Wooden apples appear to be small coconuts, averaging 5 to 12 centimeters in diameter, and have a tough, woody, white-light brown shell with a tough consistency much like tree bark. The rind additionally has a small gap on the high of the fruit the place it was as soon as related to the tree, the place it emits a pungent, buttery aroma typically likened to blue cheese. It’s practically inconceivable to find out the ripeness of the fruit simply by look alone. To check for maturity, the fruit is dropped on the bottom from a peak of about one foot, and if the fruit bounces, it isn’t ripe. The pulp or flesh of the Wooden apple is ivory when immature, transitioning into orange-brown or darkish brown with age. When the rind is cracked open, the flesh has a sticky, mealy, and creamy consistency. Contained in the flesh are edible, crunchy, white seeds and the occasional fibrous string. Wooden apples have a posh candy, bitter, and acidic taste, harking back to tamarind, eggnog, raisins, and sharp cheeses.
Wooden apples can be found within the late summer season by means of winter or post-monsoon season in Asia.
Wooden apples, botanically categorized as Limonia acidissima, are hard-shelled fruits belonging to the Rutaceae household. There are two styles of Wooden apple; the bigger, extra frequent selection and a smaller selection recognized for its acidic nature, discovered all through Asia and Southeast Asia. Wooden apples are particularly favored in India and Sri Lanka for his or her distinctive taste and purifying properties. The pungent fruits are additionally recognized by many alternative names in native markets, together with Elephant apples, Monkey fruit, Ma-khwit in Thai, Kaith in Hindi, Katbel in Bengali, Gelinggai in Malaya, and Kramsang in Cambodian. It is very important word that Wooden apples are typically confused with bael fruit and could also be referred to as bael in native markets, however the two fruits are totally different species.
Wooden apples are a wonderful supply of beta-carotene, which is transformed into vitamin A within the physique to assist enhance pores and skin complexion and shield in opposition to imaginative and prescient loss. The fruits are additionally supply of riboflavin, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and comprise some vitamin C. In Ayurvedic drugs, Wooden apples are cooling, purifying fruits, believed to assist stimulate digestion and cleanse the liver and kidneys. The fruits are additionally thought of to have antimicrobial properties to assuage the throat and assist heal insect stings or bites.
Wooden apples are sometimes consumed contemporary, out-of-hand, and may be cracked open utilizing the again of a knife or crushed on the bottom. As soon as opened, the flesh is scooped and eaten as is, or it may be sprinkled with sugar for a sweeter taste. In Sri Lanka, the flesh is popularly combined with coconut milk and palm sugar to create a candy, barely acidic beverage, which is a favourite drink for decent climate. Wooden apples are additionally used to taste smoothies and shakes, blended into ice cream, or cooked into jams, chutneys, and jellies. In rural villages of Southeast Asia, immature Wooden apples are typically sliced skinny and dipped right into a sauce of shrimp paste, shallots, spices, and chile peppers. Wooden apples pair properly with citruses comparable to limes, calamondins, oranges, and lemons, chile peppers, onions, cardamom, and tamarind. Complete, unopened Wooden apples may be stored at room temperature as much as ten days or saved within the fridge for 1-2 months. As soon as opened, the flesh needs to be consumed instantly for the very best quality, or it may be frozen in a combination of lemon juice for as much as six months.
In India, Wooden apples are a well-liked fruit devoted to the Hindu deity Ganesha throughout the pageant of Ganesh Chaturthi, also called Vinayaka Chaturthi. This ten-day occasion is well known yearly on numerous dates within the fall, based on the moon calendar, and is understood for its grandiose public gatherings. Cities throughout India create non permanent shrines of Ganesha and show the shrines as a type of worship to have a good time the deity’s birthday. Ganesha is an elephant-headed deity, recognized to have over 100 totally different names, and is believed to offer knowledge, happiness, and prosperity. Through the pageant, Wooden apples are positioned on the foot of Ganesha shrines, as they’re believed to be one of many 5 favourite fruits of the god. Wooden apples are additionally organized in ornamental piles on tables in properties to supply household and mates snacks when collaborating in celebrations. The fruits are sometimes used contemporary or blended into drinks, and the shells of the fruit are used as small bowls and ashtrays.
Wooden apples are native to areas of Asia and Southeast Asia and have been rising wild since historical instances. The primary recognized reference of Wooden apples is present in “Hinduism: An Alphabetical Information,” which is a textual content courting to as early as 1 BCE. The fruit was initially thought of to be a “poor man’s meals,” however within the mid 20th century, it turned a popular flavoring, digestive help, and fruit to dedicate to deities. In the present day Wooden apples have remained a outstanding fruit present in markets all through India and Sri Lanka and are sometimes cultivated alongside roadsides and agricultural fields. The fruit bushes additionally develop properly in Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Java.
Recipes that embody Wooden Apples. One is
best, three is more durable.