Eating Exotic Fruits
by Diana Pastor
I’ve said many times and I will continue saying it: I love the diversity of Guatemala; diversity in cultures, diversity in climate, food diversity, diversity in fruits. Who doesn’t like Guatemalan fruit? This country should be declared the fruit mecca of Central America. Although Nicaragua and Honduras have some of the finest tropical fruits, there is so much exotic variety in Guatemala. Still haven’t tried these natural delicacies? Don’t be shy; take the plunge to live a different culinary experience with the following:
Moquillo: Whose real name is Saurauia madrensis. It is a small fruit, similar to a kiwi, whose skin can be peeled back gently by hand, beckoning a sweet, refreshing fruit.
Matasano: A very aromatic Mesoamerican fruit whose fragrance evokes a sweet perfume. It’s a delicious fruit, and also has a very special characteristic: if eaten in excess, can put you to sleep.
Granadilla: The fruits are orangey, golden, brownish or yellowy in color, filled with little, clear pockets of sweet nectar. Its shape resembles that of maracas. The inside is full of dark gray, hard seeds covered with a sort of transparent gelatin. Don’t chew the seeds, just swallow.
Caimitos: A purple fruit that looks like beets from the outside. The inside is brown, with a sweetness and texture reminiscent of the taste of a dessert. The fruit is considered aphrodisiac if consumed regularly.
Chico Zapote: Very common in Mayan culture, because the extraction of gum from the tree. It’s a very sweet fruit, star-shaped and apple-like, though less refreshing. Cut in half and eat with a spoon, because it is difficult to remove the shell.
Nance: It only edible when ripe. Small and yellow, it has a strong, sweet flavor, leaving a slightly bitter aftertaste. Delicious when prepared in ice.
Guava: A round, thin-skinned and yellow-green fruit with a creamy pulp and sandy-orange texture, with many small seeds hard and strong aroma.
Cushín: Also known as “The Father”, is perhaps the most exotic of all, from its shape to its flavor. It looks like a giant green worm, with seeds coated with a sweet, white coating.