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Hawaiian Mountain Apple
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The Hawaiian Mountain apple is a tropical fruit. The thin outer skin has a very waxy texture that is smooth, shiny, and very delicate. As the Hawaiian Mountain apple ripens, the skin becomes a darker shade of red, with occasional spots of pink and white. The white pulp of the Hawaiian Mountain apple offers a very crisp texture similar to jicama, is juicy and overall tart flavor with lingering sweet nuances, reminiscent of ripe pear.
Hawaiian Mountain apples are available year-round in tropical climates. The peak season in Hawaii is late summer through fall.
Hawaiian Mountain apple is a member of the Myrtaceae family, and related to the Java plum, guava, eucalyptus and Surinam cherry trees. It is botanically known as Syzygium malaccense. It is also known as Malay apple, Pomerac, Rose apple, Water apple, or Ohi’a ‘ai in Hawaiian. Hawaiian Mountain apples are known as “canoe plants,” touting an arrival to the islands by ancient Polynesians who traveled by canoe to Hawaii before the arrival of Tahitian and eventually European settlers.
Hawaiian Mountain apples are most commonly eaten fresh, out of hand. However, they have proven to be versatile in other preparation styles such as drying, pickling, made into sauces or preserves. Known to have high water content. Stewed Hawaiian Mountain apples pair well with spices such as cloves or cinnamon and go well with cream as a dessert. The skin can be cooked separately to make a deeply colored syrup to add to cooked fruits. Hawaiian Mountain apples are also fermented to make both red and white table wines in Puerto Rico.
Ancient Hawaiians considered the wood of the Hawaiian Mountain apple tree sacred and sculpted it into religious images. There are also local medicinal uses for the bark of the Hawaiian Mountain apple tree that help ease symptoms of sore throats.
The Hawaiian Mountain apple is native to Malaysia and spread throughout the Pacific Islands via Malaysian settlers. The trees grow in strictly tropical, humid climates and are cultivated from sea-level to high elevations. Hawaiian Mountain apples are grown in valleys and on mountain slopes of the lowest forest zone of the Hawaiian Islands. The pink flower blossoms and fruit sprout anywhere along the branches and on the trunk as well.
Recipes that include Hawaiian Mountain Apple. One is easiest, three is harder.
|The Little Foodie||Island Fresh Fruit Tart|
|The Little Ferraro Kitchen||Hawaiian Mountain Apple Lattice Pie|
|Rebekah’s Studio||Rebekah’s Ka’a’awa Mountain Apple Pie|