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Stories articles and news abot Alison and Digby Gotts


The Samoan Experience
Three days in Tafua
EcoTour Samoa
The Samoan Election
Pruning the Mangoes
Climbing Mt SiliSili
Fourth week in Samoa

Samoan Observer Articles:

Why is there no fruit on my mango?
Want more mangoes next year?
Green oranges or orange oranges?
In search of a Samoan Orange
The Hardest Cut
Rambutan - hairy thing from the forest
Rambutan revisited
Abiu - the emporer's golden fruit
Avocado - fruit or vegetable?
Carambola - star of the rainforest
Durian - the extreme tropical fruit
Rollinia - lemon meringue pies growing in the garden
Sex and the single pawpaw
Soursop - a taste sensation
The mulch story
Do it yourself pest control
The joys of soapy water!
The hungry fruit tree
Positive insects



(One of a series of articles about growing fruit trees in Samoa, written by Digby Gotts and published in the 'Samoa Observer' between December 2000 and April 2001)

One of the difficulties of life as a fruit tree advisor is that people always want to grow something that doesn’t do well in their environment. Hence the popularity of mangoes in Samoa. One tree that grows readily in Samoa that seems to be largely ignored, except by children, is the soursop, or sasalapa. A tree that grows reliably from seed, survives well in this environment and produces yummy fruit all year really deserves a bit more attention.

Soursop fruit is a little tricky to get to know, because eaten off the tree or bought from the market it is often over-ripe, giving it some off flavours. Yet the juice from this fruit can make a dessert worthy of a 5 star restaurant but simple enough to be made by any villager.

Pick the fruit once it starts to turn pale green to yellow green but while it is still hard. Keep it in your kitchen until it softens, which should be less than a week. Once the fruit is soft, deal with it as soon as possible, as those off flavours develop within 24 hours. The next bit is a bit messy, so wash your hands well. Peel the fruit and remove the hard core, slopping the flesh into a coarse sieve or colander. Run your fingers around inside the sieve, pushing at the flesh. The juice should go through, leaving the seeds and cotton wool fibre behind. The white and creamy juice can be poured into containers and frozen until needed. Save a few of the seeds from the best fruit for planting, but compost the rest with the fibre and skin.

The soursop juice can be used in many ways, but a favourite dessert in our house is to mix some into soft ice cream and then refreeze before serving. The sweet sharp tangy taste is better than any commercially flavoured ice cream I’ve yet found. If you’re into mixed drinks, try blending some frozen soursop with bacardi and blue curacao for a great daiquiri. The non-alcoholics out there might prefer simply mixing it with soda water. The juice can also be used as a topping on its own, mixed into cheesecakes and jellies or simply eaten frozen after blending as a sorbet. I’m sure that there are some creative people who could really show their stuff with this one.

Soursop is easy to grow your own from seed, but Nafanua has some young trees. The trees should start to bear fruit at around three years old.


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Last updated November 6, 2014