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More Igboruba than OmoIgbo: Agbalumo & Identity

by Kitchen Butterflyon April 21, 2018
This piece is long overdue – sigh but finally, it’s here. Agbalumo is out of season but still…the words, the thought, the ideas remain evergreen! Thank you, Akay xxx I grew up in an Igbo household in Lagos. And while steeped in Igbo culture, I have always been around and influenced by Yoruba culture. I […]

A Visual [Botanical?] Guide to Varieties of Agbalumo

by Kitchen Butterflyon February 15, 2018
It might surprise you – like it did I – that there are different varieties (or cultivars/ cultivated varieties?) of Agbalumo, distinct in shape, colour and size. Many factors come into play in describing fruit. On the basis of a number of observations, I dare say I can identify at least 6 varieties – here we […]

A Theory: Why Agbalumo is Sweeter After the Rains

by Kitchen Butterflyon January 23, 2018
Read on. For years, I’ve heard, read, experienced sweeter agbalumos after the first rains. My most recent memory is from 2015. We’re driving in the car one day and we stop to buy some. A, my adopted daughter says: ‘There are always a few rains before ‘Agbalumo’ proper comes into season’ And I responded, ‘Hmmm, I didn’t […]

Nigerian Seasonal Produce: Udara [Agbalumo, African Star Apple], #2

by Kitchen Butterflyon February 25, 2017
‘Nigerian Seasonal Produce’ is a monthly column which will be published on the last Saturday of every month. In this column, a writer explores a specific seasonal fruit, vegetable or leafy green assigned by the editors of Kitchen Butterfly and based on the Nigerian Seasonal Produce Calendar. Our author this month is Keside Anosike – writer extraordinary who teases me […]

Agbalumo – Apple Tart

by Kitchen Butterflyon February 3, 2017
Agbalumo – Apple Tart, because apple. Sometimes, you let the name lead you down the path. Star apple, apple apple, tart, tart, bake. I’ve made very many star apple bakes before – an agbalumo-mango tarte tatin, carrot upside down cakes and more. Tarts have been on my list for a bit and a half and when […]

Matrimony – An Agbalumo (Star Apple) Fruit Salad From Jamaica

by Kitchen Butterflyon January 16, 2017
It’s the season of my favourite ‘fruit to explore’ – Agbalumo aka the African star apple. The star apple is found in many Caribbean and South East Asian countries, including Jamaica. Around the world in star apples Around the world in star apple names Why am I so intrigued about this fruit one might wonder? […]

True or False: Thou Shalt Not Pluck Fruit from the Agbalumo/ Star Apple Tree?

by Kitchen Butterflyon January 6, 2017
It’s agbalumo season people! Have you ever seen an agbalumo tree? Well, yes, I have! Thanks to my friend Tomi who showed me one in Lagos, Nigeria :).   What does it look like? Well it towered above two floows, several ten’s of feet tall. Tree trunks twisted and mangled, leaves lush and green, like those […]

Baked: Agbalumo Upside Down Carrot Cake

by Kitchen Butterflyon March 16, 2016
This is my second take on an agbalumo carrot cake. Because of the zobo pineapple upside down cake, this came to mind. I used macerated agbalumo – flesh tossed in sugar and left to sit overnight till the sugar has drawn out a lot of the liquid and somewhat ‘dehydrated’ the fruit. I loved the […]

Three Uses for Agbalumo Skin: Gum, Pectin & Bitters

by Kitchen Butterflyon March 3, 2016
Did you know that Chicle, the milky juice or latex found in Agbalumo and other relatives was for a long time, the foundation of all chewing gums? Chewing gum Yes, if you are able to get past the bitterness, chewing the latex-rich skin and sap will yield great delights. So yes, chicle and things cf. Chiclets. Pectin […]