Monday, April 27, 2015

Sineguelas, We Meet Again

This one is giving me all the old feels, and some Vitamin C. BY INA AMOR MEJIA

IT  TAKES VERY LITTLE to make me happy sometimes. Gabby came back from a trip with a bag of Spanish Plums, or Sineguelas, as we call them over here---a sweet and sour fruit that I remember eating as a kid. So late that night I sat in bed eating five of them, and random memories came and went. Sineguelas are not the kind of fruit you eat everyday, you don't normally get them at the grocery or market in a big city, and you never know when you'll get them again (unless of course you've got some growing in your backyard). A little backstory...

Native to Mexico, they were brought by the Spaniards to the Philippines in the 16th century. Sineguelas grow well in the tropics and typically bear fruit in the summer.

Nutrition and Uses

Sineguelas are rich in Vitamin C, although I couldn't find research that says exactly how rich. They are also supposedly high in Calcium and Phosphorus, and amino acids like Lysine---which helps to produce antibodies for a strong immune system. The fruit is also used as a cleansing diuretic. Different parts of it are made into syrup or juice, and used as an antiseptic, a laxative or pain reliever.

Just don't eat too many in one sitting. And don't eat the seed (one in every fruit), it's apparently TOXIC. Something I learned ONLY after Gabby and I ate as much of the flesh to get as close to the seed as we could, so I could plant them. (slow clap, shake your head)

Sineguelas are hard and green, but they turn a deep purple (like eggplant) when ripe. It's best to eat them at this color, especially when the fruit gives a little when pressed. They lose that astringent taste and become fleshy, juicy and sweet (with a hint of tart). I just wash them well and eat them like this, with some sea salt.
I'm waiting for a whole bunch of them to ripen over here. How's your summer going so far?

And thanks for reading!

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