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A Garden of Chanel No. 5 and Peanut Butter Fruit

I recently posted about my visit to Paradise Farms, and then was reminded about how you don’t need to visit a farm to get great produce. You can grow it yourself. I visited some family friends who are avid gardeners and came across a lot of what I saw on the farm — arugula flowers and malabar spinach and a variety of fruit trees. Recognize this one?

That’s right — jackfruit! It’s the largest tree-borne fruit in the world. If you’ve seen full-grown jackfruit, believe me, you know what I’m talking about. I first ate jackfruit on a trip to India when I was a little kid. I remember it being served to me by my aunties as a kind of mash that tasted like a mix between banana and pineapple. According to our gardening friends, there are two kinds of jackfruit –one has soft and mushy pulp, the other is harder. (The ones hanging on this tree are the soft kind).

They also had these:

which I correctly identified as jabuticaba. (Hey, I had a tree outside my bedroom growing up, what can I say?) The fruit is goopy, white, and sweet on the inside. We always just picked them off the tree and ate them raw (just the inside flesh), but you can also make them into jellies.

Walking around the garden, we learned all sorts of fascinating tidbits of info. Their trees included the ilang-ilang tree, which, when it flowers perfumes the whole garden in — get this, Chanel No. 5. I’m not kidding — it’s the base scent in the production of Chanel No. 5! Also, we smelled leaves of two different trees (and crushed them in our fingers), surprised to find we were smelling allspice and cinnamon. Allspice, as we know it in cooking, is the dried berry of the tree and cinnamon comes from the inner bark, but you can smell the spice off the leaves. Can you imagine, shaving off some bark from a tree in your garden and then running into the kitchen to top off your apple cider? Loved it.

Also, we learned about bunchiosia — a tree that produces a red fruit that tastes like peanut butter — and about a vine that produces flowers that are white in the morning, turn pink in the afternoon, and red later in the evening. Nature is amazing.

If you look at the bottom of this photo, you’ll recognize it as an aloe vera plant, often used in moisturizer or to soothe wounds, but I’ve never seen a flowering aloe vera before. Neat-o.

Here are some other (non-edible) flowers. The bromeliad:


and of course, orchids.

One Response to “A Garden of Chanel No. 5 and Peanut Butter Fruit”

  1. LP says:

    I’ve never seen a flowering aloe plant, either! And we own a trusty aloe plant that we use for cuts and burns. I wonder if only specific varieties flower? It’s gorgeous!

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