Wood Apple

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

wood apple the fruit of a small tree, Feronia limonia, found in most parts of the Indian subcontinent and eastwards to the China Sea. It is also called elephant apple, and formerly had the botanical name F. elephantum, because elephants like to eat it. So do monkeys, to judge by the Sanskrit name kapipriya (dear to monkeys).

The round grey fruits, the size of apples, have hard shells and contain a brown pulp which is used to make sherbets, jellies, and chutneys in India. The pulp is also eaten raw with sugar, or with salt, pepper, and oil. It is inconveniently full of small seeds.