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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17 Comments

pauljoseph September 18, 2011
Mangosteen see the fruits found in and around my home https://picasaweb.google.com/112094371507683018351/KERALAFRUITS#
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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?
 
SKK September 17, 2011
Thank you KitchenButterfly and Sagegreen for this amazing education! Looking forward to hearing more from Nigeria.
 
Kitchen B. September 17, 2011
Panfusine - see photos of kola nuts in the link below.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kola_nut
http://www.ehow.com/facts_5683675_significance-kola-nut_.html

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
 
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!
 
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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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!
 
Kitchen B. 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!
 
Kitchen B. 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
 
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
 
Greenstuff August 31, 2011
How about a mammee apple http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammee_apple and lots of pictures at http://www.google.com/search?q=Mammee+Apple+(Mammea+Americana)&hl=en&prmd=ivns&source=lnms&tbm=isch&ei=ZK9eTruXFbTPiAKS1OmyBQ&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=2&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=1245&bih=912

It looks like it's native to the Americas but has been planted in Africa.
 
Helen's A. August 31, 2011
It may be a Mangosteen. See: http://www.fruitipedia.com/african_mangosteen%20Garcinia%20livingstoneii.htm
 
Kitchen B. 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.
 
Panfusine August 31, 2011
Can't get an idea of its size? whats it called in the local language?
 
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.
 
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!
 
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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