Furu

Ark of taste
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Furu (V. doniana) is a wild plant, 8 to 18 m tall with rough, pale brown or grayish white bark. It produces densely borne flowers from August to November with white petals, except for the largest lobe, which is purple. Fruits ripen from January to April. The fruits are drupes that are greenish in color when young, turning darker to almost black when ripe. They have a starchy, black pulp and hard, conical seeds. The ripe furu fruit is sweet in taste, with a flavor somewhat similar to that of a prune, and mealy in consistency.   There are two methods by which fruits can be collected: picked directly from the tree or collected from the ground once they have naturally fallen. There are also numerous medicinal uses for this tree in treating anemia, and the root is used for gonorrhea. Cooked young furu leaves can be eaten as a vegetable or in sauces. The sweet, blackish pulp of the fruits is eaten raw and often used to make jam. A beverage can also be made from the fruit juice, and boiled fruits are the basis for an alcoholic liquor and wine. The seeds inside the furu fruit are also edible.   Furu is a common wild fruit for the Nyamwezi tribe, who eat it in abundance from January to April. Local people harvest furu for personal consumption or purchase it locally. However, due to alteration or disappearance of rural ecosystems and landscapes, furu trees and fruit may be at risk of extinction. Younger generations also tend to ignore this local fruit, preferring to eat exotic fruits rather than traditional ones.

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Territory

StateTanzania
Region

Tabora

Other info

Categories

Fruit, nuts and fruit preserves

Indigenous community:Nyamwezi