Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Koke hudi

One of the pleasures of moving to a new country is trying all the wacky new fruits they have on offer. Here's my latest discovery: koke hudi.

Hudi means banana but, unless you live in Timor where the bananas are actually red, they bear little resemblance to your everyday banana. I have no idea what koke means... From the outside they look like large kidney beans, or perhaps small red fejoias, but on the inside they've got these big, black, hard seeds covered in modest amounts of slightly tart, sweet flesh. The fruits they most resemble to me are custard apples, or perhaps small passion fruit with inedible seeds. More tart than a custard apple or an Asian passion fruit (with the yellow skin and grey flesh), sweeter than an Australian passion fruit (with the purple skin and yellow flesh).

I've been reading a lot of Jared Diamond recently and I can't really say I wonder why these things haven't spread beyond the borders of Timor... They're tasty, sure, but getting the flesh from the seeds takes some real labial gymnastics and there's really not that much of it. Over the last hour I've eaten about five of them and all I have to show for my efforts are some tired lips and probably about 4 cubic centimetres of koke hudi flesh. If I were a hunter gatherer in Timor thousands of years ago, I probably wouldn't waste my time on these.

I've been trying to think of better ways to use up my stash. Custard apples suffer from a similar problem (though the amount of flesh coating your average custard apple seed is substantially larger than you get off a koke hudi), and they manage to make juice out of those. Does anyone know how they separate the flesh from the seeds to make custard apple juice? Wikipedia tells me that custard apple seeds are poisonous (as are many fruit seeds) so I'm not quite ready to throw a bunch of them seeds and all into the blender...

1 comment:

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