Monkey Orange (Strychnos spinosa)
The small to medium-sized fruit tree is indigenous to South Africa. The green grapefruit-sized fruit is round with a very thick woody skin, changing to a warm yellow color as it ripens. It needs to be whacked pretty hard (think coconuts) to be opened, but it's totally worth it! Inside, the thick yellow creamy pulp has a strong and sweet aroma with a SUPREME FLAVOR. African Monkey Orange fruit tastes just like bubble gum and cream soda! It's pretty cool. Due to the thick skin, this fruit has an incredible shelf life.
Monkey Orange trees have various traditional and medicinal uses in their native regions. The wood of can be used for carving and timber; the bark, root or unripe fruit may be used as an anti-venom (due to the possible presence of strychnine). A poultice of the leaves may also be used as a natural insecticide against aphids and scale insects, and so on.
This tropical deciduous fruit tree really blew our minds when we stumbled across it in an old rare fruit park in our hometown. A friend had mentioned there was a really unique fruit tree in the area so we went out on the hunt. At first, it's attractive growth pattern and glossy flaky bark caught our attention. And then we saw the fruit everywhere! All over the tree and ripe fallen fruit resting in it's shade.