I’ve also succumbed to god knows what and have started eating noni. This is something I swore I would never do only 3 months ago. I started because there’s a noni tree growing right on the beach and I felt that any fruit that falls on such a beautiful spot must be good for me. HAHAHA. Also I can’t help harvesting wild fruit, and since then I’ve found another tree growing right on my road. Noni must be the most disgusting fruit known to man. I know there’s the durian which I remember David Attenborough gagging at on tv when I was a kid, but then I never saw him with a noni. In some places it’s called a vomit fruit – and with good reason. It stinks horribly. Truly disgusting and retch making. Not only does it smell foul, it feels awful – squishy like a dead rat and bits flake off in your hand. Wet sticky scabby bits. It looks a bit like a potato full of eyes and it’s the slightly harder, paper thin brown eyes that flake off. When it’s ripe it turns white which only adds to the nastiness as it’s sort of a congealed white with the darks seeds showing through from the center and the brown scabs dotted like measles over the skin. I could barely pick the first one up off the sand it was soft and smelly.
In Pachamama people swear on noni, believing it’s the best thing for helping one’s digestion and general health. I know noni juice is the latest health craze in the States. I don’t know how they make the juice, but in Pachamama they allow the fruit to rot – preferably by putting it in a ziplock bag in the sun. It smells through the bag, a mix of feet and vomit, I’m not kidding, and then they strain it and they drink what putrid ooze they make. Totally unable to commit such atrocities – and it’s only possible to commit them because nothing, not even ants (which eat dog vomit) will eat the rotting fruit, - I decided it best to attempt to eat it raw and only ripe. So steeling myself I cut a slice, doused it in salt, pepper and lime juice and chewed it very quickly at the back of my mouth. I got it down, but this is hardly a way to eat. The next day I tried it in a papaya and banana smoothie and it was quite nasty but edible. And I have to say that now I’m used to it I don’t taste it at all, in fact I might even miss it if I left it out the smoothie. After a couple of days I stopped retching every time I opened the fridge and now I can be standing with my nose almost in it before I realize what it is.
And why? Why am I doing this? I did some research and noni has so much vitamin C it’s almost off the scales, it also has almost as much fiber in one serving as one needs per day. It has other beneficial chemicals and compounds too, too numerous and boring to mention here. The seeds one can roast and eat, I haven’t got that far yet, but I will. When I tire of pumpkin seeds I’ll try the noni. It’s amazing what one can do.