Here on the Swahili Coast of Tanzania you find fruits that are more than rare or totally unknown in Europe, e.g. Jackfruit (green fruit with spikes and up to 10kg heavy), which produces a huge mess if you don’t know beforehand, that the white stuff is better than any glue you can buy.
Or the Cherimoya (or Custard Apple), which is small and green and also spiky and also easier to handle if you have time (and you do have time in Tanzania) to take out all the little black seeds and make it as a parfait or a nice ragout for desserts.
But of course there are also the fruits that are less known like Baobab seeds (you know, from these huge Baobab trees), which are great together with Vanilla in a juice.
And then there are the ingredients, from which we don’t know the names in anything besides Swahili and which even most of the locals don’t know what to do with them and are surprised to see them used in the kitchen of a lodge. Some examples here are Tonga (see picture) or Bungu (looks a bit like passion fruit, but is really sour – lemon is nothing compared to Bungu).
The worst is the Bibo, this is the fruit (not the nut) of the Cashew, which looks a bit like an apple. I tried to make it into a juice or as a cocktail, to cut it into thin slices and bake caramelized chips – the problem stays the same: it’s impossible to get rid of this floury taste that it has. The only option that I know of is to produce beer from it like the locals do – but well, come on, I am a chef, not a German beer brewer. If you know of anything that could help get rid off this floury taste or have any idea, you’re more than welcome to post them… Cheers!