Saturday, November 26, 2011
Vernacular Name: Chulta
Botanical Name: Dillenia indica
Specimens From: Malaysia
Specimens Weight: 448 gm [15.8 oz] (average weight per fruit)
Elephant apple is native to South and Southeast Asia, from India to Indonesia.
This fruit is not a type of apple. It is usually round with a few odd bumps, a little bit like an elephant's toe. It is greenish-yellow with a hard and very thick leathery husk. So thick that there is little space left for the pulp, in relative to its size [see 2nd picture shown]. So hard and thick that you will need a big knife and a hammer to cut it into half.
When the elephant apple is ripe, it will emits a sourish smell that may not be pleasant to some, especially to those who came across this fruit for the first time. The pulp is light yellowish-brown and it is very slimy and slightly sticky. The taste is acidic to slightly sweet but is odorous. There are numerous small brownish seeds. In India, it is also cooked in curries.
Do not mix up with another fruit, "Limonia acidissima" of about the same size, which in some places are also known as elephant apple. It is entirely a different fruit and not even under the same family classification.
Fruit: Elephant Apple; Dillenia indica; Dilleniaceae.
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