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Passionfruits. This exotic fruit (Passiflora species, Passifloraceae) is becoming popular in Europe, North America, and other places. With its concentrated perfume and flavoring ability, passionfruit “develops” the taste of bland drink bases such as apple juice or white grape juice. So far, all commercial developments have been based on a single Brazilian species. In the Andes are scores of other species, some of which are reputed to be superior to the Brazilian one. (Page 287)

Pepino. A large, conical, yellow fruit (Solanum muricatum, Solanaceae) with jagged purple streaks, pepino's mellow flesh tastes like a sweet melon. It is beginning to enter international commerce. Already gaining popularity in New Zealand and Japan, the delicate pepino seems destined to become a benchmark for premium fruit production. (Page 297)

Tamarillo (Tree Tomato). Inca gardens high on the mountainsides contained small trees that bore large crops of egg-shaped “tomatoes.” Today these tree tomatoes (Cyphomandra betacea, Solanaceae) remain one of the most popular local fruits. They have bright, shiny, red or golden skins and can be eaten raw or cooked or added to cakes, fruit salads, sauces, or ice cream. Their succulent flesh looks somewhat like that of the tomato, but it is tart and tangy and has a piquancy quite its own. (Page 307)

NUTS

Quito Palm. The streets and parks of the city of Quito are lined with an elegant palm (Parajubaea cocoides, Palmae) that seems out of place because Quito is one of the highest cities in the world and has a cool climate. The palm produces many fruits that look and taste like tiny coconuts. They are so popular that only early risers can find any left on the streets. (Page 319)

Walnuts. While most walnut species are natives of the Northern Hemisphere, a few occur in the Andes. They are common backyard and wayside trees, and at least one of these (Juglans Meotropica, Juglandeaceae) is a promising timber and nut tree. In New Zealand, this species has grown unusually fast for a walnut, and its nuts are of fine flavor. (Page 323)



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