The African star apple which is popularly known as Agbalumo by the yorubas and Udara by the Igbos has been available since late November and in abundance in January. Its botanical name is Chrysophyllum albidum. This is one fruit that is basically eaten as a snack and nothing more compared to other fruits which can be used to produce juices and jams etc. Agbalumo is known for its tangy taste when it is not properly ripened and also its very sweet taste when it is properly ripened. Some people prefer it tangy( when the udara slaps you)- which is more common in the local markets while others prefer it sweet- which is difficult to find.
It is found in the southern part of Nigeria and research shows they are not only good for eating as a snack but also for therapeutic purposes like treating diabetes and lowering blood pressure. It is also known to be low in calories, rich in calcium, tannin and has more vitamin C than oranges. The seeds could be used traditionally to make accessories like anklets for local dances
Unfortunately, no recipes are available from this fruit, they are just conveniently washed and eaten the way they are. Agbalumo farmers are appealing to investors and entrepreneurs to explore opportunities available from alternative uses of the fruit. While uncertain why Agbalumo cannot be as popular as oranges despite its health benefits, it is still popularly enjoyed when it is available and missed when the season ends. Probably what makes it special is that it is not seen all-year round like oranges, apples, bananas and pineapples so people tend to consume it whether tangy or sweet. Whatever the reason, it’s agbalumo season until April so let’s enjoy it