What is lucuma
Lucuma is scientifically the fruit of the South American tree Pouteria lucuma or Pouteria obovata; this tall plant belongs to the Sapotaceae family and comes from Peru, Ecuador and Chile, especially from the areas of the Andean valleys; here its fruit grows and has been consumed for a very long time, since the time of the Incas. Locally it is also known as logma or lucma.
Di rounded shape, lucuma has a thin green skin, which tends to brown when ripe, and a sweet orange pulp, firm and floury. Inside we find one or two large brown and shiny seeds, smooth and rounded. It is often confused with "Eggfruit", "fruta-huevo", an egg-fruit always from South America, but it is called canistel and belongs to the same family.
Lucuma has a very particular taste, its flavor may in fact recall the orange pumpkin and according to others a cross between mango and apricot, but it is even sweeter and more intense.
Locally, especially Peruvians, they use it to enrich ice cream, cakes, smoothies or other sweet products and it is an excellent natural sweetener alternative to sugar.
Properties and benefits of lucuma
For the whim of saying that you have tasted it, or for a true passion for tropical fruits, lucuma deserves to be tried at least once in a lifetime.
Its pulp, in addition to being very good, also presents a series of considerable health benefits: it is rich in beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin B2, mineral salts and iron, which makes it a special future, indeed a real one superfoods, with antioxidant and highly nourishing power.
Lucuma also contains carbohydrates, fats, similar to avocado, and a substance called niacin which serves to regulate blood cholesterol levels. Science has also investigated its anti-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory properties cell regeneration, as reported in the Wiley online Library.
Read also Superfruit in comparison >>
Eat if you use the lucuma
Lucuma can be consumed raw, natural and pure, as it is, but it can also be cooked, which gives it a decidedly creamy and homogeneous consistency.
Lately it is found flour in many prepared for breakfast, such as "The awakening of the Buddha" and you can also buy it dehydrated and powdered, excellent to dissolve in drinks and to use as a natural sweetener.
Lucuma is not so easily found: in addition to various sites that sell it online, you are lucky if you can find it in big cities and in some ethnic shop selling South American products.
Curiosity: Be careful because, as seen before, there is also the Pouteria campechiana tree, which gives a fruit called "canistel" which is not lucuma and has a taste reminiscent of batata or American potato and sweet potato. Here is the Cookpad site that offers a series of Recetas de Lucuma, recipes in language to teach you even with Spanish!
Recommended reading: "The tree at the service of the farmer: species guide", by Frans Geilfus.
Read also Superfood, what they are >>
Photo: kaiskynet / 123RF Stock Photo