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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Matisia - 'Quararibea cordata ' - fam: Malvaceae

This fruit is another fully paid-up member of the WTF? (What's That Fruit?) club. 'Quararibea cordata' is native to the foothills of the Andes, and is common throughout parts of Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia. However, it is not widely cultivated. Success was gained in the USA, but its popularity is far from the commercial level 1.

It is also called 'Matisia cordata', and grows on a tree referred to as the 'Chupa chupa' tree. The tree grows wild in lowland rainforests of Peru, Ecuador and adjacent areas of Brazil, especially around the mouth of the Javari River 2. The fruits are plentiful in the markets of Antioquia, Buenaventura and Bogotá, Colombia, Puerto Viejo, Ecuador, the Brazilian towns of Tefé, Esperanca, Sao Paulo de Olivenca, Tabetinga, Benjamin Constant and Atalaia do Norte and elsewhere. Little-known outside its natural range 2.

The fruit quality is variable, with some trees producing insipid, or fibrous fruits, and little work has been done in establishing preferred cultivars. Fruit are spherical, or elongated, up to 150mm in diameter, and enclosed in an olive coloured, leathery, skin. The pulp is sweet, orange-yellow with a refreshing fruity taste. It is eaten fresh or stewed to make juice, cordials and milk drinks.

This is a fruit that has always been eaten out-of-hand. Those that have the least fibrous flesh may be utilized for juice or in other ways. The pulp is rich in vitamins A and C 3.

REFERENCES: Wikipedia 1 National Tropical Botanical Gardens 2 Australian Tropical Foods 3


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