Having difficulties fitting your large watermelon in your refrigerators? Not anymore… 20 years ago, an ingenious Japanese farmer had solved the problem. His solution, coming up with the idea of producing square watermelon! How do they do that? By simply allowing young fruits to grow in a square boxes. The price for each square watermelon… double, or even triple that of a regular round watermelon!
A pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a fruit-bearing tree cultivated and grown in Iran and as far as the Himalayas in India since the ancient time. The tree grows up to eight m tall. The evergreen leaves are small and glossy. Flowers are orange-red. The edible fruit is about 5–12 cm in diameter with thick reddish skin. Each fruit may contain around 600 seeds. One of the “super fruits”, pomegranates have many health benefits. The pomegranate juice is very effective in relieving fevers and controlling diarrhea. The root bark is good in treating tapeworms. How to eat a pomegranate fruit? Just eat everything the seeds has to offer — pulp, juice and seeds.
A pitaya (Hylocereus Undatus) or commonly called “dragon fruit” is native to Mexico and Central and South America. A vine-like cacti with fleshy stems growing to about a few inches up to 20ft long. The white fragrant flowers bloom only at night. The red fruit is about six inches long and can weigh between 150 to 600 grams. The pulps have high water and fiber content and rich with Vitamin C. aside from a very delicious fruit, dragon fruits have other health benefits. Eating the fruit on a regular basis- be it fresh or dried, have a big effect on controlling high blood pressure and blood glucose control. It is said to lessen cholesterol. The fruit is also made into juice or wine.
The horned melon (Cucumis metuliferus), also called African horned cucumber or kiwano, is a fruit native to Africa. A vine belonging to the cucumber family, it grows to about 5-10 feet long. The stem is angular with light-green oblong-shaped leaves. The edible fruit is yellow when ripe studded with stubby “horns,” about 3 to 5 inches in length. It tastes like a mix of cucumber, kiwifruit and banana. Ripe fruits stay fresh up to 3 to 4 days and no need of refrigerating it.
The Star fruit (Averrhoa carambola) or Carambola is a tropical fruit native to the Philippines, India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. The tree is also grown in the United States, and some South American countries like Brazil, Peru, Columbia, Dominican Republic and Ecuador. The tree growing to about 5 – 7 m has smooth, soft and evergreen leaves. Pink colored flowers are borne in clusters and are about 1 cm in diameter. A Star Fruit is waxy and firm and ovate in shape. It is yellow-green in color, about 6 to 13 cm long and with 5 longitudinal ribs. A 5-pointed star shape appears when a star fruit is cut across. The fruits have a complicated flavor with the taste likened to a combination of plums, papaya, pineapples, grapefruit and lemons all at once. Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, star fruits s are best consumed when ripe.
The rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) is a tropical tree native to the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. Literally, it means “hairy”. The Rambutan is closely related to the Longan, Lychee, and Mamoncillo. A tropical tree growing to 15-25 m tall, it has 10–30 cm long, pinnate leaves. Flowers are about 2.5–5 mm long. Rambutan fruits are ovoid, reddish when ripe and covered with fleshy flexible spines. The fruit is about 5 cm long and the interior contains sweet, juicy, translucent flesh white or light pink in color.
The Ackee (Blighia sapida) is native to tropical West Africa and is Jamaica’s national fruit. It is related to the lychee and the longan. The tree growing to about 10 meters in height has pinnate, leathery leaves about 15 – 30 cm long. Flowers are fragrant and greenish-white in color. The fruit is pear-shaped, yellow-orange in color when ripens. The interior reveals soft, creamy, white to yellow flesh and contains three large black seeds. Ackee’s fruit weighs around 100 – 200 grams. Ackee fruits is a major feature in Jamaican cuisine but not all parts of the fruit is consumed. One can eat the fleshy yellow arils but not the inner red tissue. Ackee fruits have also medicinal uses: leavers, dried seeds and fruit bark are used medicinally.
The Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is a tropical evergreen tree indigenous to Southeast Asia. It grows from 7 to 25 m in height. (20–80 ft) tall. The edible fruit is round in shape, about 2 to 3 inches in diameter has thick deep reddish purple peel when ripe. The segmented, fragrant white edible flesh (aril) has sweet and tangy flavor. Sometimes called “The Queen of Fruits”, mangosteen also has medicinal uses. The skin (rind) shows anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties. Furthermore, dried prevents dysentery. A decoction of the rind (boil in water) is effective against diarrhea, cystitis, and gonorrhea.
The Buddha’s hand (Citrus medica), also known as fingered citron is a small tree with long branches; large, pale green oblong leaves, and has thorns. The fruit has a thick peel but has only a small amount of flesh. The fruit is sour, juiceless and rarely used in food. However, it is fragrant and is generally used by the Chinese and Japanese as room deodorizer. The fruit is made into candy, used in salads or food toppings.
The Santol (Sandoricum koetjape) is a tropical fruit grown in southeast Asia countries particularly; Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and India. Santol fruit has two varieties: the yellow variety and the red. The tree grows up to 20 meters tall, with elliptic leaves and yellow-green flowers. Fruits are rounded, yellowish-orange when ripe. It has thick fruit wall with edible, white, translucent, juicy pulp seeds. The tree has medicinal uses. The leaves and bark are used as a poultice. Decoction of leaves effective in lowering down fever. Also, roots are used as tonic.