A versatile and remarkably easy to grow subtropical: the quiet achiever of the Carica genus, there is the papaya, but then there is the babaco – the champagne fruit – which will thrive in Melbourne and delight you with its wonderful fruit. The attractive golden torpedo shaped fruit have a light refreshing effervescent flesh giving it the name “Champagne fruit”. The subtly tangy flesh has hints of strawberry, pineapple and papaya flavour, is white to yellow, fragrant and juicy. The fruit is easily made into a fabulous tropical fruit smoothy, a chilled fruit cocktail, or added to a fruit salad (there are no seeds and the thin skin is edible). Slice (so they look like stars), sprinkle with sugar, leave in fridge for a few hours and serve – too easy. The unripe green fruit is delicious used as a green vegetable in curries and chutney. The whole fruit, skin included, can be used in jam, or added to fruit pies. Add to all this the excellent keeping qualities (4 weeks on the shelf, longer in cool storage) of the babaco and it is verging on the perfect fruit.
Permaculture legend Angelo wrote of his own: “The fruit of the Babaco tree (Carica pentagona) grow over several seasons, these have seen a whole winter, and will resume growth now that the new leaves have sprouted once again. The babaco is ideally suited to container gardening and also excellent for greenhouses. The plant takes up very little space, and can be planted anywhere where there’s a bit of free space. It can fit nicely in many parts of the yard, and even though it will handle shady locations it prefers a sunny spot. The broad green leaves and vertically held fruit add an exotic touch to the garden. the fruit of the babaco has excellent keeping quality, it has a shelf-life of around four weeks without cold storage.”
To read more about this totally growable tropical plant, find out more here!