The Achacha


My father has found great pleasure in introducing strange new fruits to us in recent months. At first it was the dragon fruit, then the custard apple and possibly other fruits that I either can’t remember the English name for or only know its equivalent in Chinese. None of these such experiments have ended badly, so I suppose that’s a clean record so far.

The latest of such explorations has been the achacha, a native of the Amazon Basin of Bolivia, but now grown in Northern Queensland. Although looking somewhat like yellow-orange passionfruits, to our astonishment upon opening they look more like bananas, although the texture is nothing alike.

With thick skin, I didn’t quite believe it when my dad said that you simply had to pierce it with your nail to open it. As he says, videos on the achacha website show people opening the fruit by making a piercing with their nail before squeezing the skin apart and rotating, therefore making a clean break. Our first, inexperienced attempt was with a knife which assisted in the same effect anyhow.

The taste of the fruit is quite refreshing, though reminiscent of soap somehow, perhaps as a result of much soap being florally scented. Although generally sweet, the fruit is tangier and more sour near the seeds, as they are in many stone fruits. Although the website states there is usually one significant seed, we found two in each of ours.

Given their current price at almost $8AUD a kilogram, I have to admit it was a little disappointing about the quantity of actual edible content in the fruit. Such exotic fruits are not always about how much of it you can eat though, but what flavours you get away from it.

If you’re interested in trying this South American fruit, the time is ripe! If it’s reddish-orange. The achacha is in season from December to mid-March.

Photograph by Mel Vincent (animalsaremylife), on Flickr.