How familiar are you with the wide variety of fruit found in the Peruvian jungle? Learn more about a few that you can find at local markets throughout the Amazon region.
For a first time visitor to the jungle, the first few weeks 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 yes, sweaty.
You will also probably feel sensory overload, whether it be the sounds of sunrise bird orchestras, to the new sensation of being around unknown species and plants that you may fear might will harm you but in fact is just fact that life is brimming around you.
If you make a trip to a local market, you’ll probably find plants that you don’t recognize. If you’re not sure where to start in your explorations, here are some top jungle fruits to look out for.
The Guanabana’s white flesh is both sweet and sour. The plant is also known to help cure many diseases, including cancers.
Unlike many other jungle fruits, the dragon fruit is well-known around the world. Unlike in other parts of the country or the world, this tasty fruit is plentiful and cheaper in the jungle.
The aguaje is ubiquitous in the jungles of Peru. It seems like at every street corner you’ll find somebody selling aguajina, which is 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.
4. Anona de Chanchamayo
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 (but with the added task of spitting out the large, black seeds). The anona is a relative of the more widely known chirimoya.
The cocona 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.
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 it, you’ll enjoy numerous health benefits.
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Jackfruit is an exotic fruit grown in tropical regions of the world. It is native to South India. It is part of the Moraceae plant family, which also includes fig, mulberry and breadfruit. Jackfruit has a spiky outer skin and is green or yellow in color. One unique aspect of jackfruit is its unusually large size. It is the largest tree fruit in the world and can reach up to 80 pounds (35 kg) in weight. #jackfruit #jackfruitlove
The jackfruit is 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, this jungle fruit 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.
Cover photo: Andina
This article has been updated from its original publication on January 17, 2019.
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