It may be the way they look, the way they move, the way they smile. It could be the sound of their voice, the scent of their cologne... and, inexplicably... the way they make you feel.
I experienced this sense of déjà vu recently, with a fruit that was entirely new to me.
|Achachairu fruits, also known as achacha in Australia.|
At first glance, the achacha - or achachairu - is like nothing else I know. Pry it open, however, and its creamy white flesh immediately reminds me of the fruit I adore and miss, one that is abundant in my home country: mangosteen, the queen of fruits.
Pop it into my mouth, and it confirms this impression - achachas are, indeed, remarkably similar to my beloved mangosteens... that same soft texture, that same beguiling taste that defies description. And no wonder, for achacha is a cousin of the mangosteen, as I found out later. Yet there are some crucial little differences. It's a little less sweet, a little more acidic. But that's not all; it even teases me with barely-there hints of duku langsat - another tropical fruit I recall with much fondness.
I like it. I like it so very much.
|A popped-open achacha.|
After purchasing and sampling my achachas, I hopped online to find out more about them. As usual, the Internet is a saviour. I am educated on the native home of the fruit (the Amazon Basin of Bolivia), and how it has been successfully cultivated in North Queensland - hence why it is now available in Australia. I also observed an alternative way to access the flesh (pierce with a fingernail, then squeeze to crack the fruit open - I had been using a knife to make a slight incision before prying them open, which works fine too). I discover that achachas are best stored at a moderate room temperature, though they may be chilled before eating if you like them cool, which I do. I learn that "achacha" is in fact an Australianised condensation of the original name "achachairu", which means "honey kiss" in the indigenous Guaraní language.
If this post has piqued your curiosity, here's what looks to be the official website for Australian grown achachas with lots of information, including where to buy. Good luck!