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Yet Another Unusual South American Fruit

This fruit is from Argentina, but it is somewhat better known than many of the South American fruits. It is now quite popular in Central America and is occasionally found is specialty US markets, though it is far from common. It is also commonly grown in Mexico, throughout the Caribbean, and in the Philippines.

The scientific name of this tree is Spondias purpurea and it has many common names; ciruela, jocote, hog plum, siniguelas, and others. The tree in the cashew family. It rather looks like a plum, but it isn’t a plum.

The fruit is an inch or two in diameter and first appears green, then yellow, turning deep red or purple as it ripens. Until it totally ripens, the fruit is extremely tart and high in vitamin C, but the very ripe fruit is very sweet and juicy. This fruit is also highly aromatic.

This is one of the most popular fruits in Central America.

  • Have you ever seen or tasted this fruit?

    • Yes
    • No
    • I’ve never even heard of this fruit

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Written by Rex Trulove

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15 Comments

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    • There are different cultivars and they do look different, but they all originated from the fruit I showed. They are stone fruit, so they look a lot like a plum, which also has a single large seed in the middle of the fruit.

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