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JM | Aug 4, 2022

Uncommon Jamaican fruits

Mikala Johnson

Mikala Johnson / Our Today

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Jamaica is an island filled with a vast variety of fruits, some more popular than others. As you venture out daily, if you examine your environment closely or simply go somewhere new, you are bound to discover something different and that something different may be a fruit. Here are some uncommon fruits that can be found in Jamaica.

They may resemble Guava, but those are Rose Apples!

Rose Apple

The rose apple is a small fruit that resembles guava. The fruit is usually yellow or light green in colour. The rose apple tree bears beautiful blossoms as well and sometimes the fruits are so small that, if one isn’t purposely searching for them, they could easily be missed.

Rose apples have a strong sweet fruity flavour. They are sweet and crisp, light and with a crunchy texture. The uncommon fruit can also be used to make a tasty fruit jam.

The tree typically grows quite tall but has low hanging branches, making the fruit easy to pick, and is mostly found near rivers or in forested areas. If you have been to the Blue Mountains, chances are your tour guided would have pointed out the fruit to you.

This seems about right!… Locass, Lucass and more Locass!

Locust/ Locass (Jamaican)

Locusts is a small green/greenish yellow fruit with its pulp on the outside and a small round seed on the inside. A Locust tree normally grows large with fruits that resemble berries growing in clusters. The fruits have a unique, sweet taste that just makes you want to eat more. This fruit is so uncommon that, whenever mentioned, people tend to immediately think of ‘Tinking Toe’ which is also called Locust.

Take a closer look. No, this is not Mango. This is really Mammee Apple.

Mammee Apple

The Mammee fruit is a tropical fruit that has brown, thick, coarse skin. The round or oval fruit contains a sweet, juicy, reddish or yellow flesh on the inside. The skin is very soft when ripe and you can just cut it and eat with a spoon or directly from the peel. Mammee normally grows to the size of a large orange.

The raw fruit is often served in fruit salads or with wine, sugar or cream, especially in Jamaica. In The Bahamas, the flesh is first soaked in salted water in order to remove its bitterness.

Also, people are normally warned against drinking water while eating the fruit as this will cause your tongue to become stiff. Mammee is mostly found in parishes such as Portland and St Mary.

These may look like tiny oranges, but they are actually called Kumquat or Kumquash (Jamaica pronunciation).

Kumquat/Kumquash (Jamaican)

Kumquat is a tropical fruit that is related to the citrus family, but much smaller than the common citrus fruit, hence the name ‘orange dwarf’.

This fruit is basically an orange peg in its own skin. The outside skin and the flesh found on the inside are edible. The outside flavour (the skin) has a sweetish bitterish taste while the inside flesh has a bitter, tart, tangy taste. The fruit is usually rubbed between the palms to remove some of the rind from the skin before eating it. Kumquat usually grow in clusters.

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