The igna fruit, or ice cream bean (igna edulis), is an unusual fruit found in Central and South America, particularly in Ecuador. Other names for the igna include guaba, igna cipo, guamo gejur, pois sucre, rabo de mico, igna de metro and monkey tail.
The igna grows on a tall tree, sometimes up to 100 feet. The tree is a shade tree. It was planted on plantations to provide shade. The tree is very important in restoration of the rain forest. It improves the soil. The tree produced large flowers that grow in dense spikes.
The fruit itself is a ribbed pod. When the pod is broken open, it reveals a bright white pulp, surrounding several large black seeds. The pulp is similar in texture to white cotton candy. It is extremely sweet, tasting like a plain vanilla ice cream. You eat the flesh- not the seeds. The flesh is eaten as a treat, as is. The pulp is also good for treating rheumatism and diarrhea.
You can find these during the months of May, June and July.
© 2012 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger All rights reserved
Cite me: Denlinger, J. (2012, June 21). Durian Fruit. Retrieved from: FloridaChef.net