Now that the season of Agbalumo is over, I felt it was time to share my findings before moving on to this seasons produce.
Of all the struggles I have had with Agbalumo, identifying ripe fruits has been the hardest. Thinking back I have bought around 500 in the last 3 months for various experiments and each time it has been a gamble. Sometimes I get amazing ones and other times I get duds I end up giving away. This weekend however I vexed and the reason is this. I bought 12 dozen Agbalumo I thought were okay and 10 dozen of them were already rotten. The anger I felt after this mistake forced me do this experiment. I selected 4 ripe looking fruits to see how they looked on the inside. Here are my findings.
How to select ripe Agbalumo in order of occurrence.
- Size: Can be large or small as the size has little effect.
- Look: Should be bright orange in color. No black or grey spots. A few deep red blemishes are okay. The top should not be deep green as that means it is unripe. A pale leaf green color is okay.
- Feel: Should yield when pressed but remain firm.
- Ease of peeling:
When peeling lengthwise, the skin should come off in 1 piece with little effort. I did a post on peeling that can be found here
- Flesh color: Shiny deep orange red color.
- Seed cluster: Strong. The five seeds are intact and it requires some force to break it apart. The sheath on the seed is bright orange yellow in color.
From the information gathered, my theory is this. The Agbalumo you buy can fall into 6 categories and I happened to capture 4 of them.
A – immature and over ripe
B – mature and ripe
C – immature and unripe
D – immature and ripe
E – mature and over ripe
F – mature and unripe
Before coming up with the criteria, the 4 selected Agbalumo were taken apart following the order of the criteria and the prominent positive traits (sweet) were used to construct the criteria.
Flaws with this information
- I used the size of the Agbalumo to determine if the fruit is mature or immature. Further work has to be done to see if all Agbalumo trees produce fruit of varying sizes or if certain trees produce certain sizes consistently.
- I used my previous knowledge of other fruits to decide what was over ripe and ripe. It would be necessary to watch an Agbalumo tree produce fruit and pluck it at different stages to and see how it progresses to determine the validity of my claims.