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These fruit plants travel their way to India by several different routes. For hundreds of years, when sailors from different countries came to India at different times. They used to carry some of the good items or plants while traveling to other countries. That’s how a variety of vegetables and fruits began to reach Indian soil through various routes in ancient. Subsequently, all these fruits and vegetables were gradually cultivated in India. Later they remained as fruits of India. History shows that the origin of those fruits is in another country or continent.
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The papaya is everywhere in India, but it actually American in origin. In fact, its name in Kannada is foreign-tree or parangi-mara, clearly showing its origin from abroad. According to 1590 Ain-i-Akbari, there was no mention of papaya among the fruits available in the Delhi market at that time. 8 more years later, the papaya seen in the Indian market. Papaya fruit came to India from the West Indies through the Philippines and Malaysia. Saying also that it “much resembles a melon”. Apparently, the Punjabis thought so too and called the papaya, “kharbuza”, which is their name for the melon. The English name papaya or pawpaw seems to derive from the Peruvian “papaie”. The green pieces of the plant carry an enzyme that helps tenderize the meat and make it cook more easily. and this knowledge has accompanied the papaya to every country to which it has traveled.
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Guava a common tropical fruit cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions. The word guava comes from the Spanish ‘Guajava’, which pronounced Gua-hava. Guavas originated from Mexico, Central America, or northern South America throughout the Caribbean region. Where it domesticated a long time ago. By the late 17th century, it well established in India. Guava or Amarood, the fourth most widely grown fruit crop in India.
Sapota or Cheeku sounds really Indian, doesn’t it? But you are in for a disappointment. It is the Spanish name for this fruit. This long-lived evergreen tree native to southern Mexico, in Central America. At one time, the trunk of the tree used to be tapped for its latex or gum which was called “chicle;” this was the original chewing gum of the Mexicans, and later on of the United States. A well-known brand of chewing gum even today, called after this name (Chiclets). These trees grow very large, and young men called ‘chicleros’ were experts in clambering up to the top and tapping the gum from there. Today, the demand for chewing gum is so great that synthetic gums made in factories have completely replaced the chicle which was once used. Anyway, we still have the delicious Cheeku fruit to enjoy. It has grown in large quantities in India, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Mexico.
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How many of you have tasted the butter-fruit? It looks very much like a green pear, and in Spanish it is called the avocado. It has a big seed and a pale-yellow, creamy flesh with a delicate nutty flavour. Three varieties of the avocado seem to have come to India from Central America, which is its original home. The variety which came from Mexico bears rather small fruit, those from Guatemala and the West Indies carry much larger ones. The butter-fruit seems to have reached us long after the other fruits that we have just read about, but already the huge tree has run wild all over the Western Ghats of south India.
The pineapple probably originates from Paraguay in South America. However, it quickly took root in India, and from the Ain-i-Akbari we know that in 1590 it sold in the Delhi bazaar at a price of four copper coins each. This was rather expensive because the same money would buy ten mangoes. The name pineapple gave to it because the fruit looks like an enlarged version of the cone of the pine tree, while its taste is sweet, like an apple. A common Indian name for pineapple is Ananas. This was given to it by the Spanish from one of its original South American names, which was ‘nana’
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