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Lucuma


This article is about the species Pouteria lucuma, formerly Lucuma obovata; this is not the same as the species Pouteria obovata.

The lucuma (Pouteria lucuma) is a subtropical fruit of Andean origin mostly on Peru. It is sometimes known as lucmo. It is also called "eggfruit" in English, a common name also given to the closely related canistel (Pouteria campechina''). The name "eggfruit" refers to the fruits' dry flesh, which is similar in texture to a hard-boiled egg yolk. The lucuma has particularly dry flesh which possesses a unique flavor of maple and sweet potato. It is a very nutritious fruit, having high levels of carotene, vitamin B3, and other B vitamins. The round or ovoid fruits are green, with a bright yellow flesh that is often fibrous, but bears an aftertaste that some find odd and unappealing. The lucuma is native to the dry subtropical Andean coastal valleys of Peru; introduced later in other South American countries. It grows at temperate elevations, between 1,000-2,400 metres. Temperatures of its elevated native range make the species technically subtropical, even though its native region is strictly tropical. It has been grown successfully in subtropical foothills of California. Attempts at growing lucuma in Florida's climate typically fail. The largest concentration of this fruit is found in the Peruvian regions of Cajamarca, Ancash, Lima, and Ayacucho, It is grown also to a limited extent in Bolivia and Costa Rica. Fruits grown in the Peruvian highlands are considered to be of superior flavor, and are culturally revered. It grows well in most tropical regions, but is not widely favored. Within its own genus there are multiple species considered to have a superior flavor, such as the Mamey (Pouteria sapota), Abiu (P. caimito), Canistel (P. campechina), Green Sapote (P. viridis).

It has recently become popular as a dried powder flavoring, and production of Peruvian fruits dried for export is increasing on a large scale. Lucuma is a popular flavoring for ice cream in its native range, and in Peru even exceeds the demand for more globally popular flavors such as strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla.

Lucuma has been found on ceramics at burial sites of the indigenous people of coastal Peru . The Moche people had a fascination with agriculture and often chose to represent fruits and vegetables, including lucuma, in their art. Berrin, Katherine & Larco Museum. The Spirit of Ancient Peru:Treasures from the Museo Arqueologico Rafael Larco Herrera. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1997.

Taxonomy

Formerly known at Lucuma obovata, it is now considered a member of the genus Pouteria, and given the name Pouteria lucuma. It is not the species Pouteria obovata.

External links

Germplasm Resources Information Network: Pouteria lucuma

Scientific Information on the lucuma

New World Fruits Database

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Lucuma


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