Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

ambarella Spondias dulcis (formerly S. cytherea), a tree native to the Society Islands, but now widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of both hemispheres, especially in SE Asia and the Pacific islands. It is cultivated, but not on a large scale.

The greyish-orange plumlike fruits are produced in pendent clusters of two to ten. Each fruit is about the size of an egg, and contains several seeds surrounded by a yellowish pulp. The taste of the pulp is pleasantly sour; the flavour sometimes with a hint of pineapple; and the aroma sometimes resinous and pungent. The unripe fruits are made into relishes, pickles, and also soups. The ripe fruits are used for sauces and preserves.