I was delighted to find my favourite fruit in the wild this week. Water apples (also known as bell fruit) are familiar to me from my childhood in West Africa where I called them “pommes d’eau.”
In the hillside of green, a tree with bright red fruit captures my eye.
As I approach the tree, I see that it’s not one tree, but two — laden with ripe water apples.
The flowers and fruit of the water apple can form on almost any point of the tree, including on the main trunks.
Generally, ripe water apples are dark red in colour. All of the ones off these trees are a bit pale, and they don’t taste as flavourful as a result.
When biting into a water apple, the consistency of the flesh is similar to that of a crunchy watermelon, and it’s quite juicy. Unripe fruit taste very astringent.
Each fruit has a small core, containing little seeds surrounded by taste-less flesh.
I haven’t enjoyed water apples since I visited Hong Kong, so it was a treat to have them again. Although these water apples weren’t the sweetest variety, they were still a lovely reminder. Maybe the next lot I come across will be more delicious.