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A Fruit That Tastes Like Milk and Cheese, Smells Like Stinky Feet

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  • The cream-colored flesh emits a strong, objectionable odor.
  • The seeds are spread by a rodent which buries and stores the fruit, much like hoarding.
  • It can be used for baking and making beverages.

How could something that smells so bad tastes so good? This is what you will likely think when you bite into the fruit of the West Indian Locust Tree, which is aptly nicknamed as “the stinking toe fruit.”

The fruit does, in fact, smell like stinking feet. It has a brown outer shell-shaped like toes and contains cream-colored flesh that emits an objectionable odor.

The seeds of the fruit are dispersed by a tropical rodent called agouti, which has very strong teeth that can crack open the pods.

The agouti then carries the fruits to other areas and then buries them for later consumption. Think of it as just like hoarding.

Because of this, the fruits have a tendency to be forgotten. They germinate and grow into new West Indian Locust trees.

The stinking toe fruit can be found throughout much of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Humans have to use hammer or rocks to crack the fruits open. One can eat them raw, but mostly they are used for cooking, whether to a pulp or for blending or baking.

Jamaicans turn them into a refreshing beverage by blending the pulp with water, sugar, and spices.
Brazilians call the fruit jatobá and is frequently used for baking broinha, a biscuit-like pastry. Bakers dry up the pulp to produce powder to be used for baking.

The fruit is also used for medicinal purposes in Central and South America. It can be used to soothe diarrhea and is said to be an aphrodisiac as well.

Of course, one will wonder what the taste is really like. The dry pulp, which has the texture of a clump of flour, tastes like dried milk with hints of herbs and parmesan cheese.

So if you want to try the stinking toe fruit, it’s best to eat the thing without breathing through your nose.

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