Achachas are small tropical fruits with vibrant orange skin that look similar to a loquat. But are they worth eating? We bought a bag of them to get the answers. If you’d like to know what an achacha tastes like, then keep reading. You’re about to discover this fruit’s flavor, texture, and uses in the kitchen.
What do achachas taste like?
The achacha has white flesh that’s sweet and juicy with a subtle sour, sherbet-like undertone. It is an exotic fruit that tastes similar to a lychee, feijoa, or mangosteen. Chilling the flesh for 2-3 hours will sharpen the flavor.
Its peel is firm and smooth but isn’t edible. Once removed, a citrusy aroma envelopes the senses. Achachas have one or two seeds that are woody and should be discarded.
Is the achacha worth buying (or growing)?
The good: Our Cuisinevault team enjoyed what the achacha had to offer. The flesh is fruity and juicy – we all all enjoyed its taste. It is sweet but there’s also a tartness which makes the fruit especially enjoyable to eat. There are no unpleasant aromas or surprising flavors to catch you off-guard.
The bad: Let’s cut to the chase, there’s not enough fruit on them. Although a single fruit looks a decent size, there is a large seed in the middle. When you allow for the thick skin, there’s only a small amount of edible flesh.
To make matters worse, a small section of the stone tends to break in your mouth, making it harder to eat. We found ourselves in an awkward position; the fruit was delicious, but there wasn’t enough so we found ourselves scoffing them down in the hope of getting more.
As a side note, the prep work for getting enough pulp to make any dessert would require some serious legwork!
The verdict: They’re a delicious fruit and if you’re considering growing a tree at home then you’ll be popular with the neighbors.
Buying them from a store isn’t cheap unless you’re in a tropical part of the world where they’re growing everywhere. For the rest of us, they’re often marketed as a “boutique fruit”, and are quite expensive. When you factor in that most of the fruit gets tossed out, it works out expensive.
Longans or lychees are better value for money and also taste delicious.
How to eat an achacha
Eating an achacha out of hand is easy and doesn’t require a knife.Here are the simple steps to open one, although we’re sure you’d work it out yourself within seconds.
- Push your thumbs into the skin at the mid-section of the fruit.
- Once you break the skin, use both hands to twist each side of the fruit in opposite directions. The top will pop off revealing the white flesh inside.
- Remove the skin from the other side and toss the fruit into your mouth, taking care not to swallow the pit in the process.
Quick tip: The skin has a bitter, astringent, furry taste that stays on the tongue so avoid using your teeth to tear open achachas.
Achachas are popularly eaten out of hand as the peel comes off easily and there’s no need to spend time in the kitchen slicing. When you’ve had enough of eating them this way, consider the following options.
- Slice the flesh for an exotic addition to a fruit salad or garden salad.
- Puree the pulp and use it in ice cream, cheesecakes, pies, and other desserts.
- Drop a whole peeled fruit into a cocktail or flute of champagne.
- Freeze the pulp to make a healthy version of sorbet.
- The skin can be gently bruised and then infused in water overnight. Stir in a simple syrup into the strained liquid to up the sweetness.
Achachas are an excellent source of Vitamin C, antioxidants, and potassium. They also contain useful levels of folate which is good for the heart and colon, as well as reproductive health.
Unlike some tropical fruits that are high in sugar, the achacha only contains 1g of sugar per 3½ ounce (100g) serving. It contains half the sugar content of a mangosteen.
Achacha skin contains arginine, minerals, and beta-carotene. Although it is inedible, the peel can be added to drinks. In addition to offering various health benefits, the skin acts as a hunger suppressant.
Selection and Storage
When choosing achachas at the store, look for fruit with vibrant orange skin and no visible signs of damage. Although it’s fine for the skin to have small marks and blemishes, avoid fruit with soft patches or excessive bruising.
Once picked, the fruit won’t continue to ripen so you don’t have to worry too much about selecting overripe fruit.
Store achachas at room temperature in a cool part of the house. They will keep best at a temperature range of 55-59°F (13-15°C). Achachas don’t cope with refrigeration for long periods, but they’re okay chilled for a day or two.
To store achachas for several weeks, keep them at room temperature in a closed bag or container to retain the humidity.
Fast facts about achachas
- Alternative names for the achacha are the Bolivian mangosteen and the Achachairú (honey kiss). Its botanical name is the Garcinia humilis.
- The fruit grows on trees that originated in the Amazon Basin within Bolivia. They grow prolifically in tropical climates such as Southeast Asia and the northern regions of Australia.
- The fruits are round to oval in shape and grow to around 3” (8cm) in length.
- They are a cousin of the mangosteen.
Achachas are a refreshing summer fruit that are grown in the warmer parts of the world. They are great for eating freshly picked off the tree but can also be used for a variety of uses in the kitchen.
The initial sweetness that is followed up with acidity results in a well-balanced, tasty fruit that’s likely to be popular with most people. You may like to chill them before eating to help sharpen the flavor.
Although the fruit has a great taste, you may feel a little disappointed with how much of the fruit is edible. For a similar type of tropical fruit, you may find better value in lychees, longans, rambutans, or mangosteens.
What is your favorite tropical fruit? Please let us know in the comments below.