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Mauritius – Our unusual fruits: Java plum and Carambola

At this time of the year, during your trails in the Black River Gorges or other wooded areas, you may come across small, firm, and shiny, dark purple fruits that would attract your attention. Jamun (better known as zamblon in Mauritius), or java plum, with the scientific name Syzygium cumini, native to India, grows on a jamun tree and looks like a black olive. With a tangy and sweet taste, it is eaten fresh with salt and chili in Mauritius. You will find them around markets, displayed in baskets or buckets. Children enjoy the fact that eating jamuns turns their tongues and lips blue, because of its tannin content, while mothers have to work hard to clean the soiled clothes. This small fruit plays an antioxidant role, rich in vitamins A and C, it is of great medicinal benefits.

Want to stock up on vitamin C? Our star fruits should do the trick. The carambola tree, native to Southeast Asia, grows pretty five-point star-shaped fruits with a sweet and tangy taste. When green, the fruits are used to make pickles to accompany our dishes, while the ripe, yellow ones nicely decorate our fruit salads. We also eat them cooked with sugar and chili, yes chili! Something you need to taste.

These fruits that are part of our nostalgic childhood memories are becoming increasingly rare. Many years back, we could get these fruits in our neighborhood or in “lakour” (the garden) of our relatives or friends who lived in the villages. Organic and full of health benefits, these fruits certainly deserve to be discovered and rediscovered.

NadElle

Mauritius: Our unusual fruits - Banann zinzli and banann rouz

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