Borojó yuca, palo de trompo
The borojó is a tropical tree native to the northwestern regions of South America (Colombia and Ecuador) and the tropical forest of Panama. The word “borojó” is believed to come from the Emberá language and means “head fruit” (“boro” meaning head and “Ne-jo” fruit). According to other sources, it may have originated in the Brazilian Amazon. These humid and warm areas (between 24 and 28 degrees) offer perfect conditions for the tree to grow, usually up to 6 meters tall. Its fruit is spherical, from green to brown in color and has a dense, acidic pulp. Its dimension varies between 7 and 12 cm in diameter and it can weigh up to a kilogram. In Colombia, indigenous communities like the Sione and the Chocoes praise its nutritional values even more than its taste.
Scientific analysis has brought to light borojó’s rich content in fiber and protein, as well as iron, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C and other nutrients. It is commonly blended with milk and sugar to prepare juices, jams, ice cream and jellies. Moreover, borojó also has medicinal properties and is used to heal wounds, control sugar blood or hypertension. According to the locals it has also an aphrodisiac effect. It was also traditionally used by the indigenous Chocoes to embalm corpses, a technique still in use among the black communities in Atrato and San Juan.
Despite being a small fruit which grows easily in the natural environment, the borojó is difficult to manage because of its consistency and weight. Though various methods like depulping are used to make handling easier, it is not widespread on the domestic market. Nowadays, some native communities in the Amazon are devoted to recovering and strengthening production of the borojó.