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Messages - HI_Chris

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Recommended seller!
Just saw Bali salak seeds for sale again and want to let folks know that I was very happy with the ones I got earlier in the year from palologrower.  Germination rate was high (near-perfect) and they were up fast -- within a couple weeks -- and are now doing super.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mystery plant? Garcinia dulcis??
« on: August 24, 2023, 02:02:14 PM »
Thanks for the ID assistance, skhan.
Much appreciated.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Mystery plant? Garcinia dulcis??
« on: August 23, 2023, 01:34:01 AM »
I would appreciate help with the ID of this plant.

It is a few years old, from back when I was more naive about the longevity of plant tags (sigh!).

I probably got the seed from the Hilo, HI arboretum -- a place that has both Garcinia dulcis and G. mangostana trees -- and it reminds me of Garcinia growth, but it might not even be a fruit tree.  Any help with the ID would be appreciated.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Garcinia Dulcis vs Xanthochymus
« on: March 16, 2023, 11:26:21 PM »

Sorry, can't help with telling them apart.

Must have missed you by just a little while.  I was wandering the arboretum this afternoon and came across the same tree (with loads of rotted fruit underneath, and quite a few good ones up above) and gave a branch a shake to get a nice yellow one to drop.  Really enjoyed the taste, and picked up some seeds from decomposed fruit.  I agree on the mango flavor but did not get close enough to the rind to get the sourness. 
I'll be planting a few of them in hopes of getting both male and female trees (I live in an area too wet for mangos -- maybe these will eventually fruit for me).

-- Chris

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Let's talk about theobroma
« on: February 10, 2023, 06:45:49 PM »
OK, ready to report on first batch of 'cider'.  Short version:  refreshing and I'll try it again.

For those of you with patience, the full report follows.
The 'cider' seems to be made like miel (if I understand miel correctly).  Chief differences appear to be that some water and spices are added at beginning, it is decanted earlier, and the yield is higher.
I loosely followed a recipe in One Cacao Tree, by Raven Hanna.  In addition to providing steps for small-scale chocolate making, she has quite a few cacao recipes for products that don't require all the preparation steps needed for chocolate.
Roughly speaking:  Almost fill a sterile two-quart mason jar with pulpy seeds, add spices, cover with some water, loosely close and then wait about 3 days.  If no mold, decant.
I observed the expected yeasty reaction -- lots of small bubbles.  After 3 days decanted about 1 1/2 cups of lightly-colored liquid.  Chilled in fridge.  Result was refreshing, tangy and bubbly like a cider just going hard.  Unfortunately, the 4" long piece of cinnamon that I had put in the bottle did overwhelm any subtler flavors that may have been hiding.
I'll be trying it again, with less cinnamon, some time later.  And I might be motivated to try something with the under-fermented seeds, which I just tossed away the first round.
-- Chris

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Let's talk about theobroma
« on: February 09, 2023, 12:24:25 AM »
I have three kinds growing (T. cacao, T. bicolor, and T. grandiflorum), all planted about 3 years ago.  Some of the cacao are fruiting now but I don't yet have enough ripe to want to tackle the whole chocolate-making project.  So, for the first half-dozen, I just cracked them open and popped the seeds with pulp in my mouth, spitting them out a few seconds later.  I found there to be very little pulp -- it is a bit like tossing a tangy hard candy in your mouth and being done with it almost immediately.
An in-the-works experiment I'm currently trying is to take the cacao seeds with pulp and make cider.  I'm hoping it will taste a heck of a lot better than it looks.  If it works, I might report back.

My T. bicolor is 15 feet tall, still unbranched, with no sign of flowering. 
My T. grandiflorum plants are very slow growing, perhaps less than 3 feet tall in as many years.  Is that slow growth typical of grandiflora?

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to receive a cupuacu (T. grandiflorum) pod from a friend and tasted it for the first time.  The very hard pod had lots and lots of pulp, both on and between the seeds.  I could not finish it in one sitting.  My better half did not care for the taste, but I quite enjoyed the sweet/tart combination.  The theobromine and caffeine probably served as a little pick-me-up afterwards.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Question?
« on: January 23, 2023, 02:13:22 PM »
Based on fruits from our own tree and those from some friends, my wife and I prefer the abiu (we have a Z-1 cultivar) to star apples, though there is some similarity in taste.  Sapodilla is quite a bit different, with a strong brown sugar taste compared to the milder vanilla/pear/caramel taste of the abiu.  An abiu, picked the same day and chilled in the refrigerator, makes for a beautiful, wonderful dessert.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Durian Season in Hawaii?
« on: January 20, 2023, 01:33:47 PM »
Last Sunday one vendor had durian for sale at Maku'u market, so you could try there.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fruit trees I gave up on
« on: January 03, 2023, 01:49:10 PM »
Fruit trees that I've already given up on include
Guava: fruit flies destroyed them before they ripened and it was very disheartening to have to pick and dispose of every single fruit.
Pineapple guava (feijoa): pineapple-like taste but too sour, even after fully ripe.  It didn't help that they ripened at the same time as my white pineapples, so they fared very poorly in comparison.
B-10 Starfruit: pretty fruit, but too sour.  I have a Kari starfruit that has much more palatable fruit and, really, who can use more than one starfruit tree.
Dwarf ladyfinger banana:  the taste was boring in comparison to the dwarf apple banana (brazilian) and blue java that I also have.
Jamaican passionfruit:  not a single fruit set, though many beautiful blossoms.  I have other passionfruit that are very productive, so I yanked this one.

Trees that are currently on probation include
Dwarf wi apple (spondias):  fairly tart for eating out of hand, and quite a bit of work to prepare enough fruit for making even a cup of relish.
Carob: they keep dying on me before they get even 1 foot tall.  Might be too wet where I am (150" / year).
Tamarillo: I'm on my second try to keep one alive.  It is not thriving.

I'm doing this for fun, so a tree that makes me unhappy does not stay.  It makes for easy decisions and I am left with trees that I like!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Tropical Fruit Holiday Foods
« on: December 07, 2022, 03:17:23 PM »
I'm no fan of the resin taste of many surinam cherries, however...

A neighbor gave me a quart of cherries that she had pitted and put in the freezer.  I tried out a pie recipe for Thanksgiving and it went over well.  It wasn't quite like cherry pie -- it had a bit of a spicy, raisiny mince-meat-pie flavor underneath -- but the resin was not noticeable and it did taste like cherry.
The original recipe was at and my version of the filling follows.

1 quart pitted surinam cherries
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp fresh grated turmeric (the original recipe called for some grated ginger)
1 tsp lemon juice

Boil until it thickens quite a bit.  Let cool.
Use this as a filling in a pre-baked pie shell.  Heat it up for 10+ minutes, optionally with a meringue topping (which I didn't do).
I gave my guests, who were unfamiliar with surinam cherries, a bit of a warning beforehand.  The fact that I lowered expectations probably helped everyone enjoy the not-quite-cherry pie.  I would do it again.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: How to harvest green jakfruit?
« on: September 22, 2022, 12:12:19 PM »
Thanks, everyone, for the tips.
I'll pick a green jakfruit that is not quite full-size and use oil to help cut it up without getting latex everywhere.  Then I'll try to make gudeg and see how it tastes.
-- Chris

Tropical Fruit Discussion / How to harvest green jakfruit?
« on: September 21, 2022, 08:26:07 PM »
I have a new tree loaded with its first jakfruits and I'd like to make gudeg, a dish which requires green jakfruit.  (My only experience with the unripe version is in cans of brine.)  So, at what stage can I harvest the green jakfruit?  And is there anything special to do in order to prepare it for cooking?  If anyone has experience with this, I would be grateful for tips -- Chris

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Cleaning out extras
« on: August 06, 2022, 01:35:39 AM »

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Trade or sale of some rare seeds
« on: October 12, 2021, 06:49:37 PM »
PM sent.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: 2021 SEEDS
« on: September 01, 2021, 11:41:37 PM »
Seeds arrived in great shape.  Thanks.  And thanks, too, for the bonus seeds.
I'm excited to get them all going.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: 2021 SEEDS
« on: August 26, 2021, 01:31:57 AM »
PM sent

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Please help ID mystery (inedible) fruit
« on: February 02, 2021, 01:11:01 AM »
Thanks Mike and Oscar!!

Knowing what it is will help tremendously in figuring out how to eat it.  Somehow my friend thought he had planted a mangosteen, but when I saw the leaves they weren't paired (like the 3 kinds of mangosteens I have growing) I had my doubts.

I very much appreciate your ID help,


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Please help ID mystery (inedible) fruit
« on: February 01, 2021, 09:21:27 PM »
A friend in Hawai'i planted a 'fruit' tree more than 2 decades ago.  It is now an attractive tree about 25' tall and equally wide.  I am told that the fruit is inedible, but I was hoping someone here could point me in the right direction for an identification.  The larger of the two fruits is 4" across and is a bit less from bottom to top.

Photos below.

Many thanks in advance for your help here,

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Mystery Fruit - please help ID
« on: December 05, 2020, 02:23:35 AM »
Many thanks for the ID, Oscar.
I'll be checking to see if I can find any fruit left on the tree.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Mystery Fruit - please help ID
« on: December 05, 2020, 12:50:24 AM »
Today, while working on a fence in rainforest Hawaii, I came across some fruit on the ground.  Orange on outside, about the size (3" diameter) and shape of a large tangerine, but it is not citrus.  I took some leaves from a tree nearby but didn't see fruit in it, so I hope I got the right foliage.  The fruit skin is leathery and there is 1/2" or more of whitish flesh next to it before getting to the large 1"+ seeds in the center.  I didn't taste the fruit, though it smelled OK. After cutting it open, the exposed surfaces went brown very quickly.

PS.  I tried a Google image search using the picture of the whole fruit, but the first item to appear was 'spoiled fruit', so that didn't get me any closer to an answer!

Any help in identifying this from the forum experts will be greatly appreciated!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Introduce Yourself
« on: September 23, 2020, 10:57:30 PM »
Hi everyone,

I've spent quite some time reading lots of very useful information here -- thanks so very much! -- and now thought I'd say hi.

Two years ago we moved to East Hawaii (550' elevation, 160" rainfall but excellent drainage) and have begun the slow process of reclaiming from the jungle some land that used to be a flower farm.  We are fortunate to have mature avocado trees scattered around the property (producing 8 months out of the year), but we are just starting with the fruit trees.  It seems whenever I fill an area with trees, I find even more that I 'need' to plant.

I'll be asking some questions on other threads, later on.


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