I’ve travelled a lot. My parents love travelling and realised the importance of seeing the world from an early age. They wanted my sister and I to have an appreciation of all the different things that exist in this world – people, cultures, languages, landscapes, customs and food. When we were old enough to drive, they spent the money that some parents would use to buy their children their first car on international school trips and regular family vacations to exotic tropical destinations. We were really lucky.
I guess having that sort of a background lets you know how big the world is, but also how much is out there that you just don’t know about, no matter how many things you’ve seen so far or how many countries you’ve ticked off the bucket list.
We discovered lucuma a few days ago in Lima, Peru while we were visiting the BioFeria (weekly organic produce market). Here, I felt that feeling. Almost everything I saw was new and exciting and reminded me how much there is to learn, experience and taste.
Thanks to the Amazon being so close, the ‘superfood’ section was completely unfamiliar to me. I wasn’t surprised – we are talking about a country that was cultivating quinoa domestically some 4,000 years before it became a trendy menu inclusion in most Australian eateries. Maybe I’m ignorant but what is Sacha Inchi? I’d never even heard of it before. I felt overwhelmed but excited for our upcoming adventure into the Amazon so we can understand more about the wonders of this world.
Back to the lucuma fruit. We were first introduced to this foreign beauty in the form of a deliciously decadent ball of ice cream. I was instantly hooked. I insisted we buy some of the fresh stuff to try. We found them at the organic market and man were they ugly. Our Peruvian friends (who are also our Peruvian cooking teachers – lucky us!) were deliberately picking the mushiest, wrinkliest and smelliest ones – the ones I would have thrown out a few days before.
The fruit in its fresh form is really interesting. I couldn’t put my finger on which adjectives to use to describe the flavour but I’ve had some time to think about it and Google has also helped me out. The texture resembles an egg yolk/sweet potato (the flesh is dry unlike most fruits) and its English name is ‘eggfruit’. But the flavor is where things really come to life. Its sweet and pumpkin-like with the most incredible burnt caramel aftertaste that pleasantly lasts for hours. You can’t compare it to anything else. It’s definitely best enjoyed in a dessert – have a look at our delicious Lucuma Pie Recipe.