You learn something new every day. Isn’t that the saying? Well I learned something new about the local fruiting bush, cocoplum. The inner seed is edible! Did you know?
So let me tell you the story: it all started this morning when I set out on my morning jog, which have been few and far between since I joined Sirenian Bay’s fancy gym and lost all motivation to slog along the hot pavement anymore. But! This morning was quite cool and cloudy so I hyped myself up for a good hard workout… I only made it up to the ice house (not even out of the village!) before stopping to chat with Amanda for a few (dozen) minutes. After that it was hard to really get in the zone and my eyes kept wandering and my feet kept slowing down.
I stopped two more times to politely question a gentleman that was foraging some leaves on the side of the road. He was making a tea to treat diabetes (more on that in a future post). Many locals, maybe the majority of Belizeans, use ‘bush remedies’ on a regular basis either as their primary treatment or in conjunction with modern medicine and practices. I find this fascinating and I’m always inquisitive about the uses of local herbs and medical plants. I one-hundred-percent believe you can create a superior treatment by blending modern medicine and traditional healing practices. I’ll have to write about the weekend I overcame Dengue Fever with papaya leaves and Tylenol, but if you want to read more about my shallow dive in to bush medicine read these posts about foraging: Apocalypse Prepping in Placencia (for dummies) part 1, two and three
The second time I jogged up upon this poor man and accosted him with questions he was just gathering a few cocoplum to snack on. Oh. Psshh. Yeah, well, I know about cocoplum… or do I? For some time now, I have known you can eat cocoplum’s little marshmallow-like fruit. It’s easy pickings for the local kids just like craboo and seagrapes and it’s by far my favorite fruit to forage (aside from mangoes, they’re a whole separate category) with its mild flavor and pillowy texture. But did you know you can eat the seed inside?! I didn’t until this nice man informed me and holy smokes- it’s so good!
The pit inside the cocoplum’s flesh has a thin tough shell but bite it open for the seed inside and you’ll enjoy what is basically an almond! That’s exactly what it tastes like- a raw almond. Who knew?! I excitedly jogged back in to the village with a few cocoplums securely clutched in my sweating hand. I saw Amanda still standing outside the ice house and told her about my fantastic discovery. She didn’t know either but Warren Garbutt (of Sunnyside Tours and the Placencia Village Council) did know and he told me you can also stew them with sugar as an alternative to eating raw.
*Placencia Pro Tip: if you’re looking to forage some cocoplums of your own there’s plenty growing along the road near the airstrip, before the curve to Mariposa Resort
Additional RealLifeRecess reading on tropical fruit: