Monday, May 25, 2009

Forgotten Fruits: Nungu Fruit, Borassus flabellifer

(yes I've changed it from Lost to Forgotten)

The British call it Ice-Apple, in Southeast Asia it has names that cary from Nungu to Tal. The palm itself is called different names from the Asian Palmyra, to Sugar Palm and also Toddy Palm (the last two for it's sugary sap)

The unpopularity of this fruit probably has more to do with sociocultural reasons than it does with shipping. Because this palm is a tropical palm from Southeast Asia, it was probably difficult to grow in Europe, so it never made it to the Americas. Most fruits available in supermarkets are generally from East Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. This one is from Southeast Asia, (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and the south east tip of India) and surrounding regions. Because those countries are not major world powers influence in new fruits is relatively slow in America.

The palm can get up to 100' high (like the Mexican Fan Palms that are common in southern California). It is the official Tree of Tamil Nandu (a state in southeast India) and is the palm most associated with the Angkor Temple in Cambodia. It could be a great replacement for the MFP's that line the streets of Garey Ave. in south Pomona. (it only makes sense, considering what "Pomona" means)

This description is from Wikipedia "The fruit measures 4 to 7 inches in diameter, has a black husk, and is borne in clusters. The top portion of the fruit must be cut off to reveal the three sweet jelly seed sockets, translucent pale-white, similar to that of the lychee but the flavor is milder and there is no pit. The jelly part of the fruit is covered with a thin yellowish brown skin."

The tree itself also contains a sap known as Toddy, it is sometimes used to make sugars and fermented drinks. This is also one of the few genii of palms that are actually used for timber.

I found a Nursery in San Diego called J.D. Anderson Nursery that lists it as a palm that they sometimes carry, they are however out of stock. I haven't called them yet to see when they might get some more, but when school gets out I'll be doing more nursery visits to find some more forgotten fruits.

1 comment:

Viagra Online said...

I've tasted this sap it's amazing and of course if you're in the beach drinking it cool.