Back in May, I posted this picture and gave the following description:
I encountered this vegetation in Ho Tram and have no idea what it is. I’ve asked a couple of locals, but they were just as clueless as yours truly. One guy said it was related to gac fruit. All I know is that it’s hard, larger than a softball, heavier than it looks and definitely not a pomelo. Can anyone identify what fruit or vegetable this is?
I received a number of guesses from helpful readers, but no one hit the nail on the head. That is until Anh chimed in. “It looks like Trái Đào Tiên,” she wrote. “It belongs to the same family with Pomelo. Vietnamese use it as a medicine.” Ding ding!
After a bit of research using this pertinent new information, I discovered that the scientific name for the tree is Crescentia and that it is “a genus of six species of flowering plants in the family Bignoniaceae, native to southern Florida, the Caribbean, southern Mexico, Central America and northern South America. The species are small trees growing to 10 meters tall, and producing large spherical fruits up to half a meter in diameter.” I also learned that the Vietnamese use the dried Calabash fruit to cure such ailments as asthma and diarrhea.
Thank you, Anh. I’m so glad we have finally identified this mystery fruit. Woot!