Friday, May 1, 2009

Strange Fruits...

...with apologies to Langston Hughes.

One of the highlights of hiking in the Colca Canyon was trying crazy, wild fruits.

Tuna, aka prickly pear fruit. It was all over the place. The cacti aren't the evilest in the forest, but the fruits have barbs so care (or gloves) are required to pick and peel them. They come in a range of colors and flavors. The red ones seemed sweeter and juicier, the white ones with creamier flesh. All types are full of numerous edible seeds. Excellent chilled on a hot day.

Pitaya agria (Corryocatus brevistylus), or locally called something like mosqui. Some Peruvian websites also call it sanky. Tastes a little like the love child of a kiwi and lemon. Grows on tower-shaped cacti.

We can't figure out what this guy is called, but one of its nicknames is supposedly plátano del la sierra. Grows on squat trees with big, thick trunks and huge leafs. The trees are highly heterozygous, like apple trees apparently. Some of the trees yield sweet fruits, while others yield picante fruits, which are not eaten. You gotta be a local to know which trees yield which fruit, since there is no way to tell by looking at them. See also here.

The fruit has a very gummy flesh and is full of edible seeds. It has a rather disagreeable texture if chewed, but is pretty tasty if you slurp it like a raw oyster. It tastes like a combination of cucumber and banana.
From Strange Fruits

Not a fruit, but delicious-ass crepes in from The Crepería in Arequipa. I could eat these forever.

1 comment:

  1. Yummm the crepes look delish!

    You will be happy ( or maybe not-so-much) to know that I invoked your name in class this week. We are studying Asia and Everest and there is a story in the book about Hillary. To give them SOME idea of the challenge I talked about your climbs in Washington. They were suitably impressed.