Malayalam megastar Mammootty can be credited for introducing the sundrop fruit to most of the Keralites. After a photo of the popular actor harvesting the fruit cultivated on his house premises went viral on social media, several Keralites sat up and took notice.
The bright orange-coloured fruit is delicious, and is a flavoursome welcome treat for guests. As it is a small tree that only grows to a height of less than 10-12ft, it can be cultivated in the courtyard and in large grow-bags. Those who love fruits can boldly pick these for cultivation at home.
Sundrop, which is also known as Guayabilla, starts blooming in the third year. The scientific name of the fruit, which is native to Brazil, is Eugenia Victoriana. Though it is related to fruit-bearing tree Araza Boi, these are two different trees, the farmers say. The tree can be grown anywhere in Kerala as the soil condition is suitable for its cultivation.
As it is less sour in taste and sweeter than Araza Boi, the sundrop fruit is used to add delectable flavours to dishes. Colombians make use of the sundrop juice to add flavour to the alcohol.
The aromatic fruit is mainly consumed as juice. It is better to store it as syrup and can be diluted enough to get up to 7 glasses of juice from one fruit. It also tastes better this way.
As the sundrop has twice more Vitamin C than oranges, some people consider it as a substitute for the passion fruit.
(These are the photos of sundrop fruits cultivated at the premises of a young farmer, Manu, at Poonjar in Kottayam. Phone - 9447129137)
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