The Journey to unfold the mystery behind Chontaduro begins! Sometimes, in order to get to the bottom of a realm the best man for this job is an outsider like me that can check with “Tabula Rasa” (White sheet) all myths and guesses.
I am thrilled as I know that a journey to the hurt of this palm fruit is also a quest into the hurt of South Colombian and pacific culture.
To begin- Here Is some Information I have gathered from what can now be found about this fruit. I promise to check each fact and investigate any uncovered question or myth further our journey
Chontaduro is a fruit of a palm tree
Chontaduro as it is termed in Colombia or Palm Peach as it is called by English speakers, is the fruit of a palm tree carrying the unattractive scientific name of Bactris Gasipaez.
This Palm is native to the tropical forests of South America and Central America It is best found and cultivated in climates with precipitations between 2,000 mm and 5,000 mm and annual mean temperatures exceeding 24 °C. Fruit production starts between three and five years after planting and lasts then for 50 to 75 years. (Wikipedia)
Chontaduro palm populations can be found in Central America in the pacific lowlands of Colombia and Ecuador, in Venezuela and in the area of the Amazon rainforest , especially at the eastern foothills of the Andes (Wikipedia)
Chontaduro and palm peach are not its only names: In some regions of Colombia they call it cachipay in brazil – pupunha. Pejibaye in Costa Rica and Panamá. In venezuela they call it ‘macana’, ‘piriguao’ o ‘pichiguao’. In Bolivia Tembe, In the peruvian Amazon it will be ‘pijuayo’ . But unquestionaly the most common use of this name is where it is also mostly consumed – Chontaduro (Colombia)
Revealed by Pre-Colombian Indians adopted by the modern Afro Colombians
Chontaduro was first adopted by the Pre-Colombian indigenous community early in their occupation of the lowland tropics
The Indians used Chontaduro both as a complete ingredient for their diet and for their rituals. Some resources claim that the Indians communities used to drink “Chicha de Chontaduro” (Alchoholic drink still popular around Cali) While dancing the “Chontaduro dance” for the purpose of expelling bad spirits. This was a kind of erotic dancing.
When Afro Colombians has occupied this palm’s habitats, they adopted Chontaduro as their own and today it is more identified with afro Colombian tradition.
From Street Food to the “Viagra” of nature – Endless uses for one fruit:
Chontaduro has been used as food for centuries- Commonly cooked in salted water for 30 min to two hours then pilled then eaten with salt and honey. It can also be eaten raw as is or in a soup and sauces.
Other popular dishes: “Cazuela de Chontaduro” coconut milk, Sauces for pork, fish and seafood, Ceviche de Chontaduro, Salads, Juices, Traditional drinks and much more
Chontaduro is also dried and processed into flour powder that is used for backing and cooking or added to a sport shakes for its high nutritional values.
As for the taste – Its texture is reminds sweet potato with a nutty starchy flavors twist–in Wikipedia it is compared with the taste of “Hominy” ( a kind of dried maize) Cucurbita or roasted chestnut
Scientists in the National University of Colombia (U.N.) in Palmira Colombia are now working on making Chontaduro powder as a tasty substitute for egg for vegans thanks to its high protein content and adhesive qualities.
Chotaduro’s seed is a mini version of a coconut. Its white flash can also be eaten if you don’t mind the hassle opening it for such a small piece of matter.
And the list continues…- According to Wikipedia Palm Peach fruit is widely used as animal feed. With its low fiber and high starch content it can substitute maize in the fodder mixture. Peach palm fruit can further be used to feed fish, poultry and pigs and to produce multi-nutritional blocks for cows, goats and sheep.
Chontaduro tree is good for palm hurts production, its leaves are used for basket making, “Marimba” (Caribbean musical instrument) keys can be made from its trace.
Chontaduro is still used and further investigate in natural medicine for its belived qualities to elevate male potency, Cosmetics and other utilities
One Fruit- Complete Nutrition
When one search “Chontaduro” on the web he encounters endless advantages for human being. Many myths surround this mysterious fruit- the most famous one is for its aphrodisiac powers. It is also claimed to enhance joy and happiness for a chemical it contains now being investigated in “Del Valle” university in Cali.
In this moment, it is hard to decide how many of these speculations are truth. Nevertheless, looking at its mere nutritional values I wonder how this fruit is still not listed as afamous super food:
Chontaduro contains a significant amount of recommended minerals including calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc and copper and is reach with Vitamin A, E and B complex. It Also have a lot of good fiver and good oils. Chontaduro Protein level is so high that some call it the “Vegetable Egg”
Nutritionists claim it to be the ultimate food for balance diet. Eating 3-4 Chontaduro provides fullness and stop the urge to eat- probably due to the combination of fibers and Oleic Acid it contains. It Is already used for balancing sugar levels for diabetes – It’s fiber is said to cover intestine and slow absorption of bad cholesterol and carbohydrates and thus slow sugar increase in the blood.
Chontaduro is excellent for maintaining your muscles and immune system for its high protein values”. It is said to contain 8 essential Amino acids . Its fivers May also protect intestine from cancer and are now investigated as a good candidate as a pre-biotic agent.
Chontaduro is also an excellent anti-aging product – Due to its high levels of Beta Carotene and vitamin A and E- Those free radicals should slow aging and protect against cancer. In addition, they also said to protect your skin nails and eyes.
Reach with Omega 6 and omega 8, it can elevate your good cholesterol, decrease your bad cholesterol and triglycerides and balance your hormonal system.
Other belived virtues for Chontaduro:
Improvement of prostate health, Semen production, and Endocrine Glands and even Alzheimer prevention!
The Next superfood is revealed
After reviewing some of the stuff written about this natural wonder I am overwhelmed by the facts and estimations.
I am even more delighted now to start this venture to characterize and reveal what seems to be NEXT SUPERFOOD for the benefit of the people of Colombia and the mankind:
Can It really compete with other popular superfoods?
What is about this aphrodisiac myth? Is that real?
Does it hold the secret for happiness?
Why does the people of Cali decided to embrace it to their hearts?