Fruits of Cuba

franktank232(z5 WI)June 21, 2007

I noticed an article in the nytimes about a guy living in Cuba and trying to eat what they eat (monthly rationed food). I just liked the part when he talked about the fruit @ the large market in Havana:

"I've lived in Latin America for nearly 15 years, and in all my travels I've never seen some of the exotic fruits I've found on this Caribbean island.

In Cuba, there are the typical mangos, papayas, pineapples and an assortment of bananas -- tiny yellow ones as long as my pinky, medium yellows and small reds, like the ones I once saw growing wild in the mountains of Guatemala.

That doesn't even count the numerous plantains, which the Cubans don't consider fruit, frying and mashing them as an accompaniment to savory dishes instead of potatoes.

The larger farmers markets are also stocked with citrus -- grapefruits, tiny round limes, sweet mandarin oranges, regular sweet juice oranges, and sour oranges that Cubans use to make their ''mojos'' (MOH-johs) -- a marinade with onions, garlic and spices for poultry and meats.

Most popular of all fruits here seems to be the popular brown-skinned mamey (mah-MEYH), whose bright orange pulp is sometimes eaten for gastrointestinal ailments.

Also popular are the tiny mamoncillos (mah-monh-SEE-yohs), which at first glance look like small limes. Cuban kids love to crack open the hard green shell like an egg to get at the orange pulp inside.

Less common is the brown nispero (NEES-peh-roh), known in some other Latin countries as a zapote negro (zah-POH-teh neh-GROH).

More unusual still is the light-green cherimoya (cher-ee-MOY-yah), whose skin is covered with flat, rounded bumps that look like overlapping petals. The cherimoya is also known in English as a custard apple for the custard-like texture of its white pulp.

Related to the cherimoya is the guanabana (guah-NAH-bah-nah), or soursop in English, whose light-green skin is covered in spikes instead of petals.

Although more commonly grown in drier climes, small pomegranates are occasionally seen in Cuban markets. Known here as granadas (grah-NAH-dahs), they have scores of seeds that look like bright red jewels and can stain a kid's face and clothes within seconds after being popped out of the papery white pulp inside.

Also sold in markets, but seemingly unknown to many Cubans, is the yellowish-green star fruit known in other parts of Latin America as the carambola (cahr-ahm-BOH-lah) and here is called a ciruela china (sehr-WEAH-lah) or Chinese plum.

Other exotic Cubans include the round, super sweet reddish-purple caimito (kahi-MEE-toh), which some English speakers call a star apple."


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Eggo(z10soCal LBC)

Thanks for the link frank. I may visit Cuba after reading that article. =)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 1:47AM
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I like trains!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 9:34AM
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