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Corozo fruits are small, averaging 1 to 2 centimeters in diameter, and have a round to oval shape. The skin is smooth, taut, and thin, ripening from green to bright red, orange, or dark purple, depending on the specific variety. Underneath the surface, there is very little flesh, encasing a soft, textured shell with a fibrous, oily, and semi-dry, light brown to beige seed. When the fruit is dried, the shell transitions to a brown, yellow-orange hue and becomes hard, flaky, and tough. Fresh Corozo fruits contain high acidity, developing an earthy, fruity, and sour flavor reminiscent of sweet-tart cranberries.
Corozo fruits are available year-round.
Corozo fruits grow in colorful, long, and dangling bunches that hang from palm trees belonging to the Arecaceae family. The name Corozo is a general term used in Central and South America to describe wild, tropical fruits found on many different varieties of palms, making it challenging for scientists to distinguish between cultivars. Corozo fruits are also highly localized to their growing regions and are known by many regional names, including Mararay, Gualte, Pujamo, and Corocitos. The fruits are primarily foraged from wild trees and are sold both fresh and dried in community markets. The palms are also grown in home gardens, and the fruits are used to make sweet-tart, homemade beverages, or jams. In the modern-day, there has been a sharp decline in wild, fruit-producing palms due to deforestation, leading Corozo fruits to be considered somewhat rare in specific regions that once had an abundant supply.
Corozo fruits are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, antioxidants that strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, and boost collagen production within the skin. The fruits are also a good source of anthocyanins that contain antioxidant-like properties to protect the body against free radical damage and provide lower amounts of calcium, magnesium, iron, and vitamin E.
Corozo fruits, depending on the specific variety, are utilized in both fresh and cooked applications such as boiling and simmering. When fresh, the fruits are eaten with salt as a snack, or they can be pressed into juice and frozen to make popsicles. In addition to fresh preparations, Corozo fruits are popularly cooked into jellies, jams, and preserves, simmered into a sauce for roasted meats, or made into a syrup and used to flavor candies. The fruits can also be cooked, strained, and combined with sugar to make a sweet-tart beverage or left to ferment to create wine. In select regions of Central and South America, the seeds of some palm fruits are roasted and consumed as a snack. Corozo fruits should be used immediately for the best quality and flavor. The fruits can also be dried for extended use.
In Corozal, a town located in the department of Sucre along the Caribbean coast of Colombia, a National Corozo Festival is held in September to honor the fruit and town’s history. The annual event was established in 1993 and was created as a celebration of food, culture, and the arts. Corozal was also named after the palm fruit as the town resides on land that was once covered in wild palms before the arrival of Spanish colonizers. During the National Corozo Festival, visitors from across Colombia visit the town for the two-day celebration, and Corozo fruits are frequently served in iced beverages through local vendors. The celebration also emphasizes music and live entertainment, and one of the most popular events is a Corozo fruit beverage drinking contest to see how much juice can be consumed within a certain period of time.
Corozo fruits grow on palm trees native to regions of Central and South America and have been growing wild since ancient times. The fruits are widely found in the Colombian departments of Bolivar and Sucre, and over time, the variety has expanded into regions of the Caribbean, viewed as an ornamental landscape cultivar. Today Corozo palms are primarily found in deciduous forests and rainforests throughout the northern areas of South America and are also found in Central America and the Caribbean. The fruits are sold through fresh local markets.
Recipes that include Corozo Fruit. One is easiest, three is harder.
|El Gourmet||Receta de Robalo con Salsa de Corozo|
|Cocina Latina y Algo Mas||Chicha de Corozo|
|El Toque Colombiano||Dulce de Corozo|
|El Toque Colombiano||Boli de Corozo (Corozo popsicles)|