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fruit of the month: the achacha

The Achacha is a tropical fruit originating in the Amazon Basin of Bolivia and is newly available in Australia. Grown in Burdekin in North Queensland, this season’s harvest has just hit the shelves, and will be available in selected stores including Harris Farm and Thomas Dux Grocers until February.

achacha copy
The Bolivian name of the fruit is Achachairú (which translated means “honey kiss”) and is highly sought after for its unique taste and nutritional properties. A cousin of the mangosteen, Achachas are tangy and refreshing, the taste vaguely resembling that of a passionfruit although the texture is completely different.

An Achacha is egg-shaped in appearance about 4cm x 6cm, has a seed similar to a lychee and when ripe is bright orange in colour. Minor skin irregularities do not affect the quality of the inner fruit.

Nutritionally, Achachas are a valuable source of Vitamin C and Folate, as well as Potassium, Riboflavin and antioxidants. The sugar levels of the Achacha are relatively low compared to other fruits.

To eat an Achacha, score the skin with a sharp knife, squeeze the fruit and remove the skin (don’t throw them away though, as the skins can be used to make a refreshing drink – see below!). Enjoy the delicious flesh avoiding the seed. Achachas can be successfully frozen (either peeled or unpeeled) for many months.

Achachas do not ripen further once harvested. To store, Achachas can be kept at room temperature for up to a week, or for several weeks stored in the refrigerator.

Achachas
Here are five ways to use Achachas:

1.    Add sliced Achachas to a salad of rocket and toasted almond slivers
2.    Drop a peeled Achacha into a glass of bubbly.
3.    Freeze Achachas and serve as a natural sorbet (lovely as a palate cleanser between courses).
4.    Add sliced Achachas to a tropical fruit salad for an exotic twist.
5.    Make an Achacha thirst quencher, recipe as follows:

Ingredients:
Washed skins from 12 Achachas (skins can be collected and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for  up to a week)
2 litres water
1/2 cup honey or 1/2 cup raw sugar dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
Fresh mint leaves (optional)

Method:
1. Place the Achacha skins in a blender or food processor and blend with 1 litre of water.
2. Add the honey or sugar syrup and the other 1 litre of water.
3. Place in a jug and leave in the refrigerator overnight.
4. Strain the drink, and keep chilled until ready to drink.
5. Serve with fresh mint leaves if desired. You can also serve with lime wedges or add some rum for a refreshing alcoholic drink!

achacha drink

*photos courtesy of www.achacha.com.au

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8 Responses to fruit of the month: the achacha

  1. Sophie December 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    Thanks for explaining this strange fruit to us!! Well appreciated!!
    I have never seen this fruit before but now, I will be on the look out!

  2. Gail December 6, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    Hi Sophie, not sure if you would be able to find these in Belgium but let me know if you do!

  3. Helen February 12, 2010 at 8:55 am #

    Gail, Have you ever reviewed Dragonfruit? I am seeking how to tell the difference between red/pink skinned whte flesh from red/pink skinned red flesh, Before I buy the thing. ps I like the Achacha but the current price and small flesh return puts in in the cousin’s, mangosteen catagory. Lovely but too pricey.

  4. Gail February 14, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Hi Helen, no I have not reviewed the Dragonfruit – it’s not a fruit I have a lot of expertise in I’m afraid!

  5. Jayne February 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

    I love achacha! I first met this lovely little fruit at my local grocery and was taken by surprise about its versatility – the fruit has a white creamy soft texture, sweet and tangy, goes well in salad/fruit bowl/smoothies/sorbet, delicious! But the skin(shell) is my favourite part, I love the drink that made from it, usually I leave the sugar out of the recipe, it just taste so refreshing! Mangosteen does not have that versatility 🙂
    The only cons about achacha I could think of is that the seed is too big, therefore not much flesh left to eat. I usually need to cut 5 to 8 fruits to satisfy my “achacha urges”, but my partner says it just too much hassle to get to that little flesh 🙁

  6. Gail February 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    Hi Jayne, yes they are delicious aren’t they? The seeds can be a little big on occasions, but it’s a bit like eating crab or lobster – there’s a bit of work involved but well worth the effort!

  7. Effie March 29, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

    Just tasted my first one today at the Cassowary Coast Feast of Senses market day and ended up buying a bag full….cant even remember how much I actually paid for bag. For me its a cross between a mangosteen and a lychee with a sweet tang….beautiful.

  8. Gail April 16, 2015 at 1:05 pm #

    Hi Effie, yes they are a delicious fruit, quite unique!

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