Today we will be talking about the fruit trees of El Salvador. This country is located in the tropical zone, and its climate favors the production of various fruit trees that are characterized by a great variety, color and exquisite flavor. The area called El Cantón Las Pilas, concentrates a great variety of fruit trees, thanks to its temperate climate and the excellent quality of its lands. While in the department of La Paz, citrus fruit trees are the predominant.
Fruit Trees of El Salvador: The Anonas
This fruit tree does not reach large dimensions and is harvested between the months of June and August. Its fruit is very particular, since when it reaches maturity, the peel splits and its interior can be seen, at which time it must be cut from the tree if it has not fallen by its own weight. Its fruit is round, with a gray to pale green shell and its flavor can be compared to that of the mango.
It belongs to the “Annonaceae” family and is common in Central America. It is also known by the names of ilama or lowland custard apple.
Fruit Trees of El Salvador: El Jocotes
This jocotes tree is of perennial type, has multiple branches and can reach up to 20 meters in height. It belongs to the family of “Anacardiaceae”. It is native to Central America. It is frequently used as live fences as well as in paddocks to shade cattle.
Its fruit is a drupe, smooth and shiny, purple, wine red or yellow. It is common to find it in abundance in the country during the months of February to April. The ripe fruit is soft and sweet, otherwise it can be acidic and have a much more solid consistency. It is consumed fresh and in preparations with salt, lemon and chili, although it can also be cooked with a syrup.
Fruit Trees of El Salvador: Mango
This well-known fruit tree belongs to the “ Anacardiaceae ” family. Around 130 species are known, although around 50 varieties are produced in the country, including Jade, Panadés, Zul, Oro, Manila, Banana, Plum, Apple, Cuma, Lemon, Pineapple, Indian, Milk, Camphor , Mechudo, Chicken, among others.
The area with the greatest potential for growing this fruit tree is Zacatecoluca, since this area has a large number of water springs, which allows effective irrigation by gravity. It is estimated that each harvest can produce up to 800 thousand tons of mango, which supply local markets.
Likewise, there are plantations with more than 60 years of existence in the municipality of Ichanmichen. Mango harvest months are from February to May. The fruit is consumed fresh, both green and ripe, alone or in various preparations.
Fruit Trees of El Salvador: paterna
These paterna trees generally grow in the middle of coffee plantations and, in addition to bearing fruit, provide shade. It can reach a height of between 8 to 15 meters, its trunk is branched. Its fruit is a pod, green in color and of variable length that hangs from its branches, and must be cut when the fruit has grown enough. It has black seeds covered by a white, soft and sugary coating.
The nance is a small tree of slow growth, which can reach 10 meters in height, although species that reach 20 meters have been seen. Its fruit is very aromatic, orange – yellow, with thin white skin. It is very juicy and bench-colored inside. Its flavor can vary from tasteless to sweet, sour or similar to cheese. Inside it has 1 to 3 white seeds. The fruits are consumed raw or in different preparations.
Its scientific name is “Chrysobalanus icaco L”. It is a small tree, which can reach 10 meters in height. Its fruit is a commonly slightly pink drupe, which occurs frequently in tropical climates. It is similar in size and shape to a plum, however its skin is white, purple or pink, while inside it is white with a seed in the center. It is harvested throughout the year in the country and consumed fresh, despite not offering much flavor, although many prefer to prepare them in syrup.
The mammon tree belongs to the family of the “Sapindáceas” and is common in the intertropical zone of America. Its fruit is green and round drupes, with a thin, brittle and easy to open shell. Inside you can see a fleshy layer of an attractive salmon color that covers its seed. In El Salvador it is consumed raw and sweet or sour can be found.
The cashew tree is of the perennial type, which requires clay and sandy soils predominant from tropical and subtropical crusts. Its scientific name is Anacardium occidentale L” and can reach between 6 to 7 meters in height. Its fruit is fleshy and with an acidic taste, which can be yellow or red. It is usually consumed fresh or a soft drink is prepared.
In addition, its sommelier is in great demand in the market. To consume it, a nut with a pleasant flavor is cooked and extracted. In El Salvador, the fruit takes about six weeks after flowering, once the flower has been fertilized.
This is a fruit tree that can reach between 10 and 16 meters in height in the wild, however in cultivation it only reaches between 5 to 6 meters. Its scientific name is “Syzygium jambos (L.) Alston”.
The fruit is greenish-yellow, with some areas of red, round shape and cataloged as a berry. It contains 1 to 3 loose seeds inside and its fleshy part is white and firm. It has a delicious taste and an excellent aroma.
Also produced in El Salvador are the fruit trees of the area such as mamey, guava, zapote, Salvadoran whistles, avocado, Persian lemon, peach, plum, medlar, mandarin and tamarind, among others.
Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.