Otaheiti Apples! Yum!
You’ll see them at most major intersections, bagged by the half dozen or dozen, the plastic pricked so the fruits breathe, with bold variations of unmistakable red. Yes – its Otaheiti time!
We’re challenged to find a Jamaican who doesn’t like this fruit. It’s refreshing, juicy, sweet and filling! If you haven’t yet tried one, you’re missing out on a lot!
So where are these delicious fruits from? Research says the Otaheiti apple originated in the island of Tahiti, in French Polynesia in the central South Pacific Ocean.
Captain Bligh, the Royal Naval Officer and Colonial Governor of New South Wales, Australia brought the fruit to Jamaica in 1793. As to why the Captain brought Otaheiti here remains a mystery. But we’re very thankful that he did!
Fruits in general add fiber to our diet – much needed as we age and our digestive system need a smooth ‘motion in the ocean.’
Otaheiti apples are also a good source of vitamin C, are powerful antioxidants and a good source of calcium.
Some say Otaheiti apples are also good after exercising, as they help to hydrate and take the edge off hunger. Their juice content will add to your daily liquid intake.
It’s best to eat them as freshly picked as possible. There’s a distinct difference in the flavour of freshness versus those eaten two or three days off the tree. Otaheiti apples are not very sturdy and must be handled gently as they bruise easily . They don’t last very long in the hotter months unless they’re washed and refrigerated soon after picking.
Another option, of course, is juicing. Please don’t add sugar because it distorts the natural flavour of the fruit. And while you’re at it, why not make some icicles? The little ones (and maybe even big ones) are delightful in the heat of the day.
Those freshly picked, deep red in colour with that sweet kick can be used in ready to consume salads just like strawberries, oranges and peaches.
We’ve come across Otaheiti recipes for wine, pies and stew. Do a bit of searching if your interest is piqued and give one a try. The pie recipe could be right up the sweet tooth street!
So, go ahead, indulge in two or three delicious Otaheiti apples as soon as you get the chance. Soon the season will be over and you’ll be saying: “But I just saw some selling the other day!”