Sunday, September 25, 2011

Golden Apple (Spondias Dulcis, June Plum, Jew Plum, Dew Plum, Pommecythere)

Spondias Dulcis, or more commonly known as "Golden Apple" in Grenada, is a fruit that grows in clusters of up to a dozen.  It falls from a tropical tree while still green and is characterized by its tangy sweet sour skin and fibrous pit.

The Golden apple is used both in sweet and savory dishes depending on its ripeness.  When green, the fruit is commonly eaten as is (with or without skin just like green mangoes)  with salt and other salty/spicy dips, made into salsas, chutneys, and into juices and smoothies.  When fully ripe, the Golden Apple will be deep yellowish-orange in color.  When yellow, the fruit is eaten just like an apple or stewed with sugar to make an applesauce-like dessert. Sweet and juicy with a light tang, the Golden Apple at this stage is, in my eyes, the best.  Its feel and juiciness resembles that of a mango but with completely different flavor.  

Some people are turned off by the texture of its fibers (characterizing dull spikes of some sort) and I must admit that I was one of these people at first, but the more I ate them (I bought a whole bag), the more I fell in love with its flavor.  At the end, I was willing to work around the fibers to get to the good stuff.  Be sure to try one out first before you buy a whole bag. If you're sensitive to its fibrous pit, you may end up disliking the fruit. 

I'm not fond of the skin. It's too bitter and tangy for me and you can't bite through it easily as you can with a mango, but try it out for yourself.  If you end up liking it, then score!... the skin is packed with vitamins.  If you end up not liking it, peel it off with a paring knife or peeler.  Once you peel the skin of, you will see four major fibers running down on the side. Take them off with your fingers first before eating.

To remove the seed, leave peel on for grip then peel cut it as you would a plum using vertical slices all across the circumference of the fruit.  Pull slices away from seed.  If you take the skin off first, the fruit will be too slippery for you to hold and therefore you will be unable to make slices and take the seed out, unless you eat the fruit like an uncut apple (this is how I eat it).

Links to Recipes:
sweet and spicy pickle
June Plum Juice
June Plum Chow

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