Saturday, 18 February 2012

Fruit or nuts?

Khulna, Bangladesh
24.01.2012


Fruits being sold on the street
Now, here was something that I have never seen before. What was it?
The intuitive seller promptly opened one for me.

Curious seeds inside
He split one seed, deftly, peeled it and gave it to us: delicious nutty favour.
So I bought one and at the hotel took more photos and we worked on the nuts.


Another close up of the nuts
One had to get through 3 layers of skin to get at the meat, but it was worth the fiddle.

The problem was identifying it. At the hotel restaurant they plumped on kaju badam. Certainly not a caju nut! I know it well, the nut hangs from a pear shaped soft fruit. People were clearly baffled. Eventually, someone at Peter’s office came up with “jongli badam, caju badam, [kat] কাঠ badam” (badam means nut in Bengali) and this time on the Internet I hit the jackpot with jongli badam: Sterculia foetida a Malvacae. I was very pleased with this because in my devious ways I had already got the genus right via an extraordinary tree that I had seen in Singapore Botanical Gardens - Cola gigantea. It had similar seed pods.
 Never saw a  jongli badam tree which was a pity.

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