Lucuma is a popular ingredient in many Peruvian desserts

Lucuma is a popular ingredient in many Peruvian desserts

Lúcuma is a fruit that is an enormously popular ingredient in Peruvian desserts, especially ice cream, with sales eclipsing more traditional flavors like chocolate and strawberry. Opening the fruit, the shape and large central stone are just like an avocado but with bright orange flesh. The fruit has a similar texture to cooked egg yolk, it’s dry and crumbling, and for that reason lúcuma is sometimes called “eggfruit” in English.

The flavor of lúcuma is described as a mix of toffee, maple syrup and sweet potato. The fresh fruit has an aftertaste that takes some getting used to. More recently lúcuma powder has been used in cakes and other desserts, giving them a distinctive color and the taste Peruvians adore.

For your first taste of lúcuma ice cream when you get to Lima, go to Donofrios on the corner of Lima and Ernesto Diez Canseco, just across from Parque Kennedy in the center of Miraflores.

Supermarkets also stock the OVNI brand, (spanish for UFO) which is a stronger tasting, gourmet version.

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Authored by: Rick Hind

Rick Hind is an Australian journalist who took the plunge two years ago with his partner Anna to explore a new continent and learn Spanish along the way. In the last two years he’s trekked in the Cordillera Blanca and Huayhuash, explored the Amazon in an open canoe, hiked through Patagonia, tangoed in Buenos Aires and learned to surf in Lima. Peruvian cuisine has captured his heart, and he’s still trying to master ceviche, rocoto relleno and make the perfect pisco sour.

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