new fruits in south america

We’ve discovered some new fruit down here, always something fun. Also rediscovered some that we hadn’t seen since Asia. Yay for fruit!

First on the list is the pacay or the ice cream bean. It has that name for a reason – it tasted like vanilla ice cream. You crack open the bean to reveal the furry white deliciousness inside. It doesn’t taste furry and you don’t eat the seed inside. So good. They can be the length of your hand or your arm up to your elbow.

Next up is the custard apple. We tried these in Asia and my brother loved them in Australia. Green on the outside and white with seeds within. And it’s, well, custardy. Again, delicious.

One of my favourites here is the passionfruit. While I’d had juices made with these in Taiwan, I had never had the fruit before. A mature passionfruit is yellowish and kind of wrinkly-looking and quite tart. You only eat the seeds inside. Chris loves the juice but wasn’t a fan of the fruit alone. Me? Kind Tart. Well, you know. There’s also an immature version used for juices called the tumbo. It was one of my favourite flavours.

Last but not least is the tuna, or cactus pear. I’d seen these in Buenos Aires during the summer but never tried it. It’s all over Bolivia and in Peru as well – really, anywhere cacti grow. The fruits are covered in microscopic spines, so you have to be careful when peeling them. Inside, the fruit can be yellow or green – depending on the cactus – and is full of seeds, which you eat. They taste like melon. In this picture, the tunas on the left, tumbos are the yellow things on the right, and custard apples lie on top.

Oh, and pink guavas. Always eaten them white in Taiwan. Something new around every corner.


3 responses to “new fruits in south america

  1. Hello,
    pasion fruit is also called TUMBO en Bolivia, although the most common ones are the tumbo long and ovoidal shape with soft skin and larger than the wrinkly-brownish harder skin also called maracuja in portuguese, is the best!!!

    You should mentioned the real names of these fruits. the applecustard is called CHIRIMOYA.

  2. I just love all this info. I’m a nut for new things, and well try any thing. Thanks. Robin Jerowsky

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