I've been meaning to share some of the curious fruits I've found in the market. As usual, there are bananas, papayas, mangos, oranges, limes, lemons, pineapples, apples, berries, coconuts, apricots, melons, etc... all of which were recognizable to me, coming from Canada Then there are the alien fruits that for some reason are not marketed so much in Canada. I wonder why?
The ladies in the market called these nanzis. I don't know if that is Spanish or Poqomchí. All I do know is that these miniature apple things are not very tasty. Think mealy, semi-rotten, but not slimy rotten, apple. I think they cook them.
I present you with the zapote! This fruit has a brilliant pit in the middle and is very easy to eat. The peel comes off easily and the meat is soft. It tastes like cooked yams.
Caña de azúcar or sugar cane. Everybody has heard of it, but I tried it for the first time in Guatemala. It's actually pretty refreshing, juicy and sweet, naturally. The problem is that it's quite fibrous, so you can spend a great deal of time chomping on one bit of cane and then spend even more time with the dental floss.
This is by far my favorite of the bunch: jocote (pronounced ho-co-tay). This fruit is very juicy, slightly tart, and very sweet. The skin is edible. The pit however is rather large (most of the fruit) and you end up sucking on it to get the last bit of meat off it. Blaise is a master at this. The green jocotes can be boiled and are very tasty too.
The tasty tamarindo, or tamarind in English, is usually boiled, strained, sweetened and drank. You can buy syrups or powdered juice mixes of it. I prefer to suck the sweet and sour fruit off the amber-coloured pit. When you get this in the market, most of them are crushed and very messy - these ones are intact.
Today was the first time I've seen the ijerto (I'm guessing at the spelling). It looks a little like a shriveled orange, but is nothing like one. The meat is bright orange and tastes quite a bit like the zapote, but fruitier. There is a familiar taste to it that is familiar to me. I quite enjoyed it.
There are a few others that I'd like to introduce you to, but they aren't in season right now. Another time.
Aside from the tamarind and sugar cane, can anyone tell me what these are in English?