Weird and wonderful fruit

22 Jul

One of the most delicious aspects of living in Rio is the wonderful fruit available. The supermarkets stock a gorgeous array of tropical fruit, 3 different types of mango, enormous papaya, wee Nino bananas as well as the classic banana sold all over the world, sweet and succulent pineapples and there are the weird fruit that I’d never seen before…..

Cashew fruit

Ever wondered what the cashew nut looks like? Well, it’s a tiny pod at the bottom of the fruit, a kind of hanging seed. The fruit is very popular in Rio. But don’t just chomp into the fruit as we did, it has a web-like texture inside so is best crushed up with sugar and water to make a delicious drink. Definitely DO NOT bite into the cashew nut. As my husband found out the nut is surrounded by a strong acid, not a pleasant surprise. The nut needs to be roasted to destroy the acid and allow us to enjoy the delicious cashew nut.

Fruit of the cashew

Pinha (sugar apple)

This fruit is amazing, but its slightly difficult to describe the taste. Each little scale peels away in your hand with a little pyramid of white gooey flesh surrounding a large dark shiny seed. The flesh smells aromatic whilst the flesh is sweet, tasting like a mixture of lychee and custard.

Pinha

Interior of Pinha fruit (Pouletic, Wikipedia)

Acai

Acai has become more popular in the UK, but here it is a staple. It is often eaten for breakfast or as snack mixed with sugar and ice to create a thick slushy with a sweet and nutty taste. Granola, bananas and yoghurt are often added.

Bowl of acai

Bowl of acai

Guarana

We haven’t actually seen this fruit but we are obsessed with the drink that is made using an extract of the fruit. The fruit is native to the Amazon where the Guarani and Tupi tribes have harvested it for centuries, with the name in Tupi-Guarnai meaning ‘fruit like the eyes of the people’. One of our favourite guarana drinks is Guaravita. I’ve just discovered that guarana contains more caffeine than the coffee bean so that may be one of the reasons we enjoy it so much, along with its cheapness!

The delicious guaravita

 

 

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