Monday, January 21, 2008

Noni fruit

A friend gave me some local fruits ... in a bag, just as I was leaving to go home. She was in hurry, too, so I thanked her and took the bag with fruits home, where I unpacked them. Most of the fruit I knew, but one was new to me. It looked a bit like a pear - or a small green mango - but with cactus like "pricks". I put it in a fruit bowl together with the other fruit.

Now, I have got to admit that I sometimes neglect my fruit bowl, since many of the fruit I get need to ripen additionally before it could be eaten.

And as I had no idea whether the fruit in question was ripe or not, or what it was (I kept forgetting to ask someone what it was and what to do with it) I left it alone for about a week. First it turned yellow from green and then the yellow started paling to almost white. Finally one morning when I was in a hurry to go to work, I sensed a vague but rather unpleasant smell in the kitchen. Sort like a cross between dirty socks ( which seemed strange, since I do not keep dirty laundry in the kitchen) and a ripening stinky French cheese (which I knew I did not have). So, like presumably all people that have another being in their dwelling, I mentally blamed it on Sweetie-the-new-kitty's as yet unknown mischief, which I did not have time to investigate further at that moment... and left.

As luck would have it (since I would have thrown the fruit, have I found the source of smell) this day another bag of fruit have been offered to whoever wanted them, and that bag smelled suspiciously like my kitchen the same morning, only much stronger and much more unpleasant. Yet, to my surprise, one of my - local - colleagues felt it at the same time as I and exclaimed happily: "oh, noni, ripe noni". Then, taking out the stinky, now almost white and almost jelly soft fruit, she added: "it is so ripe I need to put it in a jar right away." She did. Added drinking water and closed the jar (thanks heavens, since the smell started getting to me).

That way I found about noni - a fruit, originally from Tahiti, which grows also in some other tropical places, Puerto Rico included - called both a miracle of natural medicine (its juice is selling for a really pretty penny... and with a litany of health claims... at many health stores) or a "starvation fruit" (locals supposedly don't eat it unless they really, really starve) or a "stinky cheese fruit".

I did the same to my noni as my friend did, then drained a bit of the - diluted - juice, mixed it with hand pressed orange and tangerine juice and drank. The taste of the concoction was not nearly as offensive as its smell and I managed a small glass. Every morning till it ended ... waiting for health miracles, of course.

I am still waiting for any medical miracles, though... and so far not looking forward to the next gift of noni.

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