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Strange and Wonderful Fruits of the Peruvian Jungle

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Some people travel to the jungle in order to heal themselves with medicinal plants, others come for adventure, and others just want to eat more jungle fruits.

For a first time visitor to the jungle, the first few weeks of arrival can feel like a shock. You’ll probably need to acclimatize to the hot and humid air and the constant rain (depending on the season, that is). You’ll need to accept that you’ll be always covered in mosquitos, that you’ll be muddy, and sweaty.

You’ll probably also feel sensory overload, whether it be the sounds of sunrise bird orchestras, from your worry among unknown species and plants that you fear might harm you, and from the life-brimming ecosystems packed with diversity.

If you make a trip to a local market, there will probably be more plants for sale that you don’t recognize that you do recognize.

If you don’t know where to start in your explorations of jungle plants, here are some top jungle fruits. 

Guanabana

Photo: Scott Montgomery

The Guanabana’s white flesh is both sweet and sour. The plant is also known to help cure many diseases, including cancers.

Pitajaya

Photo: Scott Montgomery

Unlike many other jungle fruits, the dragon fruit is well-known around the world. But if you end up finding it, you might have to pay a lot of money for this tasty fruit. If you make your way to the jungles, you’ll see that the fruits are much more plentiful and much cheaper.

Aguaje

Photo: Scott Montgomery

The aguaje is ubiquitous in the jungles of Peru. It seems like around every street corner you’ll find somebody selling aguajina, aguaje juice. You can identify this delightful juice by its bright orange color. You can also peel away the plant’s scaly skin and eat the orange flesh underneath. Be prepared for its bitter taste. Aguaje is known to be great for women’s reproductive health. It’s also loaded with vitamin A.

Anana

Photo: Scott Montgomery

Though this goopy fruit might not look appetizing, it is actually one of the tastiest and sweetest jungle fruits that you can find. Eating the fruit is like eating a custard dessert. Be careful though, because you need to spit out the seeds.

Cocono

Photo: Scott Montgomery

The cocono is an acidic fruit that is often used to make juices and sauces. The fruits taste like a mix between a tomato and an orange.

Noni

Photo: Scott Montgomery

 

Despite the fact that the noni is probably the most foul smelling and tasting fruit that you’ll find in the jungles of Peru, it’s also by far the healthiest. It is known to cure many kinds of diseases, including cancer. If you can find a way to swallow the foul-tasting fruit, you’ll enjoy numerous health benefits.

Jackfruit

Photo: Scott Montgomery

The jackfruit is slowly gaining popularity around the world, because of its flavor, and because the flesh can be used to make an amazingly pleasing vegetarian meat alternative. Despite its popularity, it is sometimes hard to find in Peru. If you are in the hunt for this fruit, it may be a good bet to head to the area of Quillabamaba, near Cusco.

 

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The Living in Peru travel team is dedicated to featuring travel articles that provide you with insider information, tips, travel inspiration and best places to visit in Peru to help you plan your next vacation.