Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Versatile June Plum

The Plaza Chronicle - Mystery Fruit episode

Well, I have a treat for you. Today, for the first time I saw June Plums in the Plaza. Do you know what a June Plum is? Well, the proper name for it is ambarella spondias dulcis ambere. It is a Caribbean fruit and is found in Jamaica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and several other countries. Depending on who you ask or where they come from, Ambarella Spondias is called by different names. Jamaica, I was told is the only country that calls it June Plum. In Trinidad for example it is called Pommecythere, in Barbados it is Golden Apple and there are still other names in other countries.

Like the other fruits I wrote about in The Plaza Chronicles, the June Plum is very versatile and nutritious. It boasts vitamin C, potassium and Iron. It is also said to have medicinal value for treating high blood pressure, diabetes, heart conditions and urinary troubles. The fruit is sweet when ripen to a golden yellow color. The unripened fruit can also be eaten but they are mainly used in a variety of cooked dishes.

The leaves of the June Plum tree is also edible and is commonly eaten in South East Asia.
I bought 4 June plums; two yellow, a second partially yellow and the other one green skinned. I washed the yellow June Plum first and worked my way to the others. It was very firm. I peeled very close to the skin because it is a small fruit, I didn't want to waste too much.

It has a very light yellowish to white tinge flesh. You can't cut through it because it has a prickly core. The spikes or pricks, I am not sure what to call them, comes about half way through the flesh of the plum. It has a very lovely smell, very inviting. I was able to bite into the plum, and got close to the spikes but they were soft. I understand that the pricks can be hard and could cause some damage to your gums. The plum was sweet with a potato like texture.

I ate all around to get the flesh off. Out of curiosity, I bit into the core, very gingerly, no harm done. In fact I was able to get some more flesh from within it. I quite enjoyed the June Plum. Not bad at all. It could become a favorite. but I am not so sure that they are plentiful or available in these parts. I peeled the slightly yellow one and went through the same steps. It was more tart or acidic than the very yellow one but still good. The very green one was really tart. They needed some salt or sugar to go down. I guess those are indeed best for cooking

The green plums are used for salsa, salads, chutney, pickled, Jellies, drinks and other recipes.

I guess I could buy the prepared ones to enjoy when I want.

This has really been a very eventful and educational summer strolling through The Plaza. Let's see what's next to discover!

Please share your thoughts and experiences with June Plums with us. If you havent tried them, go out and get some!

1 comment:

Bryan said...

I Live in Jamaica where Juneplums are almost everywhere. I enjoy it especially the ripe ones. We eat them green as well. The children love to have them with salt which because of osmosis creates a salty juneplum juice. Today I made a smoothy with ice, juneplum, honey and sugar and it was scrumptious. by doing this it created a curious me to search for the medicinal value of june plum. B.S