Ever heard of black velvet tamarind? No? okay, what about monkey kola? Still no?
Well,if you’re an African who grew up in Africa; I mean really grew up in Africa, then chances are you know these fruits but don’t recognize them by their names.
Don’t feel too bad, I personally never knew their names until a couple of months back and so here I am to share with you:
1- Black velvet tamarind: This is a very popular West African.
fruit. In Nigeria, it is known as Icheku (Igbo), Awin (Yoruba) and Tsamiyar kurm (Hausa) and few-if any- Nigerian kids grow up without sampling the tamarind
2- Jack fruit: Well, this fruit may not be as popular as the tamarind but it is definitely not a stranger. I’m sure pictures of it would clear your confusion. My first encounter with the fruit wasn’t really pretty-got put off by the smell,which is strong and horrid as far as I am concerned,but then one man’s disgust is another man’s jack fruit….and all those around me called it sycamore,well now they know better
3-Rose apple: Local apple-sounds familiar right? Well,I also spent major part of my life calling it local apple too (with gratitude to my school teachers)
June Plums – has prickly seed
4-June plum: I simply didn’t know and still don’t know any local name for this fruit,I simply called it the fruit with a nasty seed (if you’ve ever eaten one you’ll understand. The June plum is a tart popular African fruit
5-Monkey kola: Also didn’t know its local name, just knew it as the wrinkly fruit/nut, well the monkey kola is a very popular and chewy African nut (yeah,its a nut) with a taste that reminds one of more than one fruit
6-Sweet sop/ Sugar apple: encountered this fruit in southern Nigeria and all who I asked didn’t know its name or its taste (its not eaten in that locality and don’t ask me why). I still look forward to eating it
7- Costus afer: This isn’t exactly a fruit,but then which African hasn’t heard of monkey sugar cane? Yup,they’re one and the same. Costus is a leafy herb with a juicy stem-it is reputed to have medicinal attributes
8-African Star apple: A juicy,African fruit which is beautiful to look at and has adorned many an African’s plate
So,there you have it. I know there are other african fruits with less known names which aren’t included here. Feel free to mention any you know and let’s share our knowledge and tastes