It’s Pejivalles season and all over Costa Rica the air is scented with them as people boil these palm fruits. Whether you know them as Pejivalles or Pejibayes or Peach Palm Fruit, these fruits can be found all over Central and South America and the palm is also famous for the popular heart of palm (delicious in salads).

Pejibayes or Pejivalles or Peach Palm Fruit. Geckoes Lodge, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Pejibayes with skin after harvesting

The fruit hangs in large clusters around the top of a particular palm tree. Read more about it here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bactris_gasipaes

Pejibayes or Pejivalles or Peach Palm Fruit Clusters on Palm tree. Geckoes Lodge, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Pejibayes hanging from a palm

Pejibayes or Pejivalles or Peach Palm Fruit Tree. Geckoes Lodge, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

The tall spiny palms mean that harvesting requires some skill!

Pejibaye skin ranges from yellow through to red and the fruit needs considerable boiling before eating. People usually boil them in their skins for a few hours, peel them, remove the stone and then eat them with mayonnaise or salt and lemon.

Pejibayes or Pejivalles or Peach Palm Fruit with mayonnaise. Geckoes Lodge, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Cooked Pejibayes are often eaten with mayonnaise or sour cream

So what do they taste like? Well, imagine a cross between a chestnut, a cashew nut and a buttery potato and you’re coming close. You can find them on market stalls, supermarkets and the local farmers market and per kilo they cost about 2 US$.

Even though they’re not the most attractive fruit in the world they have their fans and in Costa Rica they even have their own festival, near Cartago. And if you become a fan of pejibaye / pejivalle / peach palm fruits, there are plenty of recipes to experiment with: how about a pejibaye cake, biscuits, tacos, stew, salad, soup or even liqueur for starters?

Pejibaye cake

Pejibaye cake

 

Pejibaye Soup

Pejibaye Soup

People are not the only fans of pejibayes… a highly nutritious source of food for many rainforest animals, Agnes the Agouti at Geckoes Lodge seriously enjoys Palm fruit season and can be seen nibbling on pejibayes all around the garden.

Agnes the Agouti eating Pejibayes or Pejivalles or Peach Palm Fruit at Geckoes Lodge.

Agnes the Agouti eating Pejibayes or Pejivalles or Peach Palm Fruit at Geckoes Lodge.

So give your taste buds a sensation in Pejibaye season and taste these buttery, nutty numbers, although remember you need to cook them well, unlike Agnes the Agouti.