes Mountains is similar in texture to a tomato. It can come in red, orange, or yellow. The red version is more acidic while the orange and yellow versions are sweeter. A good source of vitamin C and iron, tomate de árbol is a refreshing fruit to eat on a hot day by biting off the tip and sucking out the flesh. It also tastes great as a juice.
#3: Guayaba (guava)
There are different types of guava, with sweet or sour flavors and soft or hard seeds, but all have great nutritional value. One single guava can have four times the Vitamin C of an orange and is high in dietary fiber. The fruit comes from northern South America, Central America, and Mexico.
Granadilla is a type of passion fruit rich in vitamins C, A, and K, along with calcium and iron. It tastes semi-sweet and is native to the Andes Mountains.
This pulp of this fruit, which is jam packed with nutrients, is sold wrapped in plastic bags. It’s thought to have aphrodisiacal properties and is commonly eaten in jams or juices. It’s grown in the humid tropical rainforests on the west coasts of Colombia and Ecuador.
#6: Uchuva (Cape gooseberry, Peruvian cherry, Inca berry)
The uchuva comes wrapped in its own papery sheath. Unwrap it and pop into your mouth to enjoy the interesting flavor. Uchuvas are low in calories and have moderate levels of vitamins. They are said to be good for digestion and killing stomach parasites. Uchuvas are native to Peru.
#7: Carambola (starfruit)
Carambola is originally native to southeast Asia, but is widely cultivated in Colombia. The entire fruit can be eaten and is high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and potassium.
#8: Lulo (narajilla)
Lulo is a super sour fruit that is loaded with vitamin C. It can be eaten plain, with salt, or more commonly as a juice. It’s one of the most popular fruits for juices in Colombia, delicious in both water or milk.
#9: Mamoncillo (Spanish lime)
Biting the soft shell of a mamoncillo will reveal a tangy, creamy, pulp-covered seed orange in color. To eat it, take the seed into your mouth and suck the pulp. Mamoncillos are native to northern South America.
#10: Chontaduro (peach palm)
This fruit grows on a type of palm tree in tropical Central and South America. A 100g serving has 1500% of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin A. Chontaduro is an acquired taste. To me, it tastes like a sweet potato that sucks all the saliva out of your mouth. They can be eaten with honey or salt to improve the flavor, but taste great as a soup.