There is no season in Uganda where fruits are scarce; they are in plenty for the greater part of the year. Fruit eating is one of a typical Ugandan lifestyle. Fruits are eaten at home, in offices, weddings, conferences, hotels, schools, shops, gardens…etc. Fruits are affordably sold everywhere; on streets, markets, supermarkets, homes.
We love fruits. If you are a fruit lover, then Uganda is a place to be. Our fruits are fresh, sweet with all the health benefits. Eating Ugandan fruits leaves you yearning for more. The fruits just hang on the trees waiting to be picked by you. If you ever want to live long, healthy, strong, happier and a life that you love; eat fruits on a regular basis.
Eating a quick snack plus sweet bananas, while chatting with a Netherlands friend, after having her bit of a banana, she said;
Do you know that this banana tastes much different from that home.
I then ask her, how?
Ugandan fruits are sweeter, fresh, and natural, smells good and tastes great”. I like the fruits here, am going to miss the fruits here. We import most fruits and that means by the time they get to us, it has lost its natural taste and sweetness.
For a moment, I realized how blessed Uganda is; how blessed I am to be at the natural source of real, sweet, tasty and nutritious fruits.
You may ask,
“Why is it Uganda have a variety of fruits in plenty?”
Well.., Uganda’s naturally fertile soil, warm, less humid tropical climate, abundance rainfall and arable land has greatly contributed to plentiful fruit growing. The government has also encouraged the nationals through different policies and programs like irrigation schemes, incentives given through NAADS programs- www.naads.or.ug , providing financial support to the growers in order to boosts fruit growing.
Uganda’s tropical fruit basket contains organic fruits; organically grown and this explains why they are richer in taste and nutrients. Also the use of compost manure such as poultry litter, cow dung etc. The fruit trees are ever green throughout the year. The fruits are free from toxin; they help in skin rejuvenation, makes your skin look youthful and glowing.
Above all, being fruit eaters- fruit growing comes from hard work, self motivation, commitment and the depth of love for fruits that the people have. They pride in growing fruits as well as eating. Fruits are consumed locally and also exported. Due to the high demand for fruits from the fruit processing industries and urban population, the farmers are encouraged to put more efforts and now acts as a source of income to both rural and urban households.
Venturing into fruit farming in Uganda is a worthwhile decision because of it’s a lucrative business with “sweet money”, regular income.
Some of the tropical fruits Uganda have includes; Paw paws (Papaya), Oranges, Mangoes, Avocado, Jackfruits, Sweet bananas, Water melons, Lemons, Tangerines, Guavas, pineapples, Oranges, passion fruits….etc
Butter fruit! I’m obsessed with Avocado!! Avocado fruit is primarily pear-shaped, other types are almost round. It has a fatty flavor and a creamy smooth texture that feels divine in the mouth. Its juice tastes heavenly.
Chunky Guacamole (Mashed Avocado) is arguably the most popular way to eat avocado among most high students in Uganda; eaten with beans, chips or spread as butter on bread. It is also eaten in raw slices with salt and pepper, sandwiches, food; its myriad benefits fill every bite. My mum’s Avocado tree produces the yummiest fruit ever. Avocado trees are found everywhere in Uganda. Avocado is very nutritious and beneficial for the hair and skin.
Avocado rule: Eat it or put it on your face.
2. Passion Fruit
Passion fruit; passion fruit juice! Yah, you cannot talk about passion fruit and fail to talk about its juice. It’s one of Uganda’s best-easiest juices to make. It has a refreshing cool taste with a sweet, pleasant aroma.
Passion fruit helps to cool the body and relax the mind, nerve. Majorly used for juicing and can be added to other fruit juice to make a cocktail juice. We have both the yellow- larger in size and purple –smaller but more flavorful and desired passion fruits. Passion fruit is very nutritious and rich in vitamin C, vitamin A. Masaka and Kasese districts are the leading passion fruits producers in Uganda.
3. Water Melon
Watermelon fruit is green on the outside, red on the inside, juicy with numerous small black seeds embedded in the middle and delicious when ripe. It has the magical power of quenching thirst by just having a bite.
It has a sweet flavor and refreshing qualities plus an addition of brightness to your plate or glass of juice. Its flesh is soft yet crunchy unlike soft. Just like its name Watermelon contains 92% water and 8% Sugar. Watermelon is a good source of vitamin A, C, vitamin B6. I love the combination of watermelon and fried chicken on a sunny day. Don’t judge me, am just being real.
Pineapples! Juicy and fleshy with the stem serving as the fibrous core; It has an irresistible fresh fragrance; yellow, orange-yellow or reddish color when ripe. Its juicy flesh may range from creamy white to yellow and has a mix of sweet and tart taste with rich flavor. The outer skin features rough, tough, and scaly with a royal crown like top leaves. The leaves are used for making ropes and coarse cloth. Waste products from the juice canning industry are used as animal feed.
Pineapples are used in desserts, jams, delicious pineapple recipes. Pineapples are rich in minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Pineapples are grown majorly south of Lake Kyoga in Uganda
Uganda is the second largest producer of banana after India, commonly referred to as “The republic of banana”. Almost every home has a banana tree including myself. Fresh ripe yellow banana is very sweet, tasty and has a strong sweet fragrance. Banana fruit can be used to prepare fruit jam, added in fruit salad, cakes, and muffins.
Popularly known for making pancakes; “Kabalagala”. Bananas can be eaten as steamed, boiled, roasted,or simply peeled and eaten raw. Green Matooke banana is staple food of many Ugandans hence largely planted of all types of bananas. Bananas are rich in nutrition, vitamins.
Banana juice is not as common as other fruit juices in supermarkets, shops. I consider it to be much healthier and good for diet because you don’t need to add any sugar to it. You can easily blend it with different fruits, add water, and milk to sooth your taste.
If you want to get rich quick in Uganda- Venture into jack fruit selling. Of Cause if you have a poor saving and budget culture than nothing much may change in your finances and life. This is one of Uganda’s best delicacies. The fruit is sticky sweet, great taste, strong, sweet aroma with great ability to make one satisfied and forgo eating food.
When cut open; it has an eye-catching orange-yellow color edible bulbs. The skin is extremely rough and thick. The seeds can be roasted and eaten as well. Nearly every home has a jack fruit tree in the compound or neighborhood. Jack fruits are rich in Vitamins, digestible starch, protein and minerals
My favorite, most succulent, delicious of all with a juicy aromatic flesh; I eat it from raw to ripe. “It’s called king of all fruits”. The raw ones can be eaten with salt, sugar or plain sour.
Mango season (April-August) is the most celebrated with activities like mango eating competitions, climbing mango trees or throwing stones at the fruit to fall. Mango fruits are found everywhere. Mango fruit is rich in vitamins A and C, and minerals and anti-oxidants.
Mango juice is simply lovely and wonderful. My favorite of all times; the mango pulp can be blended smoothly and mixed with iced water to get fresh glass of mango juice. It is rich in Vitamin C and helps to keep your skin glowing and healthy.
Image : (c)2006 Reimar GaertnerPawpaw fruit is very sweet with an inside cavity containing numerous black round seeds. They are pear shaped fruits.
Was my favorite childhood fruit- not any more despite the fact that I still enjoy. Common pawpaw variety in Uganda includes; yellow flesh- its big size and longer shelf life; Red flesh has a short shelf life. The ripe fruit is eaten raw while the unripe one is used in food preparations. The unripe fruit contains the enzyme papain and is used in cuisine for tenderizing meat.
Making pawpaw juice isn’t hard with a little know how and the right equipment like a juicer or a good blender.
9. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruit in Uganda includes Oranges, Tangerines and Lemons. Lemons are sour but adds flavor in black tea. Oranges and Tangerines can be eaten fresh, or processed for its juice or fragrant peel. They are all very tasty and can be found anywhere in Uganda. They are very nutritious and a valuable source of vitamin C.
It’s glorious; very nice; juicy and refreshing. It’s globally known as a “Miracle healing fruit”. Research shows that; it can naturally treat cancer by destroying the cells without any side effects like vomiting, nausea, hair loss and weight loss. It is a green colored fruit with a white inside and has few seeds.
It tastes like a combination of strawberry and pineapple with an underlying creamy flavor reminiscent of coconut or banana. It’s very rich in Vitamin A, B-Complex, c, carbohydrates, proteins, magnesium, potassium and zinc.
Basically known for home consumption, however there is an increasing demand for it especially in the urban areas. Guava fruits are round or oval depending on the species. They have a pronounced and typical fragrance, similar to lemon rind but less sharp. The outer skin may be rough, often with a bitter taste, or soft and sweet. Varying between species, the skin can be any thickness, is usually green before maturity, but becomes yellow, maroon, or green when ripe. The pulp inside may be sweet or sour and off-white (“white” guavas) to deep pink (“red” guavas). The seeds in the central pulp vary in number and hardness, depending on species. They are found in main vegetable and fruit markets in Kampala like Nakasero, Kalerwe, and Nakawa Markets.