The Peach-Palm tree

Pupunha (Peach-palm) is a species of palm native to the tropical forests of the South and Central America. The fruit is a drupe with an edible pulp surrounding the single seed. The outside of this wild palm can be red, yellow, or orange when the fruit is ripe depending on the variety of the palm.

The fruit of the palm is well known by the native population where it grows, and it has been used for centuries as food (mainly by the pre-Colombian native population). The fruit is frequently stewed in salted water and had for breakfast. However, it may be eaten raw, peeled and dressed with salt and honey, used to make compotes and jellies, or also used to make flour and edible oil. According to the Come-se blog (in PT), it tastes like a mix of corn with pine-nut, so while it may be popular, I have yet to discover why.

This plant may also be harvested for heart of palm, and has commercial advantages in being fast growing. The Brazilian domestic market for heart of palm is about five times bigger than the external one.

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