Thursday, 23 February 2012

Which fruit is what fruit in Brazilian supermarkets

Having made a concerted effort to spend more time in Brazil and less time travelling this year I have recently been receiving compliments as to how good my Portuguese has become. This is very encouraging but there are still parts of the language that I find difficult to master.

Whether this is a common problem or whether it's just me, I'll never know, but in previous languages I have learned I have always found the names of plants especially difficult and in Brazil the vast diversity of different fruit complicates my vocabulary learning even further.

Here's an example from my local supermarket which has a plentiful but not exhaustive array of fruit in the fruit and vegetable department. I occasionally look at the labels just to memorise the names in the hope that having the fruit in front of me will provide a strong visual clue but I find that when I return I still get one fruit confused with another.

Here is an example. All the below fruit look very similar and yet they are all very different:

First up is the Atimoia fruit which is also known as the Pineapple sugar apple although it is related neither to the Sugar Apple nor to the Pineapple.  It is what is known in botanical circles as a hybrid fruit a cross between  the Annona Cherimola and the Annona squamosa. There are three types which are common in Brazil: The Gefner, The Thompson and the fantastically named Pink Mammoth

This one is a very common fruit called Graviola or Soursop in English. I started drinking the juice before knowing what the actual fruit looked like.  Originally from the Antilles islands, it's called Sape Sape in Angola and in Brazil it grows in the Amazon and the North Eastern states.
OK now it gets confusing. This one is Kino, or Cucumis Metuliferus and it's originally from Africa and rather than being related to either of the fruit above it is a close relative of the melon and the cucumber. It's referred to as the Horned Melon in English and apparently it tastes a bit like a kiwi, can't wait to try,

Yes, there's one more. This one is Pinha or Annona squamosa or Sugar Apple in English. It's popular in many tropical countries but not to be confused with the Pineapple Sugar Apple which is the first fruit mentioned above

Now are we all sure we know our Horned Melons from our Pink Mammoths?


Andrew Francis said...

Seriously? The word "apple" appears twice in the name of a fruit that doesn't look remotely like an apple? Gotta wonder who thought that one through (or not)...

Pierre Larose said...

Incredible but true! ;)

Haru said...

It's easier to diferentiate by the smell... they all smell very different! When in doubt, always bring to the nose :p

Discovering São Paulo said...

Good tip! ;)

William Braylen said...

Research has identified "super fruits" or those vegetables and fruits that are high in antioxidants and can, therefore, help prevent those dangerous toxins. This article reports and identifies five of these "super vegetables and fruits." Took a Carnival ride

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