achacha-13ACHACHA  Garcinia humilis (previously known as Rheedia laterifolia)

Other names:  Achachairú, a Guraní Indian term which translates as “honey kiss”

History:  Originated in tropical rainforests of Amazonian Bolivia, South America, now grown in North Queensland

Shape:  Round to pear-shaped

Weight / size:  40-90gms / 4-6cm in diameter, 6-8cm long

Colour:  Orange skin which is firm and protective but easy to open (see below);  pearly white flesh which separates easily from skin.  One or two seeds, depending on size.

Taste:  Subtle delicate sweetness followed by lemony tart flavours

Buying:  The Achacha is picked ripe, and doesn’t ripen further on storage.  Skin may have slight colour variations and or small bumps which do not affect the taste. 

Storage:  Chill in crisper unit (5-7°C ) before eating fresh or if planning to eat within a few days; wrap in newspaper if planning to leave it in fridge for a longer period;
It should last for many weeks at 12-14°C – but this temperature is not easy to find in a domestic environment!
 At room temperature, 15-25°C, it will decorate your home and last a couple of weeks; 
In a dark container, it will last for several weeks; 
Frozen in or out of its skin, it will last for months but should be consumed as it thaws.

As the fruit ages, it begins to wrinkle from the stem, but still retains its excellent, unique flavour; cool in fridge and serve out of its skin.

Preparaton:  To open, lightly pierce skin on circumference with thumbnail or a knife, and squeeze in the opposite direction; the skin will readily fracture around the circumference revealing the pearly white flesh.  Then either eat direct from the skin, or take the flesh out with a spoon. 

Serving:  It contains less than half the sugars present in other comparable “special” exotic fruits, so can be consumed fresh in large volumes as a snack – as it is in its original Amazonian environment. It is best eaten chilled. It can be served fresh as a palate cleanser between courses, or as a dessert in its half-skin, or with other fruit. The pulp with seed can be frozen and added to a sparkling wine, then consumed – both the wine and the pulp benefit from this process!

The pulp can be separated from the skin and seed and made into a delicious sorbet, into a jam, a paste, or added to sauces which are often served with seafood.

The skins, blended with water and with a little sugar and mint, make a delicious drink. Traditionally in the Amazon a similar drink has been used for centuries as a hunger suppressant. 

The whole fruit, frozen, can be kept for many months; it makes an instant dessert which just requires a few minutes on the table before it is ready to open and eat as a natural sorbet.