This post is also available in: Spanish
Here at Casa de Campo Living we’re always on the look out for interesting things to write about, and today we have discovered a new weird and wonderful fruit – Noni!
While to some of you, the “Noni” may not be weird, wonderful or new, but having lived in Casa de Campo for nearly 6 years without every coming across it… I thought maybe it would be new and interesting to some of you too!
According to Wikipedia, the noni is the fruit of the Morinda citrifolia tree belonging to the coffee tree family, Rubiaceae. Its native range extends through Southeast Asia and Australasia, and the species is now cultivated throughout the tropics and widely naturalised. In English its common names include great morinda,Indian mulberry, noni, beach mulberry, and cheese fruit
Here in Casa de Campo, we found the noni ripening and seemingly ready to eat right here in Altos de Chavón at the back entrance to the La Piazzetta entrance. And the butterflies seem to love it – the tree is simply buzzing with lemon butterflies and monarch butterflies. [Click here to read our post of butterflies.]
Although I was too afraid to taste it myself (after all we do fumigate around here), I am told that the fruit is actually rather tasty – “it’s like a pear” I was told.
That said it is not a widely cultivated fruit, meaning you are unlikely to spot it in the supermarket. It’s other uses include; in Thai cuisine, the leaves are used in salad; in in Polynesian cultures, the fruit, leaves, and root is used to treat menstrual cramps, bowel irregularities, diabetes, liver diseases, and urinary tract infections; and the bark produces a brownish-purplish dye that may be used for making batik, while In Hawaii, a yellowish dye is extracted from its roots to dye cloth.
So there you have it! You see, the Noni is indeed weird and wonderful!