Fresh and natural
Delicious exotic fruit from Chile
From the juicy chirimoya to the sweet Chilean strawberry and the thousand properties of the maqui berry, Chile offers tasty and healthy fruit with very special flavors.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
It is very likely that the term "Chilean fruit" has already
come to your attention. In supermarkets all over the world it is possible to
find Chilean apples and grapes, but if you are in the country and want to try
something more exotic, Chile also offers
a tasty selection of fruit that would be difficult for you to find
This is an evergreen shrub with bushy
branches, small white flowers and very
small, sweet, purpley-black berries.
This fruit originates in the south of
Chile, where the Mapuche used it as a food supplement and to prepare “chicha”,
an alcoholic beverage. It also has curative features, because it helps to form
scar tissue, has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties and is one of
the most powerful known antioxidants.
In fact, many companies in Chile and other
countries have become aware of the innumerable beneficial properties of the
maqui berry, and have even called it the “super
fruit” or “superberry”. In Chile
it grows naturally and can be found in markets in the south of the country
either fresh or in jellies.
Native of the area of Los Andes, it was
catalogued by Mark Twain as “the
most delicious fruit known to man”. In Chile it can be found fresh in the
central zone of the country, mainly in the regions of Coquimbo and Valparaíso.
For this reason, if you want to taste the best chirimoyas you should go to fruit stalls and markets in cities such as La Serena or Quillota.
The plant belongs to the annonaceous
family and its fruit is rounded in shape, with a green skin. Inside its flesh
is white, creamy, soft and sweet.
In some places it is known as “custard
apple” because of its similarity to an apple, although its flesh is meatier. A
very traditional way of eating it in Chile is bathed in orange juice,
contrasting the sweet taste of the fruit with the acidity and freshness of the
citrus. This combination is called “chirimoya
alegre” (happy chirimoya) locally.
This is a shrub that grows wild in Chile.
Its fruit is oval and brilliant orange in color. It sometimes produces a
dehydrated version called “achene”, which is deeper red.
oil contained in its seeds is used to manufacture numerous cosmetic and health products. It has
multiple attributes, and it can even be used to make jellies and all kinds of
foodstuffs. For this reason, it is currently marketed in a large variety of
products, from herbal tea to skin cream.
Rose hip is mainly found in the region of
Bío Bío in Chile and represents a huge export potential. “Business Chile” data
indicate that the country accounts for 85% of international rose hip supply.
The most common way of consuming it is in jelly form, because the fruit itself is
rather dry and hard, but its juice is delicious as well as very healthy.
Although it is also found in other regions
of the world, this yellow fruit with a melon-like texture has a special taste in the area around the city of La Serena in the region of Coquimbo. A large variety of products prepared with the
fruit are offered from that city: from
juice and syrup to alcohol and candied fruit.
The papaya has a thin skin and inside it
has a sweet taste and very agreeable aroma, making it appropriate for producing
ice cream, syrup, honey, sweet beverages, candy and liquor.
It also has excellent curative properties and
is used to treat intestinal disorders such as ulcers or colon problems.
The most important feature of the papaya
is the enzyme it contains. Called “papain”,
it is the best catalyst for the digestion of proteins.
Chilean or “white” strawberry
The Chilean strawberry is a native and paler version of the traditional
strawberry, but no less sweet. In fact, some call it “pineapple strawberry” because its taste is similar to that of the
The first to try this type of berry were the Mapuche and Picunche peoples of the
central and southern zone of the country. The first European to taste it was the Jesuit chronicler Alonso de
Ovalle, who found this fruit in the countryside in the south of the
country. For this reason he baptized it Fragaria
chiloensis, or strawberry from the Chilean island of Chiloé.
It is a very juicy and aromatic strawberry that is currently cultivated
from the west of North America to the southernmost parts of Chile and Argentina.
There are red, yellow and white varieties.