The Achacha is highly prized, having been cultivated for centuries in domestic orchards in the tropical Amazon Basin of Bolivia. Difficult to grow, it has not been commercialised internationally until now.
Delicious, refreshing, exotic, tangy, effervescent . . . no wonder the name translates as “honey kiss”!
Of all the many exotic fruit I tried during my travels, my favourite and by far the most memorable and addictive in flavour was the achachairú (Achacha) – from an Australian visitor to South America.
It is refreshing to eat, at ambient temperature, when served cold or even frozen. There is a fine balance between its sweetness and its acidity, creating a unique taste sensation. It has exotic appeal similar to the mangosteen, longan, rambutan and lychee. The Achacha is a cousin of the mangosteen which is known as the “queen of tropical fruit” throughout Asia.
Normally the Achacha is in season from December to mid-March.
The Achacha attracts attention before and as it is being consumed. It has an appealing colour and form and is very decorative. It is egg-shaped, up to 6cm long by 4cm in diameter. It takes on a reddish-orange shade when mature. There is usually one significant coffee-coloured seed, but larger fruit may have more than one seed. As an eco-friendly forest fruit which has not been through hundreds of generations of selective breeding, each one has its own personality and curves, with perhaps a few small bumps and marks on its skin which add interest to its appearance but do not affect its quality.
Storage & Shelf Life:
For long shelf life, DO NOT REFRIGERATE!
An exciting feature of the Achacha fruit is that it does not ripen further once harvested. So technically it is a non-climacteric fruit, like the pineapple, cherry, and orange (as compared to a climacteric fruit like a mango or banana).
And it likes to be kept at room temperature!
A household refrigerator stores perishable food at about 5°C; this is too cold for the Achacha, unless you are planning on eating it that day. At about 20°C – room temperature – it will keep for days in the fruit bowl, and weeks if stored in a closed container or bag so that it does not dry out. Refrigerate for an hour or so before eating if you would like to sharpen up the flavour!