Lucuma, Fruit of Peru (I)

Native fruit of Peru, lucumo is a tree that grows in the valleys up to 2500 m. Its fruit (lucuma) has a good amount of pulp mealy yellow / orange soft and pleasant taste. This natural product, from pre-Hispanic times was used by the Incas in their daily diet, has important nutritional values. In principle, it is rich in fiber, iron and carotene, three key substances for the proper functioning of the body.

The lucuma seems to be associated with the fertility in the imaginary pre-Hispanic. The realized excavations indicate that the soils where it grows are rich in components that allow the culture of a variety of food plants.

In addition, its form is sensual, plastic; easy to associate to a bosom that it nourishes. When the peduncle is cut or a fruit does not mature appears a milky liquid, then that image being reinforced.

The chroniclers of the Viceroyalty of Peru, as all those who came from beyond the sea, were feeling very few attraction for so strange fruit, a ” food of Indians “.

Jose de Acosta, studious Jesuit naturalistic that much wrote of Peru, was saying to us in 1590, on having spoken about the food of this part of the world: ” … there are situated other kinds of fruit trees and fruits more roseras, as which they call lucuma, of whose fruit they say for saying that it is a disguised wood “.

And Garcilazo De La Vega in 1609, was saying that the lucuma ” is not a delicate fruit, though it touches before in sweet that sour and bitter, and is known that it is not harmful to the health, it is a rough and rude delicacy “.

The things were changing, nevertheless when Antonio Raimondi, wise Milanese who discovered and described Peru, span to span, began, in the middle of the 19th century the reconciliation of the European taste with the perfume and the ” agreeable flavor ” of our lucuma and, a few decades later, in his Manual of Peruvian Herbalist’s, G. Moon explains to us the existence of the legendary disguised: There are several types of lucuma, ” the one that is cultivated in the gardens of the Peruvian coast has very agreeable fruits ” and others, also described for R. Franciosi in his Manual of Culture of Fruit trees, forms a trio that has to learn to live separately: the lucuma of sedates, whose flesh is soft, sweet and agreeable; the lucuma of stick, of rougher constitution, which corresponds to what Jose De Acosta and other chroniclers of the 17th century qualified as ” rude fruits “, and others between which there is the lucma (not lucuma) of the jungle.