Thursday, June 28, 2012

Alien Ingredient #33: Mamoncillo

Mamoncillo: What Exactly is the Point?
I was walking through the produce section of the market when these tiny, lime-looking fruits caught my eye. Yet another fruit I've never heard of, this one called mamoncillo (Melicoccus bijugatus). They are lime green to olive green in color with a skin that approximates that of a lime, albeit without any of that beautiful citrus fragrance in the rind. The skins are very thin and easy to peel off after cracking with your teeth, leaving a pulpy (in a very ripe mango kind of way) flesh that is a light orange in color. Biting into the flesh was a mistake. As you can see from the mamoncillo in cross section in the photo, it's all hat and no cowboy: there's just a tiny layer of flesh around a big, hard seed. Tony tried the seed and wished he hadn't: I've never seen somebody spit something out so fast in my life! He reports it is very bitter.

So, you're salivating wanting to know what the pulpy not quite slimy flesh tastes like, aren't you? It is sour in a tamarind kind of lemony citrus way. OK, not so wonderful. I read on the internet that people boil them to make a juice from which they make aguas frescas. Yeah, I'm going to leave that to them. It seems a whole lot more productive to make an agua fresca from tamarind or lemon or lime.

Vote: What exactly is the point?

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