Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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naranjilla Solanum quitoense, a member of the nightshade family, bears fruits which resemble a little orange, as its common name, from the Spanish naranja (orange) indicates.

The shrub is believed to be indigenous to Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia, where it is grown commercially, chiefly for the production of juice, although the fruit is pleasant to eat. A brown hairy coat covers the fruit until it is fully ripe, when it rubs off. The fruit is about 6 cm (2.5") across, and divides easily into four sections. The yellowish-green pulp has an acidly sweet taste, some say like a mixture of pineapple and lemon; and lots of tiny, thin seeds.