Even though I have lived in Colombia for more than two years, I continue to come across new and surprising fruits all the time. Colombia is full of unique, delicious, and exotic fruits, and when you travel through Colombia, you would be ill advised to not seek out and try some of these incredible fruits. Today, I’d like to tell you about five Colombian fruits you can’t miss.
One distinctly exceptional Colombia fruit you should try is called a lulo. The lulo looks like a bright orange tomato on the outside and has a bright, sometimes neon, green gelatinous fruit on the inside. While most people would have lulo as a juice, it can also be halved, sprinkled with sugar and eaten with a spoon as an acidic treat. If in Cali, you can also seek out the delicious lulada drink made with lulo.
Mamoncillo is another one of a kind Colombian fruit. About the size of a large seedless grape, the mamoncillo has a leathery green skin that protects an orangey-yellow sometimes sweet, sometimes acidic fruit—normally larger mamoncillos are sweeter than smaller ones. To eat a mamoncillo, you’ll need to pop the skin open with your fingernail and push the rest the fruit out. Be careful, though, because mamoncillos have a large pit, meaning you’ll have to carefully eat away the fruit and spit the pit out.
Another unique fruit found in Colombia is the granadilla. In the same family as passion fruit, granadillas have a very liquid, grey, seedy and extremely sweet pulp that is enclosed inside a sort of spongy bag, which is protected by a bright orange, extremely hard shell. To eat a granadilla, peel the orange exterior off the fruit until you have freed enough of the white spongy “bag” to suck out the pulp. Caution: do not chew the fruit, simply savor the flavor and swallow!
A less common, but delicious fruit you should aim to try in Colombia is guama, a pod fruit. A guama pod is normally about as long as your forearm and is bright or dark green in color. Once you pop the pod open, you’ll see the fruit of the guama, which looks like a row of little cotton balls wrapped around a dark seed. Eat these sweet, slightly furry pieces of fruit individually, as you’ll need to make sure you spit the seeds out before chewing up the fruit.
Last, but definitely not least is the exotic guanábana fruit. Called “soursop” in English, it’s recently been hailed a miracle fruit with an incredible amount of health benefits. The guanábana is a spikey, extremely large dark green fruit, filled with hundreds of white pods, similar to those found inside the guama, only less sweet, more acidic, and much less furry. While you probably won’t want to buy a whole guanábana—as they are often as big as watermelons, you can buy cut pieces in local supermarkets, or have it in juice at many restaurants.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and try some Colombian fruits!
Until next time,
Paige M. Poole,
About the author:
“Paige M. Poole is an Alabamian and traveler at heart who has settled, for now, in Barranquilla, Colombia, and earns her living as an English professor at the Instituto de Idiomas (Language Institute) at la Universidad del Norte (University of the North). When not teaching English, she enjoys blogging, traveling, relaxing on the beach, and spending time with her partner and two cats, Milo and Sophie. You can see more of Paige’s traveling experiences in her personal blog www.trotamunda.wordpress.com
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- My Favorite Colombian Drinks (www.uncovercolombia.com)