Pejibaye a Palm Fruit

Pejibaye , a relative of the coconut, is one of Costa Rica's most unusual treats. Pejibayes grow in clusters on palm trees, like miniature coconuts. The part that you eat would correspond to the fibrous husk, while the hard pejibaye seed, when cracked open, reveals a thin layer of bitter white meat around a hollow core. The bright orange or red pejibayes are delicious boiled in salted water, then peeled, halved and pitted and eaten alone or with mayonnaise. You'll see them sold on San Jose streets year a round. Their flavor is difficult to describe. They are not sweet, but more a combination of chestnut and pumpkin with a thick, fibrous texture. You can buy a racimo (bunch) of raw pejibayes at the Mercado Borbon and boil them up for parties, or you can buy them in the supermarkets peeled and canned to take home as souvenirs.

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