Smooth yet tangy, the rollinia has lemony overtones and a soft, creamy texture. A medium sized, heart shaped yellow fruit with white flesh, studded with large shiny black seeds, it appears at markets in the Australian wet tropics, usually in November.
Because it is one of my
favourites I am sure to line up at tropical fruit stalls the moment these
gorgeous fruits appear. Unfortunately, the fruit does not travel well so
it is unlikely that you will encounter it in Australia anywhere except in
A relative of the custard apple, it has a similar appearance to that fruit but a much softer texture and less sweet taste.
Native to the Amazon rainforests the fruit is very happy growing in Northern Australia in areas of high rainfall, but, as mentioned, it is unlikely to become a large commercial crop because it is easily bruised.
So, if you are planning a holiday to North Queensland in the leadup to
the Wet season, savouring the delights of rollinia and other rare tropical
fruit is one added attraction!
This tropical delight has the best taste when at room temperature, or just cooled for half an hour or so in the fridge.
I cut the fruit in half or quarters, depending on size, then eat it as I scoop the flesh out with a spoon, avoiding the seeds.
It can also be served in wedges in a fruit platter or used as a delicious ingredient in ice creams.
Why not ask the experts from Cape Tribulation Exotic Fruit Farm (now Wildwood)? It seems that the trees will only grow in well drained soil in areas of heat and high humidity, so Cape Tribulation, on the ocean, North of the Daintree River, is in an ideal location.
Because it is fast growing and only takes a couple of years to bear fruit the tree is attractive to back-yard growers in the coastal regions of North Queensland. It seems able to tolerate a variety of soil types so would seem to be an uncomplicated tree to grow, given the right climate.
Its relatively shallow roots, hence sensitivity to strong winds, would guide growers as to precise planting locations. Although most trees seem to grow to great heights they will also grow, from seed, in large pots.
I think that I feel a gardening experiment coming on!