[Bellada Hannu] The wood apple may be a peculiar fruit – it’s sort of a rotten coconut on the skin, and on the within, it doesn’t get any prettier. Nor does it smell right – many consults with it as a kind of mixed stench of rotten cheese with overripe bananas. But very like the stinky durian, we all know better than to not judge a fruit by its odour.[Bellada Hannu]

Wood apple cut in half Bellada Hannu
wood apple on a plate

The wood apple may be a popular fruit in Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine, native to those areas and neighbouring Bangladesh and also the Andaman Islands. Botanically called limonia acidissima, the wood apple grows on trees that reach up to nine meters and the leaves of these trees serve medicinal purposes.[Bellada Hannu]

The hard, rough exterior is roofed in sticky brown pulp and tiny white seeds, and once cracked open, exposes a soft, dark brown flesh that appears like banana pudding.

Scientific Name: Bellada Hannu

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Eudicots
  • Clade: Rosids
  • Order: Sapindales
  • Family: Rutaceae
  • Subfamily: Aurantioideae
  • Genus: Limonia L.
  • Species: L. acidissima


What does wood apple fruit taste like?

Wood apple pulp features a sour, funky taste that’s delicious with bare sugar in desserts, or with warm spices for savoury dishes. In-state, locals make wood fruit crush by adding sugar and coconut milk to the strained pulp. The resulting juice is tart, sweet and creamy, and could be a refreshing street food option that’s popular in the summertime.[Bellada Hannu]

Wood apple pulp is additionally wont to make chutneys and jams, the latter made by cooking the pulp with sugar and spices like cardamom. Try its tart-sweet flavour in desserts like frozen desserts, or go at it like many of the locals do: taste it straight out of its hard shell by scooping out the pudding-like pulp with a spoon.

How to Cut Open a Wood Apple

Just like opening a coconut, it is a challenge to open a wood apple. The prettiest way is to hit it around the belly of the fruit with the rear of a knife until it neatly splits open. Alternatively, if you’re somewhere and you don’t have a knife, just slam it on the ground or use a rock to smash it open.[Bellada Hannu]

Wood apple on the tree Bellada Hannu
wood apple tree

So although the wood apple fruit may be a little strange indeed and encompasses a pretty funky smell, I feel it tastes awesome and it’s healthy too! If you ever get an opportunity to eat a wood apple, don’t miss out.[Bellada Hannu] Just remember, a wood apple is sort of a bowel loosener therefore it’s best to possess it early in the morning.[Bellada Hannu]

Health Benefits

Wood apple may need been traditionally employed in India as a liver and cardiac tonic. The unripe fruit may have astringent properties that may effectively halt diarrhoea and treat pharyngitis. As a standard remedy, the fruit pulp or the powdered rind will be used as a poultice for insect bites and stings.

Just like the bael fruit, the fruits, seeds, roots, and therefore the bark of Limonia acidissima have all been utilized in folklore remedies for several years. According to an analysis, wood apple (Limonia acidissima) might contain a substantial amount of protein, carbohydrate, iron, and fat. The pulp also has pectin fibre and tannins. It’d be an honest source of calcium, vitamin C, zinc, and sodium.[Bellada Hannu]

Wood apple Bellada Hannu
close view of wood apple

There don’t seem to be many studies done on this variety. The widely seen and approved advantages of wood apple (Limonia acidissima) are:

  • Wound healing: During a rat study, the methanol extract of the fruit pulp exhibited properties to assist the wound contract progressively.
  • Antibacterial activity: Researchers found that the pulp extract might need an inhibitory effect against gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Its seeds and bark contain antibacterial properties.
  • Antifungal activity: In line with a study published in the Planta Medica journal, the compounds within the fruit inhibited the expansion of the subsequent fungi: Aspergillus niger (black mould), C. gloeosporioides, Curvularia sp., and Penicillium sp.

This sort of wood apple is additionally being explored for cosmetic purposes because it can be an upscale source of antioxidants like polyphenols, flavonoids, saponins, and vitamin C.

Word of caution

Anecdotal evidence shows that excessive consumption of this fruit may cause laxative effects on the body.

Internal links:

Jatoba Fruit, What you know about it’s medicinal benefits? -Erakina

Apricots, the fiber rich fruit – Erakina

Cherry, Benefits & facts-Erakina

External links:

Read more about The wood apple benefits and taste

By Arpit Mangal

Date: 27/06/22

Tags: Fruits

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