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  • Writer's pictureCari Mackey

The black seed / fruit on the ground of the jungle.

The sister to chocolate? More like sister from another mister and second only to actually being chocolate, the Guácimo tree (in the same family as Cacao), also known as West Indian Elm or Bay Cedar, is sweet, delicious, nutritious, and definitely super. That is, if you are an animal. Considered a super food because of its medicinal uses, and abundance of nutritional contents, it is a favorite among animals because of its sweet earthy-honey-like flavor.

However, if I tried to give you a piece to taste explaining it is the same family of chocolate, there might be blows in chocolates defense and rightfully so.

The green seeds are bitter, tannic, hard, and when you bite into it, the pulp turns slimy in your mouth like a some kind of latex-y slime. All together quite unpleasant. When dried, the fruits fall from the tree in large quantities on the ground for livestock to eat and for sweet animals like squirrels to forage on in the canopy above. The hard outer shell is great for their endlessly growing teeth and the inner contents not only sweet and delicious but full of seeds and nutrients to power their entertaining acrobatic chase sessions. 

This tree is common in Pacific coastal lowlands (like us) of Mexico and Central America. A hearty tree doing her best to defy deforestation by persisting to grow even after being cut back to a stump, she bears fruits after just 6 years of which are full of small seeds easily dispersed by animals. Because of the nutritious qualities of the fruits, and the sweet taste, livestock love to eat them so it's good motivation for famers to keep it around especially farmers like our good friends at Amazilia! Their goats love to eat these delicious little fruits which serendipitously fruit this time of year while we all await the rains to replenish the dry ground and foods follow.

Usually infused into a tea, the fruits are used for many natural remedies as well as vitamin and mineral resources. If you want to really dive into the properties of this super little fruit, a detailed study was written about it or if your like me, take the cliff notes, drink the tea, feed the goats and squirrels, and share the experience with your friends here in Morrillo. 

Your Friends in Morrillo,

Cari and Ryan Mackey

Owners and Hosts

Morrillo Beach Eco Resort

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