Extraordinary fruits of Madeira

The Island of Madeira is mostly known for the large plantations of banana which can be found mainly in the southern part. But due to the hospitable microclimate, there are a huge amount of plant species that can be grown and bloom multiple times for a whole year. During the centuries people introduced to Madeira rare and bizarre plants with even more outstanding, but delicious fruits.

known also as a cherimoya or custard apple thanks to its flavor. This extraordinary fruit, looking like an egg with scales, tastes sweet and similar to the original custard. The flesh is creamy, white and juicy with largish and inedible seeds inside. Anona was brought by merchants from South Africa and introduced in Madeira in the 17th century. Originally it comes from the Andes.

Banana passionfruit
is native to the highland of Venezuela to Bolivia. It has an orange pulp studded with black seeds, which are edible but can be somewhat bitter. The taste is close to the purple passion fruit, but with less acidity and less juice. What’s more, banana passionfruit is a good source of fiber, vitamins A and C, and antioxidants.

Monstera deliciosa
or just delicious fruit if you want to sound more like a local. Monstera is popular and widely grown as a houseplant, especially in Europe. Its name is a reference to the size that the plant can grow to which is even 9 m. The fruit of Monstera looks like a green ear of corn covered with scales similar to the anona skin. Due to the outstanding look, it draws much attention among the visitors. The fruit is edible but when green it is toxic and therefore care is advisable. It can grow up to 25 cm and tastes similar to jackfruit combined with pineapple.

or English tomato, another plant originally from the Andes. The egg-shaped fruit that color varies from yellow and orange to dark red. The brighter colors characterize by sweeter taste than the darker ones which are more acetous. Tamarillo can be used as an ingredient to a local beverage called Poncha and makes it more acidic than the original. The majority of plantation in Madeira is concentrated in the municipalities of Santana (Arco de São Jorge, São Jorge and Santana) and Santa Cruz (Camacha).

flowering plant, native to South America. The fruit has a bittersweet flavor – if harvested with an orange to red color, it is more acidic, while harvested with a dark red or even almost black tone, it is much sweeter. As tamarillo, pitanga can be used as an ingredient for Poncha. It’s also low in sugar and contains a high level of vitamin A and C.


Blanka Wawrzyniak

Volunteer at Teatro Metaphora – Associação de Amigos das Artes
European Solidarity Corps  
To know more: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity_en

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