Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lucuma the sweet spice of the incas

Lucuma, with its rich flavours of sweet potato and toasted maple, has seduced the sweet tastes of many.  This includes the Moche people of Andean Peru who, in pre-Colombian times, used to bury their families with the lucuma fruit.

I can understand the Peruvian use of lucuma as an inspiration for art and religion; the fruit is incredibly beautiful in color, texture and flavour. The Moche people enriched Peruvian ceramics and textiles with representations of the fruit.

Lucuma powder has become popular for its natural sweetness, in particular for the raw food movement. Lucuma is versatile, comforting, and soft to the palate. I enjoy blending lucuma with raw cocoa or mesquite to give any salad dressing or dessert an exotic twist. It also blends well with vanilla, raspberries and home made yogurt.

I am also aware of the fortifying effects of lucuma, such as nerve strengthening. The fruit is rich in beta carotene, vitamin B3, minerals, and other nutrients.

I leave you with this decadent pumpkin lucuma cheesecake recipe by Heather Pace.  If you have not yet enjoyed lucuma, I am sure it will introduce you to a new world of natural sweetness.

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