Known as Chesa or Tiessa in the Philippines, and Canistel in the western speaking world, this past Monday for the first time ever, I got to try what’s also aptly nicknamed “Egg Fruit”; and that’s the perfect description.
Actually, I tasted Chesa before even knowing what it was, which at first had me perplexed what to think of it.
Upon first impression, It has this really weird semi-soft, starchy, semi-chalky texture and mouthfeel, like the yolk of an egg that’s been boiled too long.
And that’s almost exactly what the flesh of Chesa, a.k.a. “Eggfruit” tastes like to me: an egg yolk that’s been boiled too long, while having a subtle sweetness to it; underscore more “meaty-starchy” than “fruity-sweet”.
The thin waxy skin is edible and hardly noticeable when you bite into it, similar to a pear.
At first, its starchiness and psychological resemblance of its color reminded me of sweet potato, but the more I thought about its subtle, yet distinctive flavor and strange texture, it was clear to me, this was a slightly sweet boiled egg yolk disguised as a fruit.
Boiled Eggs: Image courtesy of StopLookinGetCookin.com.
Faux Egg Salad Sandwich
While I didn’t actually do it, because of its uncanny resemblance, I was thinking of taking the Chesa, a.k.a. Eggfruit and finely chopping it up, then mix it with mayonnaise to make a faux egg salad sandwich out of it.
Egg Salad Sandwich. Image courtesy of KitchenScoop.com.
Chesa + Mayonnaise = Faux Egg Salad Sandwich: how you figgah? Would work, eh? I going try next time! Chance ’em!
Tastes Like Chicken
This brings to mind how ironic it is that so many things that aren’t chicken taste like chicken. Alligator, bull frog, kangaroo, iguana, snapping turtle, snake, quail and even termites are all said to taste like what? Chicken. And now we have a FRUIT of all things that tastes like, in an indirect way, what? Chicken!
Chicken! Chicken! Chicken! Sick of it! LOL
Health Benefits of Chesa
Regarding its health benefits, The Earth of India blog writes that Egg Fruit is high in beta-carotene, beneficial for eyes, hair and skin. Additionally, “Carotenoids fight cancers, age related degeneration, depression, headaches, heartburn, and high blood pressure.”
It’s also said that “one serving of eggfruit provides a good quantity of iron, a mineral essential for blood health due to its ability to facilitate proper oxygen circulation. Iron also promotes good memory, stable energy levels and overall strength.”
Egg Fruit Tree. Image courtesy of The Earth of India blog.
According to a Pinay coworker of mine who’s familiar with the fruit, she says Chesa trees grow super tall, from about the height of an orange tree, to as colossal as a mango tree, and can be found grown on Oahu, most commonly at the residences of local Filipino folks. Just look also for the Malungay Tree. The Chesa featured here that I tried was from a home in Ewa Beach.
P.S. While we’re out ‘n about in the yard, following are some photos I took this past Easter Sunday at Mom’s place of various flowers ‘n stuff. Enjoy. ;-)