Cocona

Q – “Isn’t that a persimmon?” A – “They are distantly related to persimmons, but are not the same.”

cocona fruitCocona is a tropical plant from the Solanaceae family. The fruit is a yellow-orange color and the leaves of the plant are large and hairy. The pulp is typically used for nectar, jams, candies, other sauces and most commonly for juice. (Information from Wikipedia.)

The cocona was first seen in 1760 in an Indian garden alongside maize and beans. In the 1940’s, seeds from the upper Amazon were planted at the Experiment Station in Tingo Maria, Peru! The majority of the production here is in the jungle at an altitude between 3,000-4,000 ft. However, in Florida and Trinidad it is grown on the coast.

Here in Peru, the plant is grown for commercial use. The canned juice is being exported to Europe. It is said cocona production is being encouraged by Gerber Baby foods. (Information from Purdue.)

Recently, on a trip to Educador we were introduced to Naranjillo, also known as Lulo in Colombia. The are also from the Solanaceae family, but again are not exactly the same fruit.

Gretchen Noelle

My love of food was cultivated early on by my family but has come alive while living in Peru. During the 12 years of living in Lima, Peru, I have also enjoyed numerous trips to other areas of the country. Here on Provecho Peru you will find Peruvian recipes in English, American favorites prepared overseas, news about Peruvian Cuisine and interesting tidbits about life in Peru.

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4 Responses

  1. Karla says:

    buenas soy una estudiante y estoy realizando mi tesis con cocona y para lo cual necesito la flor especificamente y hojas de la planta, no se si podrán ayudarme a conseguirlo o brindar información donde puedo conseguirlo. gracias de antemano

  2. karla says:

    buenas soy una estudiante y estoy realizando mi tesis con cocona y para lo cual necesito la flor y hojas de la planta, no se si podrán ayudarme a conseguirlo o brindar información donde puedo conseguirlo. gracias de antemano

  1. March 24, 2012

    […] of pepper, lime, salt and oil. But, a true jungle preparation of these spicy peppers also includes cocona, a refreshing fruit to balance the […]

  2. March 24, 2012

    […] juice. Cocona juice is commonly served in the jungle of Peru, but I make it quite often when the cocona is available here in the stores. It has a unique flavor, one certainly worth […]

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