Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Noni fruit and noni juice

Noni fruit is a very unusual fruit, and like with everything else, there is a lot of confusing, contradicting information. It is so obvious to me, because i have my own experience with noni fruit and it's juice as well. I think, that the information i can really believe is that which i gained myself via first hand experience.

It is only one year and a bit, since i heard about noni fruit for the first time, when i moved from Sydney to Far North Queensland. My first home was at fruitopia farm, with many varieties of fruit trees including noni. I was told that noni is a yucky fruit, nicknamed vomit fruit, also cheese fruit, and it is not really nice to eat, therefore i had only a small interest in it. One day at rustys markets in Cairns, i discovered a lady from some Pacific island and she was selling mainly noni and it's juice. She spoke about noni in a different spirit, with adoration and enthusiasm. She told me how to make fresh juice, which she claimed to have a lot of healing powers. It was the day i saw noni fruit for the first time in my life and i liked the look of it, and even the aroma was not bad at all, it smelt exactly like blue cheese. I agree that the smell can be for some offensive, and i also think it's aroma is perceived differently from person to person, just like all our experiences. Even though i didn't find the noni aroma offensive, i was not interested in it.

I almost forgot about the strange fruit. Many months later, while visiting fruitopia, i noticed a lot of noni on the fruit table. I excepted about 1/2kg as a gift. At home, i google searched for more information about it, and to my surprise, i found that noni takes 2 - 6 months to ferment and it does not get moldy. Wow, i found that very interesting, that indicated special proprieties, i thought. I also found through googling, the same information about making juice, that the island lady had told me. It was a very simple process so i got straight into it. I got a well cleaned glass jar, so nothing else would have a chance to ferment or get moldy and in it, and i placed 1/2kg of soft ripe noni in it, and i sealed the jar. I love easy stuff.

Within a few hours the noni in the jar was releasing it's healing juices. I let it be and i gathered about 2 big spoons of juice the next morning. I mixed the fresh, far from being fermented noni juice, into a raw fresh juice. I shared the juice as always with my fruitarian partner Mango. I was gathering fresh noni juice daily, at least for one month, mixing it in our first morning fruit juice. After a month or more, the noni fruit got mushy and it was releasing only a small amount of juice, but it was not fermented or moldy. I moved it into our fruit compost and i asked for more noni at fruitopia, and because they still had plenty of it, they gave me more. Me and Mango, we drank fresh noni juice mixed with raw fresh fruit juice daily for at least 3 months. We stopped because, there was a smaller crop and therefore no left overs to give away at fruitopia.

I am not sure how strong the healing powers of noni are. I didn't observe any special benefits, but that can be, because my entire diet consists of raw fresh fruit and they all have strong healing powers, some more, some less. I am sure that i had no negative experiences from drinking noni juice and Mango also didn't complain.

I buried the last noni mush under a thin layer of soil in our garden, hoping that some baby trees will show us their beauty. Noni takes only 18 months to give its first fruits and it fruits all year round.

Oh, yes, i also had a taste on the fruit itself. It was truly an amazing experience. It didn't taste like cheese or vomit, but the flavour was very salty at first, then hot like a mild chili, then as something very refreshing like mint, but without the mint flavor. What surprised and amazed me most was a strong and long lasting aftertaste like after brushing one's teeth with toothpaste. I thought this fruit could be nice with avocado or another unsweetened fruits, but i haven't tried that yet, well, one day.

Life is beautiful.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

How to Tell if a Pineapple Is Ripe

I have discovered, from my own long time pineapple eating experience, that the best pineapples i have eaten were bought in the tropics. I believe that the most hot tropical areas produce the most sweet pineapples.

The best and sweetest pineapples I've eaten were in Thailand, they were so yummy, and i enjoyed them daily, almost always sharing their goodness with Mango. One day, i bought a big pineapple, at the markets in Bangkok and i had it pealed and cut up into neat peaces and placed into a plastic bag. I was not very happy with the fruit in the plastic bag, as i believe they are toxic, leaching toxins into my fruit. Never the less, i had no choice, i was not prepared for facing a fruit in plastic bag, so i accepted my pineapple could be slightly toxic, possibly much less, than the Bangkok air, full of heavy metals, due to busy traffic.

While i was contemplating the unavoidable toxins i waited for Mango to turn up at our meeting point. I didn't wait long, and when i spotted Mango in the crowd of people, walking toward me, the toxic issue left my mind. I greeted Mango from a distance, happy to see him, also happy that i could start eating the pineapple, sharing it with him. He smiled back at me and when he could hear me, i waved the plastic bag full of cut up pineapple as patriots wave flags of their country, and i euphorically yelled at him: "Look i got a pineapple for us to share". "Oh, no, i am sorry, I'm not hungry" said smiling Mango. "Oh no, I've got the biggest pineapple, being so sure you are going to share it with me, well, not too worry i will eat what i can, and throw the rest away." I like to eat my fruit fresh, and as soon as possible after it is cut up or juiced. We walked a very short distance to hail down a tuk-tuk and we traveled in the open carriage through heavy traffic full of heavy pollution while i was feasting on very sweet and tasty pineapple. I was sure, i could not eat it whole, but to my big surprise i did. I had no burning sensation on my tongue and lips, which is the usual occurrence after i eat about 1/4 of pineapple.

It was a big problem for me to get a good pineapple during the years i lived in Sydney, dreaming of the good ones i ate while traveling in far north Queensland. Despite the great pineapple aroma and rich yellow orange colors, the pineapples available in Sydney were never sweet enough. I was able to eat about 1/5 of one and then i juiced the rest. Surprisingly enough, juiced pineapple never gives me unpleasant burning sensations.

I learned that all rules written on picking sweet ripe pineapple, have exceptions. I've had pineapples with aroma of pineapple heaven and of the most radiant colors, yet inside they were a very big sour disappointment. I've had pineapples with deep green colored skin and no aroma and they were some of the best pineapples i've ever had. It was not even bought in the very hot tropics, but in a Czech supermarket. When my relative, whom i was visiting, brought the deep green pineapple from the shops, i thought to myself, this guy has no clue, how to pick a good pineapple, i would never have picked that one. Oh, how i was surprised, when i tasted pale yellow fruit. I surely learned my, not only pineapple lesson, to not judge a book by it's cover. I also learned there are varieties of green skinned pineapples. Oh boy, they are so tasty.

So how do i choose the best and ripest pineapples? I experiment. I take risks. I remember where i bought the best and sweetest pineapple and i always go back to the same source. Now, after one year of living in far north Queensland, i know that the best local pineapples come from Werner, a stall holder at our local markets. He also has the best papaya as well. Another best pineapple we know of is from a friend of a friend, he grows them and as soon i saw them i said, these are top pineapples and yes, they were, they had the look, the aroma and the taste. Unfortunately, even though we've tried, we haven't yet been able to organize regular deliveries yet.

Believe me, i have a lot of pineapple experience, it is one of my favorite fruits and i am blessed to eat and drink them abundantly since i moved into fruity Australia and turned into an ethical fruitarian almost twenty five years ago.

So don't be afraid, investigate, turn into a pineapple detective. It is worth it. Sweet well ripened pineapple is a true delight.

There are many links throughout the internet, referring to how to tell if a pineapple is ripe, and they can be very useful, yet, i would not bet on them. As with everything, the best is through ones very own experience. In nature, they are many exceptions to the rules.

Surely i can go on, and keep telling you my pineapple stories, but you may prefer to get off the computer and have a look at what the sunshine is doing.

Life is beautiful.

healthy fruit

pineapples and other yummy fruits in our kitchen


healthy fruit

chempadek pineapple

chempadek, pineapple, and other sweet fruit