Harvesting, Cooking and Preparing Pejibaye, Peach Palm Fruit
Pejibaye, or Peach Palm, is a squash type fruit that grows high in the leaves of an extremely spiny and dangerous palm tree here in Costa Rica. Twice a year this palm opens up a huge clam shell leaf and white seeds hang on strings from it, this will soon turn into the fruit. Hoards of black bees buzz around the white seeds removing an outer layer and allowing the white kernels to drop to the ground. If you have never heard this it is amazing, I always think that it is raining outside. That is officially when the squash/fruit starts to grow.
This tree has spines from top to bottom, leaves and all. The big leaves fall to signal that the fruits are almost ready to turn from green to red. You have to use very thick gloves or a machete to pick up the leaves because they can and will cause injury to your hands and wearing the right shoes can keep spines out of your feet. I get very annoyed with the debris from the trees but every other aspect is so amazing that I put up with it. The doves and pigeons flock to the farm when the pejibaye are red and ready to drop.
Costa Ricans, or Tico’s as they call themselves, serve these at home or as a street food. Two months out of the year, you can find a vendor on the side of the road with a cart full of these hot little nuggets. He cuts it in half, removes the seed, gives you a napkin, offers you mayonaise or sour cream and plops two or three into your hand.
See the Pejibaye Festival pictures here Pejibaye Festival
This video shows the tools we used to get it down, the cleaning and the cooking of this popular Costa Rican treat.
If you come stay at the farm you can enjoying eating this natural treat and also help us to harvest if you would like.