Do you know the name of this tropical fruit?

I'm slowly going mad back at home in Nigeria where I've discovered a 'new' fruit which has only local names....but no 'common denominator' English name. Its funny looking fruit with thin dark brown, sandy skin which can be peeled off to reveal 'smooth, marble-like' crisp orange flesh. Once skinned, it resembles a persimmon. Once cut open, there is a heart-shaped seed which is removed - one bite reveals a crunch which tastes like a weird fusion of carrots and fresh peas! Help!

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sdebrango
sdebrango August 31, 2011

Have never seen or heard of anything like this fruit, the skin makes it sound like it's in the kiwi family but the flesh and taste don't match. Good to hear from you I guess you are settling in and adapting to your new home.

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Niknud
Niknud August 31, 2011

Hahaha! It looks like an egg that got stuck in an inside-out machine! Sorry I can't be of any help, but I'd love to know what it is when you figure it out!

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susan g
susan g August 31, 2011

Can you contact a university with plant scientists? Just think how New Zealand globalized the kiwi -- maybe this is the next food star? The photo alone would sell it! Rambling on, but someone with international connections might have an answer -- or a taxonomist would know a Latin name.

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Panfusine
Panfusine August 31, 2011

Can't get an idea of its size? whats it called in the local language?

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Kitchen Butterfly
Kitchen Butterfly August 31, 2011

Thanks - I've been looking at all sorts of medical/taxonomy journals online but no luck - mainly because there are so many entries making it tedious. My Google search on its Nigerian names has yielded nothing. In the east, it is called epapa or ajinrinja (names I'm not even sure I've spelt properly). Some people call it 'African carrots'. On size, it is about 6-7cm in diameter, roughly the size of your average persimmon, only more oval shape versus round.

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Helen's All Night Diner

It may be a Mangosteen. See: http://www.fruitipedia.com/african_mangosteen%20Garcinia%20livingstoneii.htm

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Greenstuff
Greenstuff August 31, 2011

How about a mammee apple http://en.wikipedia.org... and lots of pictures at http://www.google.com/search...

It looks like it's native to the Americas but has been planted in Africa.

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Greenstuff
Greenstuff August 31, 2011

This reference describes the taste of mammee apples as being like carrots:
http://books.google.com/books?id=ujYXAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA56&lpg=PA56&dq=Mammee+(Mammea+Americana)+taste+african+carrot&source=bl&ots=IIWcWJcelr&sig=Y47tjffvOaPGdBWs_h1qlFkzh7E&hl=en&ei=TLFeTr_gLu3ViAKbkbizBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&sqi=2&ved=0CD4Q6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Mammee%20(Mammea%20Americana)%20taste%20african%20carrot&f=false

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Kitchen Butterfly
Kitchen Butterfly September 1, 2011

Thanks for all your help - it looks like both the mangosteen and the mammey apple but isn't. I'll continue the hunt and share the results once I have the answer. Thanks

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Kitchen Butterfly
Kitchen Butterfly September 17, 2011

Thanks everyone. I've found out the botanical name for this fruit - its Cola Lepidota, cousin to the Cola/Kola nut, which gives an extract that went into the first bottles and cans of Cola drinks. I can sleep easy. Thanks for ALL your help and support!

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Panfusine
Panfusine September 17, 2011

Would love to see a picture of the nut.. I've heard of the cola nut but never seen one!
Thanks so much for that enlightening post!

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Sagegreen
Sagegreen September 17, 2011

Thanks for all this info about a whole new fruit! Just jumping in at the end: Here is a link to an image of the flowers-
http://korupplants.lifedesks.org/pages/351
Here the leaves:
http://www.boldsystems.org/views/taxbrowser.php?taxid=316071
And here you can see a botanic illustration of another cola:
http://www.thefullwiki.org/Cola_%28Malvaceae%29

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susan g
susan g September 17, 2011

KB, how did you locate the information? This has been eye opening -- there are so many food plants in the world!

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Kitchen Butterfly
Kitchen Butterfly September 17, 2011

Panfusine - see photos of kola nuts in the link below.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.ehow.com/facts_5683675_significance...

I'm planning on a blog post soon when my broken camera is in my arms.

Susan g - I found out all the different names in the different Nigerian languages and emailed my Nigerian friend in Copenhagen, who is also a foodie - she found info on Google. I then read a bit more to confirm and it is right! I am planning to experiment with cooking with it - I made a salad which was ok, but it needs more work!

Thanks SageGreen love the breakdown of the taxonomy info. More Nigerian fruits to share soon

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SKK
SKK September 17, 2011

Thank you KitchenButterfly and Sagegreen for this amazing education! Looking forward to hearing more from Nigeria.

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Panfusine
Panfusine September 17, 2011

Ok, this is a long shot, but, The illustration of the kola nut (or rather the pink fleshy part of the fruit covering the nut) brought back memories.. I remember eating a fruit that looked like it when growing up in Nairobi, Kenya.. we kids used to call it 'mbuya' in swahili i Think, its been 30 + yrs but I still cant forget it, kinda sweet n tart...is it related to the kola nut?

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pauljoseph
pauljoseph September 18, 2011

Mangosteen see the fruits found in and around my home https://picasaweb.google.com/112094371507683018351/KERALAFRUITS#

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