Guaimaro

Ark of taste
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This tree can grow to be up to 40 meters tall and have a diameter of 1.5 meters. The trunk is straight and cylindrical with well developed knots, while the outer bark is dark grey and flakey. The inner bark is a reddish, yellowish color and is humid. The leaves are simple, alternating, and their stems have petioles. The leaves’ edges have a series of curves that resemble the fingers of gloves, are yellow, and have green flowers. When the fruit is mature it takes on a yellow or orange color and has seeds with a diameter between one and two cm.   This tree can produce up to 300 fruits per year, and in a single harvest up to 300 kg of fruit can be picked. The characteristics of the tree allow for other cultivations to be placed nearby while also leaving room for animals to graze. Normally this tree is used for firewood, but the fruit has nutritional value as well: each fruit contains protein, calcium, iron, and zinc.   This tree was easily found along the paths through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the local indigenous people gathered the fruit for their own consumption as well as for that of animals. Even moose, which are sacred animals for the indigenous community, ate this fruit. The seed is small, mealy, and tastes like potatoes. In the past this fruit represented food security for the local population. It can be boiled, and some people even made a thick dessert with it: by adding milk, coco, sugar, and cinnamon a dark brown treat can be prepared.   The historic zone of production is Mount Santa Maria of the Sierra Nevadas, in the Guajira region of Colombia. This tree has nearly disappeared due to its indiscriminate use for wood that was necessary to build the Carretera Troncal del Caribe (“Caribbean Trunk Road”), and also because of illegal plantations. Today there are still a few trees left but it is not possible to say how many.

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Territory

StateColombia
Region

La Guajira