In addition to growing one of the world’s finest specialty coffees, Rancho Aloha is producing lulo, an exotic Andean fruit in the solanum family.
Lulo (commonly referred to by its Spanish name “naranjilla”) is a high altitude subtropical fruit common to the Andean regions of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Most often used for a deliciously refreshing fruit drink, lulo is known in these regions as the “nectar of the Incan gods.”
The plant is a beautiful perennial bush, often planted as an ornamental, with wide heart-shaped green leaves with purple veins and growing to 5-6 feet in height. The fruit is orange-skinned, hence the Spanish name ‘naranjilla,’ and is similar in size to a tomato. The interior flesh is a luminescent green; the fruit drink, made in a blender and mixed with fruit puree, sugar, and water or milk, has a soft green hue.
When Bruce was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Versalles, Valle, Colombia (1967-1969), his principal project was the formation of a lulo marketing cooperative. Upon moving to the Big Island of Hawaii Bruce was delighted to find that lulo thrives in Kona.
When you are next in Kona, be sure to come visit us at Rancho Aloha or at the Keauhou Farmers Market Saturdays, 8 AM to 12 noon to sample lulo fruit and lulo smoothies.
To learn more about lulo, read: