Jaca

The jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus, also known as jack tree, jakfruit, or sometimes simply jack or jak) is a species of tree in the Artocarpus genus of the mulberry family (Moraceae). It is native to parts of South and Southeast Asia, and is believed to have originated in the southwestern rain forests of India, in present-day Kerala, in Tamil Nadu (in Panruti), coastal Karnataka and Maharashtra. The jackfruit tree is well suited to tropical lowlands, and its fruit is the largest tree-borne fruit, reaching as much as 80 pounds (36 kg) in weight, 36 inches (90 cm) in length, and 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter. The jackfruit tree is a widely cultivated and popular food item in tropical regions of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Jackfruit is also found across Africa (e.g., in Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania, Madagascar, and Mauritius), as well as throughout Brazil and in Caribbean nations such as Jamaica. Jackfruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh.

(Thanks, wiki*)

Jaca // Jack fruit trees.

Once in a while, hubby comes back from a visit to a farm with a bag of beans or a few BOXES full of bananas, both of which never go to waste as both are part of our almost-daily diet (plus, I’ve also learned to make bananada — banana spread). One day, he finally came home with a jaca (jackfruit). A fruit that I had long heard about, “a prehistorical looking fruit” would describe my husband, but as it is usually too big to eat at once (unless you have a dozen kids to feed at home, ha ha) I didn’t dare buy one at the feira (farmer’s market); Even if they do cut a piece for you, I didn’t know how much to ask for or how to choose the fruit. As it happens, I finally got to try one for FREE and it was a SMALL specimen !  

The small-ish fruit.

I wish I could say “it taste just like chicken”, but, er, not really. It’s really very sweet and, as you can see in the video below, has a lot of fiber. The seeds are quite big so it’s easy to take off, but somewhat difficult to eat in a civilized manner ! I’ve read that there are some sweet or savory dishes with jack fruit in South East Asia. My in-laws told me too that I could prepare it as I do apple sauce without the adding any sugar. I had no idea and should look into it next time we get another one of these monsters! As it happens we ate a bit of it, but I didn’t know what to do with the rest of the fruit that went into containers in the fridge, then ended up as compost in the backyard…

Maracujá

It might be because we are on vacation, or maybe because we have so seldom been with family since we have children… since we are married…since EVER, or simply because I like it here, but I have been daydreaming a lot of living in the neighborhood lately. This morning I escaped the house briefly (leaving the children with their father, uncle, grand-parents, two dogs and five cats), to walk alone to the grocery store. The walkway along the avenue is very pleasant with red flamboyant trees, yellow Ipê trees and the scent of jasmine or camellia (haven’t found out yet). I felt so happy in the sunshine, the temperature was perfect, warm with a light breeze.

SJC (where my in-laws live) is the perfect sized city, in my opinion. It is large enough to have everything one might need (schools, hospitals and an important industrial and research center), yet not as big as the huge São Paulo. Also at driving distance of the megalopolis : not a bad point for a day trip or picking up someone from the international airport. 😉

When I was still dreaming of coming to Brazil, I wanted to be closer to family but couldn’t exactly imagine myself living too close to them.

Now I can. No problem.

Maracujá // passion fruit flower // fleur du fruit de la passion
Muitas frutas! // Lots of fruits…

A força da natureza

Am I getting used to it, or is the paint job on the floor not so bad after all? Note, however, that it graciously goes from green to red-brown to grey… 😆

This house is definitely a step up from the other one. The garden all around the house is fantastic for the kids to run, play, and chase each other while screaming. Ahhh, love this overgrown, messy, wonderful garden!

Palm trees! (Malok-the-cat) Noni trees! Hibiscus! Passion fruit!

As I opened my kitchen window yesterday morning, a light breeze came in accompanied by a delicious perfume. As if on a spell, washing the dishes, a chore that I otherwise greatly dislike turned out to be not so bad after all.

A marvelous perfume. Here some call it “café cheroso” (perfumed coffee) but my G*gle friend hasn’t confirmed that name…

At the market I would have bought half a dozen plants to the flower lady had I not been limited by weight (as usual I had come biking). I ended up coming back home with a erva-cidreira (pretty flowers and really good herbal tea) and some kind of small papyrus that reminds me of mi abuela‘s tiny but luscious backyard in Argentina.

After planting my new finds, my boys and I ate a couple of acerolas from the tree. These little beauties are full of vitamin C – one of them contains something crazy in the ranges of one thousand times the amount of your daily needs. Super awesome fantastical tropical fruit.

Acerola

In the afternoon, I sat in front of the house watching two ara birds play-fight on the highest coconut tree across the street. The wind was still blowing as if about to rain. The boys kept asking for more of the mate that I was drinking.

What a marvelous day. It seemed all the nature around kept reminding me of the main reason we came to this country. I had a smile on my face until bed time.