One of the best aspects of living in the Caribbean is the wide variety of fruits that grow across the islands. Barbados is no different; while many of the fruits might not be indigenous to the island, some are still locally grown and harvested on the island. This article will present some of the most popular of these fruits.
Ackees grow in bunches on very large, slow growing trees. The outer layer of the ackee is green, resembling the outer green layer of limes. However the outer layer of the ackee is much more tender than that of the lime, as the fruit can be easily bit into. The fruit on the inside of this layer is a light peach in colour, and has a very tangy taste. Ackees usually come into season during the summer in Barbados.
- Bajan Cherry
The Bajan cherry is a bright red fruit that can handle periods of prolonged drought. It contains 3 triangular-shaped stones beneath the outer red layer, with a pulp that is said to contain 32 times the amount of Vitamin C as orange juice. This fruit has tremendous health benefits and can be eaten straight from the tree by sucking the red outer layer from the fruit’s stones. Bajan cherry can be used to make jellies, jams, and juice.
Like the Bajan Cherry, dunks can be eaten straight from the tree. They range in colour from green (very young) to yellow, to orange-brown (when fully ripe) and can be incredibly sweet, or incredibly acid, depending on the ripeness of the fruit. They typically are in season from December through to February in Barbados.
- Fat Porks
Fat pork trees are a coastal species that typically grow on rocky headlands and gullies in Barbados. The skin of the fat pork ranges from pink to purple in colour and the fruit has an ovoid shape. The flesh of the fruit is white, cotton-like and relatively flavourless but it is the texture of the fruit is the main attraction for most persons.
Grapefruit is a citrus, acidic fruit resembling the orange. However, grapefruits are slightly bigger in size than oranges and vary in colour as they are usually green, yellow or bright orange, while inside the fruit is generally reddish in colour. Grapefruit can be eaten as is (after peeling), but as with many of the fruits in Barbados can be used to create juice.
Mangoes are one of the most popular fruits in Barbados, enjoyed by Barbadians, old and young. Mangoes are available in a variety of colours including green, yellow (and sometimes both) but when fully ripe, they tend to be bright yellow or orange in colour. The inner flesh is orange and the fruit is very juicy. Mangoes can be peeled and cut into pieces and eaten, but most prefer to eat it directly off the seed.
- Sea Grapes
As implied by the name, sea grapes are grown near the coastline and are commonly found close to many of the beaches across Barbados. Sea grapes resemble dunks in shape and size (and sometimes colour as sea grapes are at times green) but are different in taste. Sea grapes are purple in colour when fully ripe and are sweet to the taste.
Soursops are very unique in that they do not have to be left on a tree to ripen. These fruits are usually picked just before they ripen, if not they will usually fall off the tree and soil. The fruit is covered by a green, prickly outer layer and inside, the flesh is white and pulpy, with small black (and inedible) seeds. The fruit has a great blend of a sweet and acidic taste, and is used to make the very popular soursop punch.
Tamarinds are among some of the most versatile fruits in Barbados. It is a very acidic fruit that grows inside a brown outer shell. It can be eaten as is, or can be made into juice, syrup and sweet treats such as tamarind balls and tamarind paste (sometimes also called tamarind syrup).
Watermelons are the only fruit on this list that grow from a vine that runs along the ground. Although they take a long time to produce fruit, when they do, they are one of the tastiest fruits to have. Watermelon skin is green in colour, but different species have different types of green (dark green, light green or light green with dark green strips). Beneath the outer skin, the flesh of the watermelon is red, with edible seeds. Watermelons, as the name implies, are very watery but sweet to the taste.
So, if you are ever visiting the island of Barbados, we highly recommend that you try any or all of these amazing fruits!
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