I was afraid to taste it since the plant was a little worse for wear and the fruit quite old, but was told that naranjilla, a member of the nightshade family, is reminiscent of tomatoes.
The plant is covered in thorns and prickly hairs and looked like a cross between an eggplant and a rose. The fruit itself has a tough, eggplant-like skin but is also covered in a layer of fuzz that reminded me of the fine prickly hairs on rose hips.
In Dominica the fruit is commonly called “Witches’ Tomato.”
Yesterday afternoon I was treated to an impromptu flower garden tour in the mountain village of Giraudel, Dominica. This region is known for it’s particularly rich soil and has, as a result, become a hub of flower growers and gardeners. I learned a few interesting tidbits that I hope to share here on a later date.
I regret not photographing a really pretty local orchid with green flowers, but the highlight was this nipple fruit plant, also known as titty fruit or cow’s udders.
While it may look like eggplant, the fruit is inedible and really only worth growing for it’s crazy appearance and so you can have a serious conversation with seemingly proper British flower gardeners that includes the words “titties” and “nipples.”
Guess what’s going to be on my seed list for 2010.
Dominica is often referred to as The Garden of Eden, which comes as no surprise since it seems that just about anything will grow here. No matter where I am on the island, whether it be on the coast or in the mountain rain forest interior, I often see wild foods growing.
I found this plant, a wild form of eggplant, growing along the road just around the corner from the cottage we are staying in. Wild growing pumpkins were sharing the same space. Apparently, these pea-sized eggplants are edible but very bitter tasting. I don’t think I’ll take a crack at cooking them this time around since I think it might take some experience and know-how to work with the bitterness.
I love poinsettias here in the tropics. They’re so gangling and colourful. And the best part is that those holiday gift plants that typically go to pot in North America can be planted out in the garden and grown into a massive bush.
View a few more photos: 1, 2.
Learn how you can save your potted poinsettia even if you don’t live in the tropics.
I thought I had seen the most beautiful nutmeg until I found these at the market in Roseau, Dominica last week. The picture doesn’t do justice to how large they are, but the firey colour of the mace (the outer red portion) is fairly true.
One of my goals while here is to see a nutmeg tree. I’m trying to arrange a farm tour so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it happens.