Hala Fruit: A Mystifying Tropical Fruit

Though you might not have heard of hala fruit before, there’s a good chance you’ve seen an image of it online. When opened, this intriguing fruit resembles an exploding planet – or something from another planet altogether.

What Does Hala Fruit Taste Like?

Hala fruit has a mild and sweet tropical flavor, often described as a combination of mango and pineapple sweetened with sugar cane juice. Some people have also likened its flavor to that of ripe jackfruit.

How to Eat Hala Fruit?

The best way to eat fresh hala fruit is by pulling the segments or “keys” of fruit out by their green exterior edges. This will reveal the vibrant red-orange pulp inside. If you’re having trouble pulling the keys out, you can use a hammer to extract a few and make the rest come out more smoothly.

Image Credit: Flickr user dret ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )

The flesh of the fruit is fibrous, pulpy, and juicy. So rather than eating the whole pulp off of the segment like you would a pineapple, you eat hala fruit by chewing the flesh and sucking the flavorful juice out.

What to Do with Hala Fruit?

It’s pretty hard to find hala fruit for sale outside of its countries of origin as the fruit isn’t widely consumed, even where it’s indigenous.  But if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on this tropical delicacy, which is generally found in the Pacific Islands, eastern Australia, and parts of Southeast Asia, there are a few different ways you can enjoy it.

Image Credit: Flickr user Ken Y. ( CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 )

Besides eating the raw fruit, you can blend it and strain the juice to use in drinks or sweets. Blend it into a smoothie or try using it in something like our lemon pound cake for a delicately flavored tropical dessert. Or if you’d like to incorporate the fruit slowly, add a tablespoon of the juice with a half cup of powdered sugar for a hala glaze you can drizzle over cakes and pastries. You can also cook the fruit pulp with sugar to make a jam or hala fruit candy. Hala fruit jam over biscuits would be a lovely brunch addition.

Feature Image: Flickr user Nemo’s great uncle ( CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 )

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