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Ceriman with ice cream

November 29, 2012

Fourteen months ago I blogged about the flowers of ceriman (Monstera deliciosa, Araceae). We harvested the resulting fruit two days ago.

Luckily we had loads of visitors at the time we found this precious delicacy which we have been waiting for since it bloomed on September 13, 2011. The fruit was so mature it had fallen to the ground and the hexagonal scales fell too as we picked it up. The underlying flesh does resemble a honey comb in colour and pattern, and like with honey we simply dipped our fingers into the seedless soft pulp and enjoyed.

Although perfectly mature and with a pungency and aroma of pineapple and banana, I must say I find the oxalate crystals annoying. They are like little needles and I guess they are one reason why you hardly find this fruit outside its homeland Mexico. I scooped up a quarter of a fruit and added generous amounts of creamy chocolate ice cream. The ice cream did smooth the sharpness of the crystals, but to me this is not a perfect dessert. However, I feel grateful I know how to grow this plant and adding another fruit to my tongue’s experience brings satisfaction.

Another edible is the black Thai tarantula. At present we have a large female in the vegetable section, and she can only be summoned from her catacombs at night. If you wish to see her call us in advance. My friend Zak Buttel who recently blogged about Dokmai Garden, reports from nearby Mae Khanin Tai that they caught and smoked a tarantula over burning paddy straw – aroi!

Text & Photo: Eric Danell, Dokmai Garden

5 Comments leave one →
  1. zakjack permalink
    November 29, 2012 10:30 AM

    So jealous. That looks better than the tarantula.

    • November 30, 2012 8:41 AM

      Hi Zak,

      I publish your sensory remarks on smoked tarantula:

      “Very smoky taste but two textures….one like little fish eggs and the other more like a soft liver pate……..”

  2. November 29, 2012 4:45 PM

    Hi Eric,
    Interesting stuff. Never heard of this fruit!

  3. November 29, 2012 6:30 PM

    We visited the exellent Siam Insect Zoo the other day and were shown what purported to an edible tarantula. I have to say it didn’t appeal to me, a response which is very common among Europeans. I have often wondered why we have this taboo, while the rest of the world happily tucks in to nutritious insects, spiders, grubs and all manner of creepy crawlies.

    • November 30, 2012 8:51 AM

      Yes, we are big fans of Siam Insect Zoo too 🙂

      Europeans eat creepy crawlers from the sea without hesitation, but generally not insects nor spiders. Whatever the cultural reasons I think they are under constant evolution, although slowly. There was a time when Germanic and English people did not eat forest mushrooms, but that has changed.

      The only aspect of concern is that a sudden mass consumption of forest animals may lead to their decline. Right now the tradition of eating tarantulas is declining, although there is a touristic tarantula eatery in Cambodia.


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