I know Agbalumo will be out of season soon…and so I’m extracting it’s essence in a variety of ways to enjoy long after. Though Preservation isn’t a common practice in Nigeria, I think it should be for various reasons. For one, we need to test the boundaries of our fruits and vegetables and one way to do that is to try various methods for processing.
Most of the methods I use, I’ve chosen because of the minimal processing time – very little to do once the Agbalumo is peeled.
To take advantage of the ideas, read my post on The Anatomy of Agbalumo – it has details on how best to process the fruit. Also, my friend Ramon has written two great pieces on peeling Agbalumo – Part 1 & Part 2.
1. Frozen – I’ve frozen raw agbalumo segments in portion sizes
2. Dried – I’ve sun-dried agbalumo segments and also made leather – dried puree. Yes, the sun-dried version looks like Kilishi – beef jerky :).
I dried it on a screen which I made from mosquito netting & chicken wire screen – cut to the same size with the sides sealed with duct tape. More coming soon on drying fruits and vegetables.
3. Pureéd – fresh segments processed with a splash of water/ macerated segments processed with the liquid and frozen in a sheet pan. Then broken up into bits and bagged for storage.
4. Frozen Liquid – I’ve macerated fruit segments in sugar and drained off the fluid drawn out of the fruit – this is the very essence of the fruit. For use in drinks – use like cordial – tastes like lemonade; or as the sour note in cocktails.
5. Vinegar – fruit segments steeped in white vinegar and left for a month. The result is a cloudy, orange-tinted vinegar with a distinct Agbalumo flavour, once the bits have been strained off.
6. Liqueur – I’ve always been keen on liqueurs. The Agbalumo wine mixer made me think of Bitters – this was born. Because I’ve started working on a cocktail series, I have a fairly well-stocked rack making the choice easy. I made two versions – an Agbalumo brandy liqueur using fruit, sugar, brandy and vodka; and an Agbalumo-Orange liqueur with Cointreau. It’ll be months before I have the verdict – brewing time…but I’ll let you know.
How else would you preserve Agbalumo?