Hello, meet Monstera Deliciosa, a delicious food of the fruit variety that is easy to prepare and delectable to eat!
I was shocked at meeting this fruit at my favorite local healthy-foods store, Integral Yoga Natural Foods. Tucked away by mangoes and strawberries was this very phallic, scaly, alien-like fruit that completely weirded me out… so of course I had to try it! Ends up Monstera Deliciosa is incredibly delicious. I just wanted to get that out of the way… in case you really don’t trust the name… and are doubting purchasing this radical food.
About Monstera Deliciosa:
Alternate names: Ceriman, Swiss Cheese Plant (or just Cheese Plant), Fruit Salad Plant, Monster fruit, Monsterio Delicio, Monstereo, Mexican Breadfruit, Monstera, split-leaf philodendron, Locust and Wild Honey, Windowleaf and Delicious Monster.
Origin: Mexico and Central America
Interesting Facts: This plant is most common as a leafy decorative plant and grows naturally in moist, warm climates, suffering with any frost. The fruit doesn’t usually grow indoors, but rather in the wild where the plant will hide from the sun in order to find the shade of a tree on which to plant itself and grow upwards towards the light. The fruit is actually an ‘unripened flower spike’ (source one) that takes at least a year to mature fully before harvesting.
Health Benefits / Warnings: Don’t be afraid by the following: because of its high content of oxalic acid, the unripened fruit can be toxic, causing itching, swelling and asphyxiation. But if you’ve bought the fruit rather than hacked it off a tree yourself, you’re good. The mature fruit contains a small amount of oxalic acid, which is common in a few other fruits and may cause a slight itchiness in the mouth and tongue if you’re sensitive to certain allergens. I am very sensitive to certain allergens and found myself surprisingly fine with this fruit! Health wise, Monstera Deliciosa has a good amount of vitamin C and is a natural energy booster due to the rush of natural sugar and water content.
Observations: The first observation my roommate and I made was that the flesh smells amazing! Like a really strong Jolly Rancher or an entire fruit salad concentrated into a small kernel. The fruit itself is soft and a bit slimy, but that only makes it more delicious as it melts in your mouth. The taste is a combination of pineapple and banana, a surprising delight of both sweet and a tad tart in one bite.
How do you serve and eat Delicious Monster? I was happy just to eat it alone with a spoon, but throwing it over icecream, yogurt or cereal would be an appropriate plan, as would sticking it in a smoothie or baking it into a crepe.
How Do You Prepare Delicious Monster?
- Place the fruit in a paper bag or upright in a glass, stem side on top. Let it ripen naturally – which takes 2-4 days depending on the age of the fruit and the humidity.
- When the scales have started to peel off, gently remove remaining scales with your fingers, revealing the soft white flesh underneath. Warning: this may remind you of skinning an iguana or a nightmare you had as a child after watching an alien movie. Keep in mind, the fruit coming to you is named Delicious Monster for a reason!
- Using a thin knife, remove the now delicate and somewhat slimy scales from the hard and inedible core.
- Mix into a smoothie, sprinkle on yogurt or cereal, or eat raw for an unbelievably delicious treat!