Monday, November 29, 2010
This seemingly innocuous little fruit is called noni. I had seen it before in the market, and had looked it up, but that was a long time ago, so a few weeks ago when I saw it again, I bought it on an impulse. If I had remembered what I'd read about it before, I would have avoided the fruit altogether.
Noni is native to Australia and the South Pacific, where it is eaten raw or cooked. In the rest of the world though, it is either eaten only in times of hardship, or consumed in dried powder form as a dietary supplement. It supposedly has tons of medicinal properties and special plant compounds.
The problem is that noni is also known for its awful taste and smell. I have seen it referenced as "vomit fruit". When I first bought the fruit, it didn't seem to live up to its bad reputation. It didn't have much discernible scent, and when I threw a half of a noni into the blender with other fruit, the juice didn't have any added flavor from the noni. However, after a few days, it started smelling awful. I tried making another juice from it, this time with blackberries. But the juice smelled and tasted just like vomit. In fact, I was so traumatized that for a few days I had a reflexive aversion to blackberry juice, which is normally my favorite. Even writing about it now causes me to feel a gag reflex!