Tropical fruit cocktail

by Luigi Guarino on March 5, 2009

They offered us ciruela fruits at coffee break this morning, here at the Centro de Formacion de la Cooperacion Española in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. Deliciously tart, but I had no idea what it might be — botanically, I mean — which always annoys me. I asked around, and narrowed it down to a Spondias, probably Spondias mombin. Certainly looks like the photo here. The go-to source for information on tropical New World fruits is, of course, the database put together by my colleagues at Bioversity. In looking around for other photos, I came across a travel site called Dave’s Travel Corner which has a page on tropical fruits and a great photo gallery. Plus a whole bunch of links.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jacob March 9, 2009 at 7:49 am

Pictures of fruits, but no picture of AECI’s Centro de Formacion?


Luigi March 10, 2009 at 3:35 pm
Jacob March 11, 2009 at 1:09 am



Eliot Masters March 11, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Nice site, guys –

Nonetheless, I have a Problem.

The presumed Spondias in the photo also resemble something called ‘chicos’ in Tagalog – which are also known as ‘custard apples’ in Jamaica – or at least they were, some 27 years ago.

However, the term ‘custard apples’ is suggestive (according to Purseglove) of certain tart Annona spp. – whereas the ‘chico’ / aka Jamdown ‘custard apple’ is treacly sweet, richly flavored (most evocative of the fruit of the shea butter tree, Vitellaria paradoxa), and characterised by a grainy, almost gritty texture.

Any ideas what I’m talking about ??

[with thanks in advance…]



Luigi March 11, 2009 at 5:52 pm

@Eliot Masters

I think I may have caused some confusion. What you see in my photos (quoted above and also in the Featured Comment) is definitely a sapote, perhaps Manilkara zapota, which is known as chico sapote not only in the Philippines but also in Latin America. That was in a street market. What I was talking about in this post is entirely different, and you can see a photo here. Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of it myself.


Eliot Masters March 12, 2009 at 5:32 am


Fantastic, Luigi !

A positive ID is confirmed.

Many thanks indeed – and for the speed of your reply.


Howard April 21, 2009 at 10:47 pm

This fruit is called Red Coat Plum in Jamaica

Jamaican plum, hoy/hog plums, golden apple, limbu, mombin

This fruit is not a plum, but belongs to the same family as the mango, and grows in the West Indies, Central and South America, South-East Asia, and India. The golden yellow to deep red and purple fruits are small, a little over an inch long. They grow several to a branch, and, like mangoes, have soft skin and contain a large stone. The firm yellow flesh is juicy and fragrantly sweet, more like a pineapple or an apple than a mango. The distinctive flavour has a slightly acidic tang. These fruits are fragile and do not travel well, but they are sometimes available in Indian markets. Jamaican plums can be eaten raw, sweetened and served with other fruits, poached, pickled, or made into jams and jellies. They also are added to such dishes as curries.

Check this link for a little more info


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