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Thai Wax Apple
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Thai wax apples are small to medium in size, averaging six centimeters in length, and are oblong and bell-shaped with a bulbous, blossom end that slightly puckers in the center. The smooth skin ranges from purple, red, to pale green and has slight ribbing and a light sheen resembling a wax coating. The flesh is white with a spongy and airy weave and a high water content. There is also a large seed cavity in the center that may contain a large dark brown seed. Thai wax apples are slightly crunchy and juicy with a light, sweet flavor similar to an Asian pear.
Thai wax apples are available in the spring.
Thai wax apples, botanically classified as Syzygium samarangense, develop in clusters on a large tropical tree that can grow up to eighteen meters in height. Despite the name, Thai wax apples only resemble an apple in color and skin texture and are actually a berry. Also known as water apples, wax apples, rose apples, wax jambus, lianwu in Chinese, chomphu in Thailand, and jamalac in French, Thai wax apples are predominately found in Asia and are a popular backyard tree. A mature tree can produce up to seven hundred pounds of fruit in a single crop, and Thai wax apples are typically consumed fresh as a juicy snack.
Thai wax apples have been found to contain oleanolic acid which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Thai wax apples are best suited for both raw and cooked applications but are most commonly consumed fresh, out of hand with the core removed. When consumed raw, they can be served with salt or sugar for added flavor or sliced and added to salads. They can also be sautéed, boiled, and preserved for sauces, or used as a topping that can be served over ice cream, pancakes, and French toast. Thai wax apples pair well with onions, garlic, chilies, mint, lemon, fennel, sharp cheeses, and greens such as romaine and spinach. Thai wax apples will keep for a couple of days when stored in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place.
Called "Black Pearls" in Taiwan, the darker, purple-black Thai wax apple variety is the most prized variety in Asia for its sweet flavor and deep color. In addition to the fruits, the bark, leaves, and roots of Thai wax apples have also been used medicinally in Malaysia for thousands of years to help reduce symptoms of swelling, itching, and cracked tongue. The flowers are used in Taiwan as a remedy to help reduce symptoms of fevers and irregular bowel movements
Thai wax apples are native to Bangladesh, Philippines, India, Malaysia, Samoa, and Indonesia and were spread by explorers to tropical regions around the globe. Today Thai wax apples are found at local markets in Asia and can also be found in select parts of East Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States.
Recipes that include Thai Wax Apple. One is easiest, three is harder.
|The Baker Within||Otaheite Apple Tart|
People have spotted Thai Wax Apple using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
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