Garcinia humilis, known commonly as achachairú or achacha, is a small, prolifically-fruiting tree related to the mangosteen. It is grown traditionally in Bolivia, but recently has been planted on a commercial scale in Burdekin, Australia. The fruit took third place in the 2012 Fruit Logistica Innovation Awards held in Berlin.
The Achacha has an appealing colour and form and is very decorative. It is egg-shaped, up to 6cm long by 4cm in diameter. It takes on a reddish-orange shade when mature. There is usually one significant coffee-coloured seed, but larger fruit may have more than one seed. As an eco-friendly forest fruit which has not been through hundreds of generations of selective breeding, each one has its own personality and curves, with perhaps a few small bumps and marks on its skin which add interest to its appearance but do not affect its quality.
Eating the fruit
The fruit grows to around six centimetres in length and has a bright glossy orange surface around the edible white pulp, which in turn contains one or two brown seeds. The taste is described as both bitter and sweet. The rather tough, bitter rind can be split open with a knife or with the teeth, and the edible part of the fruit sucked off the seed.
The Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has found that the fruit keeps well for four to six weeks as long as it stays out of the fridge. It recommends storing the fruit at 15 to 20 degrees Celsius with a high relative humidity. If these conditions are not met, the fruit will shrivel, although some people have found that placing this egg shaped fruit in the egg rack of a fridge does not harm the fruit in any way.
The glossy orange rinds of the Achacha may be put in a blender with water. Once pureed and then strained to remove all of the solids, this liquid may be diluted and sweetened to one's taste, then chilled for a refreshing summer drink.
The Achacha is in season from December to mid-March.
The achacha is rich in vitamin C, Riboflavin, potassium and folate,and is lighter in sugar than most fruits.
- FRUIT LOGISTICA update fruitlogistica.de
- About the Achacha achacha.com.au
- True Bolivia abc.net.au
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