Nigerian Fruits

"Fruits are nature's sweets"....Marge Simpson.

Every time my daughter called for sweets, I gave her a fruit, then she looks at me and I remind her of the episode of the Simpsons in which Marge said the words above.

But when you really think about it, fruits are indeed the sweets nature intended for us not the sugar laden ones which are evidently not too good for us. Fruits are so important and are nutritionally beneficial to health that eating them regularly should be a major concern for us...young or old.

This is true because fruits pack so much nutrients. They also offer a wide range of tastes, flavours and textures, it is a "sin" to ignore them.

Nigeria, being a tropical country, has her own share of indigenous fruits and its not uncommon to find fruit bearing trees in backyards and streets within communities where they provide shade from the sun and of course fruits for the youngsters in particular. Growing up with my siblings and other relatives, I had my own share of climbing or throwing sticks at trees for their fruits......good times!

Funke Koleosho's Nigerian Fruits Platter

Imported Fruits
There are some truly exotic Nigerian fruits most of which are sadly being forgotten or no longer cultivated. Instead there has been an increased preference for imported fruits (in particular grapes, apples and pears) perhaps because they are believed to have a better nutritional profile.....but I know so well that that is not the case!

I read in some journals and also confirmed on a food blog that strawberries are grown somewhere in Plateau state in Nigeria! This was quite exciting to know that these very versatile and delicious fruits can now be really sourced in Nigeria, but I then quickly began to wonder about our own indigenous forgotten berries....hhhhmmmm. Are they ever going to be grown commercially so that the future generation may also enjoy them..?

In today's post, I attempt to list all the fruits which I loved back then including those we bought in the markets and those we foraged for....and I demonstrate how to use some of them in a very simple fruit salad.

Some fruits fount in Nigeria

Some of my favourite Nigerian fruits (or shall I say fruits found in Nigeria) with their native names (mostly Yoruba) in italics. Feel free to add the ones I have missed out

  • Apples 
  • Bananas(ogede)
  • Pineapples(ope oyinbo)
  • Star Apples (agbalumo, udara)
  • Velvet Tamarind (awin, icheku)
  • Mangoes (mongoro)
  • Sugar cane (ireke)
  • Guavas (goba, groba)
  • Avocados (butter fruit)
  • African Bush Mangoes (oro)
  • Ackee (ishin)
  • Pitanga berries
  • Cashew apples (kaju)
  • Hog plums (iyeye)
  • Water/rose apples (apple)
  • Sea/tropical almonds (fruit)
  • Oranges (osan)
  • Grapefruit (grapefruit)
  • Tangerine/tangelo
  • Papaya (pawpaw, ibepe)
  • Watermelon (bara)
  • Coconut (agbon)
  • Soursop (sharpsharp)
For my recipe today, I have focused on some of my favourite readily available fruits in particular Nigerian grown strawberries which I believe will become a favourite among all Nigerians!

What you need:
  • Papaya
  • Mangoes
  • Tangerine
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Large seeded grapes
What to do
  1. Prep all the fruits by washing first. 
  2. Then peel all the fruits except the strawberries and grapes. 
  3. Cut the fruits up into small chunks as shown in the picture or as you prefer.
  4. Serve on a platter
  5. Serve chilled.

Fruits Found In Nigeria - Platter

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