We see many interesting fruit in the market and in the last few weeks there has been some new additions to what is available.
Mandarins are currently quite cheap – one mandarin for one birr (about 4 pence). Dhamayanthi’s line manager, Belay likes them! Oranges here they are green, but they are ripe inside, so maybe ‘green’ would be a better name.
This looks like a mango but we are told this is an apple-mango, a hybrid of the two fruits. It does taste a bit different and the skin does smell like apples.
This one’s name translates as ‘sour’, due to its sour taste, and so we haven’t been tempted to try it. Apparently, it is used in medicines sometimes.
In Tigrigna this is known as ‘trungo’. It is the size of a rugby ball and is green and knobbly on the outside and has a hard, dry, white inner flesh which tastes a bit lemony. Looking on the internet we could only find one reference, and it seems to be a type of citron (which are not to be confused with lemons as citrons are a completely different type of fruit). Looking at all the types of citrons on the wikipedia page, this one, the trungo, is not mentioned. Perhaps this variety is perculiar to Ethiopia and could be called an Ethiopian Citron?
At the college all the students are throwing stones into the trees and picking the fruit off the ground. They call this one “gawa”, and it seems to be a type of mini kumquat, not so juicy and only a little bit sweet, with a hard stone in the middle. They are selling them at the market but you can easily just pick them off the trees for free!
Lemons are always popular here for cooking, hot drinks or cleaning. You can buy 5 for 1 birr. They are smaller and greener and sometimes we get confused with the limes on sale here. Most of the farmers sell their best, biggest and juiciest lemons to traders who take them away in big sacks by camel, so you have to get there early if you want the best lemons.
Finally, although it’s not really a fruit, it is popular and sweet – this is sugar cane. You can buy it in the market but mainly young boys walk around town selling it as a snack. I think the asking price is 0.25 birr – about a penny. If you want some, the boy will chop of a piece for you to enjoy.