Yucca or yuca in Spanish is a tuber, very common where my family hails from (Bonao, along with rice), and is an excellent accompaniment to just about anything if (1) you pick the right tuber, nice clean white inside, and always best if very very fresh; and (2) you learn to cook it correctly so that it is neither too hard nor too mushy. Then you can serve a la cubana with a bit of onion in vinegar and some fresh green olive oil. Coming from a potatoe eating race myself, i have almost entirely given up taters for this much more satisfying and subtler tasting tuber. The pariffin cover that you see is to protect it for shipping and preserving purposes, but old yucca starts to develop a bad flavor; it is much much better when pulled right out of the garden.
Thank you for coming up with "marañon" -- for years after hearing the salsa song "Mango, Piña y Marañon" (Betancourt and Pacheco), I wondered what the heck a marañon was.
Zapote: marvelous fruit that makes an incredible fruit shake. Better than mamey, in my opinion, creamier and richer.
Chinola: well, there is no better juice available if you make it fresh at home. Be careful, it stains. Also makes excellent, very potent jelly.
Mango: San Juan de la Maguana gets my vote for the best mangos in the country. The aridity helps I think. The climate there is similar to the area in India where mangos originally came from. Mangos make an awesome marmelade or jam, but the trick is to add some lime juice (our limón) to alleviate the otherwise rather gummy and too sweet flavor/consistency that results.
Let us not forget Toronja (grapefruit) which I dont think was mentioned. The mata de toronja that my cuñada has growing in her back yard produces fruit that is somewhat too bitter and very seedy to eat straight, but they make a great juice.
Interesting that in the Cibao you say they call oranges naranja -- my folks from Bonao (cibao south) use the word china a lot, but they do use naranja too.
Guayaba: what a shame you havent tried this very interesting fruit. when they are in season, everyone goes round shaking the trees and eating the fallen fruit. Delicate, a bit seedy, pink flesh. Makes great jelly and jam too.
And let us not forget papaya, or "lechosa" not only a very good fruit to be eating for you health-conscious types but also a great fruit for batidas.
Further info on Marañon. I was in the campo the other day and a local pointed to a pear shaped fruit and called it "cajuil." -- this is not the odd looking fruit that yields the seed or nut that we call cashew in English. This is a small pear shaped fruit that grows in clusters. I asked my friend, a student at the Adventista University there near Bonao about the difference between this "cajuil" and the nut, and then she explained that where she comes from the people called this particular pear shaped fruit a "marañon" and it is not the same as cashew, though everyone calls both fruits a cajuil. So what is it in English?
Anacardium occidentale L.
Marañon is the same cajuil, and also goes by other names, like merey (Venezuela). Cajuil is called marañon in the Andes (Peru, Bolivia). Cajuil is a Taino word, from which is derived 'cashew'.
Funny thing about these plants, fruits, having different names in different countries. I have distant cousins living in a small village south of San Juan de la Maguana, by the name of Cardón. Years ago I asked the elders if they had any idea where the name of the village came from. They were at a loss. I told them to look around them, the village is nested in a small valley surrounded by hills covered thick with cayuco. It so happens that cayuco is called cardón in Spain, and most Spanish speaking countries. My relatives still use a lot of Taino words...
From Frog's Finca
cherimoya = annona cherimola
guanábana = annona muricata (picture)
On Frog's Finca
Last edited by mountainfrog; 08-06-2006 at 08:58 PM.
Mirador and Mountain frog, thanks for the pix, they help considerably. Now Mirador what you photographed is what I normally recognize as the Cashew, but this other fruit I saw while it had the same reddish color as in all the photos the both of you have furnished, the shape was entirely like a perfect pear. I ate one, and I would say that it was probably the manzana de agua. It does in fact have a very apple like consistency. The leaves of the tree looked like those in your third pic, but the fruit was surprisingly perfect in its pearlike shape, not at all like the squashed thing you see in that third pic. More like the first or second.
Liogier's Arboles Dominicanos mentions the Cajuilito de Soliman but gives Syzygium malaccense as its scientific name. It is related to the Pomo here and does in fact bear a red pearlike fruit,so I guess that is in fact the tree. But it is interesting that locals call it Cajuil.
Yes I just confirmed it. Thanks M'frog. the Java Apple is indeed the same tree/fruit:
Syzygium samarangense Merr. & Perry
Syzygium javanicum Miq.
Eugenia javanica Lam.
here is a webpage about it: http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/m...ava_apple.html