Guide to Spanish Fruit
When you have spanish fruit trees it seems that the whole crop comes at once. In Autumn we are typically inundated with avocadoes and pomegranates in Granada province. So I have learnt over the years what to do with the surplus and some good recipes too.
So in this post I outline the typical Spanish Fruit I have got to know since living in Andalusia, how to prepare it and what nutritional properties they have.
What´s a Chirimoya?
Spanish name: Chirimoya or Cherimoya
English name: Custard Apple
What does it look like? It´s a large green tropical fruit. Inside it has white flesh and lots of shiny black seeds. It´s delicate and bruises easily and is in season in Autumn & Winter
How to eat it: Slice in half and eat with a spoon, avoiding the large black seeds. When overripe they are not very good. Great for smoothies.
Good for: Chirimoya have 75% water content and contain vitamin A & C. They also have potassium and antioxidants too.
They are recommended for constipation, to reduce stress and are said to be good for skin, teeth and bones too.
How to eat a Pomegranate
Spanish name:: Granada
English name: Pomegranate
What does it look like? This is a large orange or red fruit with a thick skin. Full of bright red seeds inside it´s in season from October to February. Pomegranates are grown locally, in and around Granada province.
How to eat: Slice off the top and bottom then break it into 2 halves. Scoop out the seeds and eat them. (See video below) Careful with the red juice, as the stains are really difficult to get out. Eat the seeds alone or make juice from them. Also you can add them into yoghurt or top a salad with them.
Here a great salad idea with pomegranate: Chickpea and Orange Salad recipe
Good for: They could avoid plaque build up on teeth and may even help to reduce blood pressure. Pomegranates are packed with antioxidants and high in fibre too.
Spanish name: Sharoni and caqui
English name: Persimmon or Sharon Fruit (Varieties: Hachiyas and Fuyus)
What does it look like? Caquis can be pale yellowey orange to deep red color. They look like tomatoes. In Spain they are in season in Autumn.
How to eat: With a very ripe Caqui fruit (Hachiya) just lift skin and eat with a spoon. The pulp is almost liquid, like jam and has a very sweet taste.
Unriped sharon fruit (Fuyu) can be ripened by storing in a container with alchol, such as aniseed liquor. When ripened they can be eaten sliced. (Do not eat on an empty stomach due to possible reaction with gastric juices.) The astrigent nature of unripe Sharon fruit is quite unpleasant so it best to try these fruits when ripe.
Good for: High in fibre and rich in vitamin C. Caquis may improve metabolism and the body to cope with fat storage.
Personally I recommend eating the deep red caqui fruits, They have a wonderful colour and flavour. Be careful not to stain your clothing as it´s very difficult to remove.
Name in Spanish: Membrillo
Known in English as: Quince
What does it look like? Looks like an Apple but slightly larger. They are in season in Autumn
How to eat: Great to make jams and jellies as they are high in pectin. They can be used with apples in crumbles and baked godos to enchance the flavour. They can be roasted in the oven or boiled with cinnamon for a winter dessert. They also have a pleasant perfume that fragrances your home. They are grown locally in Granada province and other areas of Andalusia.
Good for: High in fibre and antioxidants, supposed to help weight loss too
Quince Jelly is delicious with Cheese: Here’s the recipe
How to eat a Prickly Pear
Spanish: Higo Chumbo
Known in English as: Prickly Pear
What does it look like? Green orange or yellow fruits with small seeds. In season in summertime
How to eat: See how to prepare them in the video below. Once peeled eat cold from the fridge or use in smoothies.
Good for: They contain magnesium and potassium. The fruit has lots of fibre and antioxidants. Prickly pears may help to lower cholesterol
What is a medlar fruit?
Spanish: Nispero de invierno
Known in English as: Common Medlar
What does it look like? Small Brown fruit with long sepals, soft pulp inside, similar taste to apple puree.
How to eat: Chop off the top and eat the rest. In season in wintertime.
Good for: Rich in Pectin and Vitamin B & C, years ago it was a home remedy to help combat diarrhoea in children.
What is a Jujube?
Known in English as: Jujube or Chinese date
What does it look like? This reddish Brown Berry looks like an acorn. It tastes similar to an apple and is in season in Autumn
How to eat: Eat alone but be careful with the stone in the centre. Although only a short shelf life, once picked only last 4-5 days.
Good for: They are small but have lots of Vitamin C. Supposedly they can ease the stomach and help to suppress appetite
Known in English as: Avocado
What does it look like? An oval shaped fruit with green shiny skin. The flesh on the inside is pale green and has a butter like consistency when ripe. In season from November to January. In Granada province on the Costa Tropical 20 million kilos of avocados are produced each year.
How to eat: Apart from making guacamole avocadoes are also lovely in salads. Spreading avocado on toast is also a great way to liven up breakfast.
Good for: They have more potassium (per gram) than bananas and are rich in Vitamins B, E & K. They could help to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.
Quick Avocado Recipe
Choose a ripe avocado and slice it in half. The stone should come out easily.
Fill the hole with balsamic vinegar and salt. Eat with spoon.
Thanks Maya from Beyond Mañana for this tip.
Oranges and Lemons
Oranges and lemons are plentiful around this part of Spain of course. Both fruit have a very long shelf life and store well. When they are in season (Winter and Spring) I use them for eating and for a daily juice every morning. If you have surplus oranges you can also make marmalade. See the Marmalade recipe here
Of all of the fruits I get straight from the campo I don´t seem to have a favourite. Each one of them goes with that time of year. There´s nothing better than a cold chumbo on a hot august day.
Do you have lots of surplus fruit from your garden or trees?
Let me know your tricks and recipes too.