Yes, it’s an apple made of ice! And sugar, spice and everything nice.
Meet Ice Apples, one of the most awaited summer fruits on the Indian Peninsula. Grown all along the Indian coastline, the Ice Apple, or Palm Fruit, is the epitome of a carefree childhood!
This fruit is much-loved across the coastal towns and cities of India, where the summer is hot, humid and harsh and palm trees grow aplenty. On these palm trees, amidst the crown of sharp, spiky leaves of the Palm Tree, grow Ice Apples encased in a hard, coconut shell-like casing.
The tough purple-brown shell of the fruit is opened with a sharp crescent-shaped knife to reveal these soft, white pearly kernels inside. Smooth as marble, these bubbles of coolness are extremely delicate. The jelly-like outer skin is soft to the touch and can be slit easily, letting the cool, sweet water out.
To get the freshest, juiciest flavour of the Ice Apples, the fruit requires a near-instant harvest, careful and delicate handling and a supply chain that has a very short turn-around time. At Living Food, we have built a robust supply chain to deliver on this promise. Right from partnering with villagers who depend upon the Ice Apple to provide for their families, to multiple quality checks that ensure we deliver the freshest, most tender Ice Apples of the season.
And we go the extra mile for you to maintain that freshness for longer. The fruit is delivered semi-peeled to provide maximum hygiene, texture and taste. Once delivered, you can store the Ice Apples in the fridge to make it easier to peel.
Ice Apples are the perfect summer thirst quenching fruit and are best enjoyed as soon as they are taken out of the shell. Well known for their cooling properties, Ice Apples are the ideal antidote to a scorching summer. This fruit is also low in calories, naturally hydrating and an excellent source of potassium, vitamins and minerals.
The Palm Tree that bears these Ice Apples is worshipped as the celestial tree, or the ‘katpaha tharu’, across Tamil Nadu. Even though Ice Apples are in season for a very short duration, only from March to April, the tree itself has a multitude of uses and is one of the most versatile trees, where every portion, from the leaf to the stem and the fruit, is used throughout the year.
Every region has its own name and recipe for Ice Apples. Locally known as Nungu in Tamil Nadu, Taal in West Bengal, Tadgola in Maharashtra and Munjaal in other parts of South India, this fruit was first named Ice Apple by the British for its signature cooling taste.
Ice Apples are indeed an ode to the marvels of nature, where the more parched the land is, the sweeter the fruits are. And while Ice Apples are litchi like in appearance, they are so much more in taste. Bursting with refreshing water, eating this fruit is a unique experience on its own.
This juicy fruit, a traditional delicacy by itself, is prepared in many forms. You can find it in the Rose Sharbat that is served for Iftar, or the traditional, South Indian Nungu Payasam, made sweet with milk and dry fruits. The set, panna cotta like Ice Apple pudding is popular amongst the Malabar Muslims, and the Bengali community enjoys it as Taal Boras or deep fried, sweet Vadas.
Enjoy this delicious and tender star of the Summer - the Ice Apple today. In season only for a limited time, it is indeed an opportunity not to be missed! Available as a Pack of 6 or 12, it is sure to win your heart.
Tell us how you enjoy eating Ice Apples! What is your favourite recipe? Write your comments below or tag us on instagram @livingfoodco to get featured on our page! Happy Ice Apple season!