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Nomad_vet up the Amazon 'Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission: to be of service to them whenever they require it.' - St Francis of Assisi

Aguaje - is it really worth the effort?

PERU | Saturday, 14 October 2006 | Views [11543]

After 5 minutes of trying to flick the red-brown reptilian like peel from an aguaje fruit, a peruvian woman frustrated with my ineptitude grabs it & descales it rapidly with her thumbnail. I am grateful but secretly hope that she has washed her hands today. And underneath is an inedible giant seed thinly covered with 3mm of bright orange flesh. Using my teeth I scrape the vaguely tangy butterish but stringy flesh from the seed. The taste does nothing for me but the palm fruit is incredibly popular amongst jungle folk in Iquitos & all along the Amazon River. Aguaje has inspired favourite treats such as aguaje flavoured yogurt treats & icecream - aguaje, milk & LOTS of sugar. I'm not a convert & I puzzle over why a fruit that gets orange goop under your fingernails & clearly requires more caloric energy to peel than it provides, is so popular. Local lore says that aguaje is rich in female hormones (oestrogens) & has caused the female population of Iquitos to outnumber men 5 times to 1. If a pregnant woman eats this fruit her unborn child will surely be a girl. Men are warned that occasional tasting of aguaje is ok, but over indulgence will result in the sprouting of breasts!

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