Is acacia fruit / pod edible? That is my question when I was a child. I came up with the idea when I saw my father’s cow eating fallen fruit pods. I picked up a pod and broke it. The pulp has the appearance of honey and it smells like honey or sugar.
I have no guts to have a taste. It feared that it might contain some toxic materials. On the other, the cow can eat it safely. Father’s cow could have been dead otherwise.
I asked mother and father if it could be eaten. Their answer is an straight no.
To avoid confusion, I am talking about the Acacia tree with the Scientific name of Samanea saman and a common English name of rain tree. Literature stated that rain tree was coined from the idea – the pinnate leaves are drooping on rain. I observed the leaves are also drooping on sunset.
The tree is domed shape especially in open field. It is covered with pinkish red color during flower season. Pods are falling to ground at peak maturity. Its a feast for cows and other ruminants.
Literature stated the fruit pulp is sweet with an astringent taste and can be eaten. This answers my previous question, “Is acacia fruit can edible?”.
I was going to my father’s farm to get some young coconut (buko). I passed by a nearby acacia tree. The ripe pods are all over the ground. I picked for a taste test.
The fruit taste is sweet but eating it is not enjoyable due to following reasons:
1) It is sweet but slightly bitter. I am having a hard time eating bitter commodities.
2) The pulp is too little. Might not also be good for food processing purposes.
3) The fruit outer covering is brittle and annoying. It clings in between teeth. Separating pulp from annoying brittle skin is very hard.
4) After few seconds, it seems like a few little ants are biting my tongue. There is no much pain but the feeling is rather uncomfortable.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.