Late last year while at a subtropical fruit club meeting, I noticed an unusual fruit on the table. Always willing to experiment and take seeds home to grow in pots, I decided to sow the seeds to see what would come up. To my surprise, the seeds of the Naranjilla (Solanum quitoense) germinated. Intrigued by what I saw growing, I decided to do a bit of research and found a wonderful book titled ‘Lost Crops of the Incas’.
The Spanish name Naranjilla (pronounced naar-aan-hee-ya) means ‘little orange’ and refers to its bright orange fruit which are the size of a golf ball when fully ripe. With many seeds, and a sweet and sour flavour, Naranjilla is believed to be indigenous to, and is most abundant in, Peru, Ecuador and southern Colombia (where it is known as lolo), and found at an elevation of between 1000-2500m above sea level.
Barbara looks also at:
- Uses for the fruit
A recipe for Naranjilla Slice is also provided and available here.