If you’ve never heard of this rollinia — a magical, enticing, seductive tropical fruit — I feel for you. It’s okay, I had no idea what it was until traveling to the Big Island and the Hawaiian Sanctuary to cater David Wolfe’s retreat. It was instant love at first taste!
Rollinias are grown on trees and do best in warm tropical conditions, which is why this fruit is a favorite in Hawaii. The fruits are picked when they start to turn yellow and continue to ripen. Be ready for a feast, as they ripen quickly and will only last on your counter a few days. Of course, I never had a problem giving pieces away.
How to describe the tasty goodness? It’s very much like the cherimoya fruit I fell in love with while living in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. Sweet lemon meringue pie is the best description I can give you, and, YES, it’s perfect for breakfast. I’ve heard others describe it as creamy lemon sherbet or even an apple custard as the consistency is nice and creamy. No, it doesn’t look the most appetizing, but with one taste, you forget about the “raw chicken” look and dive in for more!
Rollinia makes it easy to eat those 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies a day. It has more protein in it than almost any other kind of fruit. It is also an excellent source of calcium, phosphorous, iron and vitamin C.
In holistic medicine, the fruit is used as a cooling and soothing agent to relieve fevers and internal irritations.
To me, it’s just plain paradise for breakfast While it would make a great sauce, ice cream or dessert, I found true pleasure in just serving it fresh and allowing guests to suck every last ounce off the big black seeds. Yea, the seeds mean it takes effort if you want to make any other type of dessert with it, so if you are lucky enough to have someone make you a raw creation out of rollinia, bless them hugely — and save me a piece!