Spondias dulcis

Spondias dulcis
Spondias dulcis
Spondia dulcis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Anacardiaceae
Genus: Spondias
Species: S. dulcis
Binomial name
Spondias dulcis
L.

Spondias dulcis or Ambarella, (and its alternative binomial, Spondias cytherea, Malay Apple), Golden apple, is an equatorial or tropical tree, with edible fruit containing a fibrous pit. It is known by many names in various regions, including Pomme cythere in Trinidad and Tobago,[1] June plum in Jamaica,[1] Juplon in Costa Rica, Jobo Indio in Venezuela, Caja-manga in Brazil, and Quả Cóc in Vietnam.

Contents

Description

This fast growing tree can reach up to 60 ft (18 m) in its native homeland of Melanesia through Polynesia; however, it usually averages out at 30 to 40 ft (9–12 m) in other areas. Spondias dulcis has deciduous, “pinnate leaves, 8 to 24 in (20-60 cm) in length, composed of 9 to 25 glossy, elliptic or obovate-oblong leaflets 2 1.2 to 4 in (6.25-10 cm) long, finely toothed toward the apex” (Morton 1987). The tree produces small, inconspicuous white flowers in terminal panicles, assorted male, female. Its oval fruits, 2 ½ to 3 ½ in (6.25–9 cm) long, are long-stalked and are produced in bunches of 12 or more. Over several weeks, the fruit fall to the ground while still green and hard, turning golden-yellow as they ripen. According to Morton (1987), “some fruits in the South Sea Islands weigh over 1 lb (0.45 kg) each”.

Habitat

Native to Melanesia through Polynesia, S. dulcis has been introduced into tropical areas across the world. The species was introduced into Jamaica in 1782, and, among other places, is also cultivated in Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and also from Puerto Rico to Trinidad, and Sucre east, in Venezuela. Although the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) received seeds from Liberia in 1909, S. dulcis has yet to become popular in America.

Uses

Spondias dulcis is most commonly used as a food source. Its fruit may be eaten raw; the flesh is crunchy and a little sour. In Indonesia and Malaysia, S. dulcis is eaten with shrimp paste (a thick black salty-sweet sauce, called hayko in Chinese Southern Min dialect). It occurs as an ingredient in rojak. It may also be juiced, and goes then under the name "umbra juice" in Malaysia, or balonglong juice in Singapore.

Alternative food uses include cooking the fruit into a preserve, similar in consistency to apple butter, sauce flavoring, soups, and stews.

In Fiji, it is used to make jam.

In Samoa and Tonga it is used to make otai.

In West Java, its young leaves are used as seasoning for pepes.

In Vietnam it is not considered as a regular "table" fruit, just a snack. It is consumed unripe, like green mangoes, sliced and dipped in a mixture of salt, sugar and fresh chili, or in shrimp paste. Another recipe favored by children is to macerate in liquid, artificially sweetened licorice extract.

In Jamaica it is mostly considered a novelty especially by children. The fruit is peeled and sprinkled with salt. The sourness and saltiness provide amusement. The fruit is also made into a drink sweetened with sugar and spiced with some ginger.

Vernacular names

References

  1. ^ a b Davidson, Alan, and Tom Jaine. The Oxford companion to food. Oxford University Press, USA, 2006. 805. Print. Retrieved Aug. 09, 2010, from [1]
  2. ^ But pomme Tahitienne can be used for the French Malay apple.

External links


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