It’s time for some fruits again. Granted, not all of these are necessarily in season right this minute, like my previous post, but think of this as some more general information on fruits in the region. You never know when you might need this kind of information. Buying fruits in the Caribbean can be a tricky business because you really have to know where you are and what to ask for…disregard those stereoptypical views of Caribbean life as simplicity, we like things complicated. Remember the story of the Pommerac? Oh, the names…even in the same country. I tell you – it took forever to find out what they call it here in Guyana!
Of course this shot is of mangoes, which are easy. We all call them mangoes. Ah, but what KIND of mangoes! These are Julie, and I believe they can be found by that name in most of the English-speaking Caribbean (go on, correct me, it’s not like I am actually basing this on anything other than my gut feeling ) But what do other people call the ice cream mango?
Or this hybrid mango my mother saved for me last month, which she thinks is called Saibani - doesn’t it look interesting? It’s supposed to be a sweet, almost spicy, very flavourful mango and she saved 2 for me. These didn’t taste much different from a long mango (mango vere) though…not bad, but not particularly special. A friend who knows these things better than I, said that it’s not a very stable hybrid, so some of the mangoes on a tree may revert to a less fancy tasting ancestor. They do look pretty with that cool S-shape!
Now, this is an interesting looking fruit! Made of overlapping, almost petal-like bits of rind, covering sections of sweet (oh so sweet) slimy white flesh, each with a shiny black seed. Wikipedia entry for Annona squamosa. We do also call it custard apple in Trinidad, and although that may be incorrect scientifically, that’s just how it is with the fruit names down here. I believe it is also called sweet sop in other islands, like Jamaica (as opposed to soursop). Also called anones in Puerto Rico (thanks to Flickr visitors!)
And last, but not least, a fruit that really should have been showcased on this blog since its inception. Seriously. And I think it was only a month ago that Umar, a regular reader and commenter, made his way though my posts and called me on this glaring omission. So, here it is. Finally. Lifespan of a Chennette is pleased, for the first time, to showcase the Chennette. The fruit. The green one. That grows on trees. NOT ME. These!
The fruit which gave me my ID…my online ID anyway. Also called guinep in other islands (including Tobago). These were bought in the Chaguanas market last week in Trinidad. My neighbour’s tree used to bear really big chennet, so whenever I saw the more common small ones I always felt they were inferior somehow. Maybe that’s why I never actively sought them out before for the blog? Nevermind, for now I can perhaps replace Stuart (the sheep on my About page)…for a while anyway
Wikipedia entry: :”The mamoncillo (Melicoccus bijugatus), also known as the mamón (although the word is considered obscene in some Spanish speaking countries), chenet, guaya, gnep, ginep, skinnip (in Jamaica, St. Kitts) genip, guinep, ginnip, kenèp (in Haiti), quenepa (in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic), ackee (in Barbados), Spanish lime, or limoncillo, is a fruit-bearing tree in the soapberry family Sapindaceae…”
You’ll note the Bajans call it ACKEE…I think they beat the Guyanese/Grenadians at this dual name game. As strange as Cashew is for the pommerac, I think calling chennette ackee is stranger
It’s hard to describe what this tastes like…I think it has a light sweet taste, maybe like a grape?, but completely different texture -that flesh is soft and squishy and has to be sucked dry. According to wikipedia, it’s lychee-like. You have to crack the shell open with your teeth and then the flesh is a relatively thin layer on a round hard pit/stone.
So, there you have it. Some more fruits of the region. And an introduction to my namesake fruit. And my attempt at watermarking my photos after the theft! I started out with the watermark clear across the middle, but have settled for now on the lower right.
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