babaco, also called mountain papaya, is native to Ecuador.
is believed to be a natural hybrid of the papaya and
is unique because it is distinctly five sided. Babaco
grow to about eight to twelve inches long and four inches
in diameter, are juicy, seedless and have a flavor described
as a cross between pineapple, papaya and strawberry.
are grown on a small scale commercially in New Zealand
and the Middle East.
Babaco, is a hybrid cultivar from northwestern South
America and is a hybrid. It can grow at high altitudes
(over 2,000 metres), and is cold-tolerant. The babaco
is classified as a herbaceous shrub like the pawpaw
or papaya but unlike papaya it produces only female
flowers. The babaco can produce from 30 - 60 fruits
annually. The babaco plant has an average life span
of about eight years.
is a small unbranched or sparsely branched tree reaching
5 - 8 metres tall. The fruit differs from the related
papaya in being narrower, typically less than 10 cm
in diameter. The babaco fruit is seedless and the
smooth skin can be eaten and is said to have a taste
of strawberry, papaya, kiwi and pineapple. The fruit
is pentagonal in shape, therefore giving it the scientific
name of Carica Pentagona.
the papaya, the babaco is grown for its edible fruit
and for its fruit juice. Cultivation away from its
native range has been successful as far south as New
Zealand, and north to Guernsey.
article is from Chef James Ehler of Key West, Florida.
is a webmaster, cook, chef, writer and (like me) a self-confessed
computer nerd. He is the former executive chef of Martha's
Steak & Seafood Restaurant and the former Reach Hotel
(both in Key West), the Hilton Hotel in Fayetteville,
Arkansas, and the New Bern Golf and Country Club, North
is now webmaster and cook at the Blue Heaven Restaurant
in Key West while he works on his Food Encyclopedia
(five years so far). It is well worth paying a visit
to James' food reference website which is a useful resource
well worth Bookmarking - to visit either website just
click on their title:
Food Reference Website
Blue Heaven Restaurant, Key West, Florida
you want to contact James just email him by clicking
James T. Ehler, 2001
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