Tuesday, 26 June 2012

A couple of fruits

Summer in San Cristobal feels a lot like fall in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The days are cool and potentially rainy. The nights chilly enough for a jacket or warm reboso, and the bed has a down comforter year round.

But in the low country, it's now hot and steamy summertime. Interesting fruits and vegetables just keep pouring into the markets.

Papausas in a pile.

The latest one is a yellowish green color with brown marks, bright pink cracks and a creamy pink interior with rose colored veins and reddish brown shiny seeds. It's called a papausa. The texture is like a thick vanilla pudding (except for the big black seeds) and the flavor is a bit like vanilla ice cream with flecks of peach and strawberry. It's quite sweet and rots quickly.

The markets are now crowded with guayaba (guava), a fragrant fruit that also has a short shelf life. When it disintegrates, the smell becomes quite intent. The flesh is sweet and has many small seeds that are easily eaten. In some varieties the seeds are quite hard. Here the apple guayaba and the red guayaba are the most common. The taste can only be compared with another guayaba, it tastes only like itself, defying description. Plus according to Wikipedia and other online sources, the guava has many medicinal qualities, and the leaves especially contain cancer fighting chemicals.

The odd fruits stand: mamey zapotes in the foreground
guayabas in the buckets, papayas in the distance.

Guayabas (guavas) about 20 pesos per bucket

Mamey Zapote fruits

Mamey Zapote fruit and seed

Mamey Zapotes are in season now too, resembling rough brown avocados. Inside there's a rather large hard seed, the flesh is soft and buttery like an avocado, and comes out of the shell in the same easy-to-remove fashion. Most have a sweet vaguely pumpkin flavor, but if overripe it begins to take on a fishy salmon taste, which is not appealing in a fruit. The seed is so hard and durable that I've seen them carved and made into smoking pipes in the market

Papausa and seed

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