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   Cocona fruit

Closely allied to the naranjilla, and similar vegetatively but with a quite different fruit, the cocona is much less known outside its natural range. The thin, tough skin is coated with a slightly prickly, peach-like fuzz until the fruit is fully ripe, then it is smooth, golden- to orange-yellow, burnt-orange, red, red-brown or deep purple-red, and has a bitter taste. The cut-open fruit has a faint, tomato-like aroma. The flesh has a mild flavor faintly suggestive of tomato, while the pulp has a pleasant, lime-like acidity. Vegetative propagation is possible, in order to perpetuate a particular cultivar. Air-layers and cuttings of mature wood have been rooted successfully.

The cocona grows in soil of medium fertility on Peruvian mountain slopes and in the Amazonian area of Peru . In Puerto Rico , it has done well on clay; in southern Florida on scarified limestone. Good drainage is essential.

Food Uses
The ripe fruit is peeled and eaten out-of-hand by South American people. More sophisticated people use the fruit in salads, cook it with fish and also in meat stews. Sweetened, it is used to make sauce and pie-filling. It is prized for making jam, marmalade, paste, and jelly, and is sometimes pickled or candied. It is often processed as a nectar or juice which, sweetened with sugar, is a popular cold beverage. In Brazil , the leaves are cooked and eaten as well.

Food Value Per 100 g of Edible Portion*



0.6 g




5.7 g


12 mg


14 mg


0.6 mg


140 mcg


25 mcg




500 mcg

The fruit has a high level of citric acid, about 0.8%.
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