(Ruiz & Pav.) Kuntze
Lúcuma has been found on ceramics at burial sites of the indigenous people of coastal Peru. The Moche people had a fascination with agriculture and often chose to represent fruits and vegetables, including lúcuma, in their art.
In Peru, harvesting season is from October to March and in Chile from June to November.
History and characteristics
The fruit was first seen and reported by Europeans in Ecuador in 1531. It is sometimes known as lucmo. In the Philippines, it is known as teissa and may be called "eggfruit" in English, a common name also given to the closely related canistel (Pouteria campechina). The name "eggfruit" refers to lúcuma's dry flesh, which is similar in texture to a hard-boiled egg yolk with a unique flavor of maple and sweet potato. The round or ovoid fruits are green, with a bright yellow flesh that is often fibrous.
It grows at temperate elevations between 2700-3000 metres. Temperatures of its elevated native range make the species technically subtropical, even though its native region is strictly tropical. Attempts at growing lúcuma in Florida's climate typically fail. In addition to Peru, the fruit is grown also to a limited extent in Bolivia and Costa Rica. It grows well in most tropical regions, but is not widely favored. The fruit is also grown in Laos and in Vietnam.
When eaten raw, the fruit has a dry texture and unpleasant aftertaste. In Peru it is more commonly enjoyed as a flavor in juice, milk shakes, and especially ice cream. Its unique flavor in such preparations has been described variously as being similar to sweet potato, maple syrup, or butterscotch. A popular dessert called "merengue con salsa de lúcuma" is served in Chile. Also popular in Chile is "manjar con lúcuma" (dulce de leche with lúcuma purée).
Only limited nutritional information is available and only for lúcuma powder, indicating moderate content of protein and iron, each providing 14% of the Daily Value in a 100 gram serving which supplies 420 calories.
- "CAPÍTULO I: LA LÚCUMA (in Spanish)" (PDF). University of Piura, Peru.
- Morton JF (1987). "Lucmo". Purdue University, republished from p. 405–406. In: Fruits of Warm Climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.
- Berrin, Katherine & Larco Museum. The Spirit of Ancient Peru:Treasures from the Museo Arqueológico Rafael Larco Herrera. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1997.
- Lesser-known and under-utilised plant resources Ameenah Gurib-Fakim - 2005 - Page 59
- "Lucuma powder per 100 g". Conde Nast, USDA National Nutrient Database, version SR-21. 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2015.