As the summer begins I have seen them umpteen times on the fruit carts of the neighbourhood hawkers but dared not to buy them. Moreso as I was never introduced in my childhood.
I was in for surprise this weekend as Mangal picking them up from a tree which had shed its leaves he presented them to me—a fruit shaped like a human heart.
Years back Mangal had mentioned that he had planted one at the edge of the farm plot. Standing ignored and hardly cared for, this April it yielded its surprise: Ramphal. Not one but four of them.
Adam had made its appearance now I’m waiting for Eve to do my bidding! My three Sitaphal (Anona Squamosa) trees though over six years old have still to bear fruits.
Named after the deity Ramphal (Annona Reticulata) is sweeter than Sitaphal. Compared to Sitaphal, its texture is creamy yet slightly granular, especially nearest to the skin. It’s smoother, butterier and the best part is that it has fewer seeds. Also known as bullock’s heart Ramphal tends to have a smoother surface in varying colours. Some fruits are pale yellow while others are a rusty shade of pink. The fruit’s insides are very much similar to the female namesake, Sitaphal.
Ramphal grows wild and there has been no attempt to make hybrids of it, like in the case of sitaphal. Ramphal’s main fruiting season occurs from March through May. As it grows wild and not grown as a commercial crop you’re unlikely to see it in shops and malls.
A rich source of potassium and ample vitamin C, a nutrient that boosts the immune system, keeps skin healthy and assists with repairing wounds and cuts. The fruit also contains a good dose of potassium, which helps the body regulate its electrolyte balance, enhance muscle growth, and improves the body’s ability to process waste.