Friday, October 19, 2012

Fruity Fridays - Sri Lankan mystery fruit number one!


I recently came back from a trip to Sri Lanka, which was a place I'd wanted to visit for quite a while. I have to say it was completely worth going, and two weeks wasn't anywhere near long enough so I'll be going back sometime!

Sri Lanka is FULL of fruit. It's everywhere. Stalls like this are very common:



One day in the hill country town of Haputale I went for a long walk, and way out in the midst of the tea fields I came across a fruit stand. This wasn't quite like the one above; instead of being covered in mangoes, pineapples, oranges and bananas, it had avocadoes, soursop, strawberries, and several other fruits I'd never seen before.


So this Friday's Fruit is a fruit from this stand, which I can't actually positively identify.




The guy called it Loket, but after much searching on the internet all I can find is this promising looking (but not particularly useful at all) website, which lists it but doesn't show a picture!

The name makes me think perhaps it's a loquat, but the descriptions I've read about loquats don't quite seem to fit. The most likely possibility I've found is a Palu fruit, (manilkara hexandra), which look the same in the pictures but from the descriptions might be somewhat smaller. Palu fruit is, coincidentally, from the same family of trees as the sapodilla, and the ones I ate had a similar pear-like, slightly grainy texture, with the flavour of a green apple. Apparently sloth bears like to eat them straight from the trees when they're in season!

To eat it, you simply peel back the skin and pop it in your mouth, taking care not to swallow the two small round seeds inside.



Next week's fruit will be another random, unidentifiable one from the same stand!


5 comments:

  1. Hi there, Just stummbled across your blog and it's great. Thanks!! I have one of these loket trees growing in my back yard. It is currently loaded with fruit and just about ready to pick. Can you tell me if I can cook with them, make jam or something/anything with them. They seem to ripen all at once and if I don't get to them first then the birds will.
    Hope you can help.
    Cheers
    Toula
    Sth Australia

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Toula! I'm glad you like my blog! I haven't had a chance to cook with these because I found them when I was travelling, but if I was going to try I would probably look for a recipe that uses pears, because I thought the texture was similar. If you search on www.allrecipes.com for "pear jam" a few interesting things come up, such as pear preserves and pear honey! I guess the only thing is that I thought these were a lot more tart than pears so you might need to add more sugar than any pear recipe asks for.

    I did a search for loket or palu fruit recipes and found NOTHING. You'd think somebody, somewhere, would have cooked with these before, but I guess nobody's telling.

    Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

    Jenny

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  3. I have been told you can make a loket chuttney but don't have a recipe - was just looking for some infact

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loquat

      The loquat is a species of flowering plant in the family Rosaceae, native to south-central China. It is a large evergreen shrub or small tree, grown commercially for its yellow fruit, and also cultivated as an ornamental plant.

      ~J

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