Friday, October 8, 2010

Elephant Apple, the wonder fruit!

I had wondered in my childhood how an elephant could digest the contents of a fruit without breaking its hard shell. My sisters had informed me about this that elephant swallows the entire fruit, and after digestion we could see the whole fruit intact in its dung - but without its contents! It explains well about the great digestive power of the animal but it may be an exaggeration. OK. What is that fruit?

Elephant Apple (Monkey Fruit, 'Vilaam pazhlam' in Tamil)! This fruit is borne on an unique tree (Limonia acidissima). It is greenish brown in color and is about 7cm in diameter. It has a woody cover and contains thick, brown pulp with seeds. The pulp is sour or sweet in taste and we relish it after mixing it with brown sugar. It is also used for curing various ailments. It is particularly used in dysentery.

The tree is found native in many countries of South East Asia. It is a tall tree having aromatic leaves. The bark of the tree gives the cosmetic powder called 'Thanakha'. My sisters used this powder that was then imported from Burma (Myanmar), to enhance their facial color!
This wonder fruit that wondered me since my childhood enchants me still when it is available in the market as a seasonal fruit!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i too love this fruit it is of great taste and i add white sugar to it.

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