Ciruelas Amarillas | Mexico | Living in Mexico

Ciruelas Amarillas

Time to look at another exotic fruit. This here is a ciruela amarilla.

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Ciruela amarilla (Spondias mombin L.)

The name translates as "yellow plum," but this one's neither yellow nor a plum.

I think they may be gathered in the wild rather than cultivated, because they tend to come with blemishes, galls and scaly spots. They have a thick, waxy skin that tastes a little bitter, and a huge, woody pit. The flesh is only an eighth of an inch thick, so there's no point in peeling it, 'cause there'll be nothing left to eat if you do.

How you eat one is, you throw the whole thing in your mouth, grind off the tough skin with your teeth (which you chew up and swallow) and gnaw the pit awhile to get the flesh. One fruit produces maybe a teaspoon of nutrition.

They don't keep well, either.

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Three ciruelas amarillas and one pit.

So why bother? Clearly ciruelas amarillas are never gonna compete with, say, a juicy, ripe peach.

Well, the reason you bother is because the flesh is intensely aromatic, exotically flavored and is the sweetest fruit you've ever tasted.

One of the benefits of living in Mexico is access to foods you've never eaten before. For every fruit available in the U. S., there are two or more here. I've not even begun to work my way through them all.

One other note of warning with this fruit is in order: Don't put the pits into the garbage disposal. I did. I had to replace it. The pits are incredibly hard. Tore the guts right out of the machine. Throwing in a handful of ¼—20 steel nuts would not have been harder on it.

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