In Peru, there is a lot of fruit (as in Colombia). The other day, someone asked me what fruits they should here in Lima. Here’s my list of “local” fruits to try in Lima:
- Lucuma: orange colored flesh and a green or brown peel. It’s got a taste that is very special, but the closest I can think of is a sort of pumpkin flavor. Truly a Peru specific fruit.
- Aguaymanto/goldenberry: These are the yellow fruit with the size and texture of a cherry tomato but a flavor and tartness all their own. These have a carapace which makes people think they are mini tomatillos.
- Maracuya: Here in Peru, the passionfruit is a common juice choice and used often in a pisco drink. It’s got a heady fragrant drive-you-mad sort of aroma. The purple wrinkled passionfruit that is sold in the U.S. was created by “marrying” the tumbo and the larger passionfruit used in South America. (top right in the first photo – a large yellow fruit cut open in this photo)
- Granadilla: these are shaped like maracas and in Colombia, the kids crack them open on their foreheads. Then suck the snotty seeds out or use a spoon. (lower right in first photo, cracked open)
- Camu camu: another fruit that everyone says is good for you. From the jungle. Small plum like fruit used for juice. (see drawing in lower photo)
- Cherimoya: also called a custard apple in other parts of the world. (the pale green things next to the avocadoes)
- Tumbo: the older form of passionfruit. Considered the “male” or “dad” when someone created the wrinkled purple passionfruit. (it’s a cucumber shape in the middle of the top photo)
- Mamey: Or zapote, is a bright orange pumpkin textured fruit the size of a melon. (to the right of the pepino melons below)
- Aguaje: these look like brown lizard skinned eggs. Inside the fruit is bright yellow. I was told, by a taxi driver, that these fruit are “good for women and that in the jungle, homosexuals will eat them to become more feminine”. (see drawing at bottom)
- Tuna: is it the fish of the desert? Tuna is cactus fruit of which the Dragon Fruit is the flashy but less flavorful cousin.
- Pepino melon: a smallish striped melon. (see photo above with zapotes)
- Sauco: is elderberry
- Platano de la isla: It’s what they call the sweet banana (as opposed to the plantain type of banana)
Of course, there are many other fruits here like mango, pineapple, and mandarins, which are also delicious.
As I find my photos of these fruits, I’ll add them. So check back! I will try that aguaje!
Then there is also noni which has a cheesy aftertaste.