Under the Dillie tree

I know that this is starting to sound like the fruit and vegetable blog, but people who know me know that I am a frustrated biologist. My family has endured my experiments in plant cloning and tissue culture and growing things in general. In particular, the more offbeat something is, the more that I like to grow it.

Plants, fruits, animals and fish are what I delight in discovering in this tropical paradise, and the wonders never cease. My latest discovery is the sapodilla or the dillie as it is known. I had heard the old tropical stories about when the dillies are ripe, people throw things up the dillie tree to try and knock the delicious fruit to the ground. Apparently in the Fox Hill area where dillies grow abundantly, one finds in the odd bicycle hanging out of a dillie tree. And green or unripe dillies make fearsome weapons. They are smaller than a hardball baseball, and apparently just as hard. A green dillie hurts to blazes and leaves a considerable bruise when it lands on flesh.

But the ripe sapodilla or dillie is something else. I told you how the sugar apple tastes like apple pie and ice cream together. Well the dillie tastes exactly like pumpkin pie. You can even taste the nutmeg. And the dillie is incredibly sweet. Like the sugar apple, it has grains of sugar spread throughout the fruit.

That makes three island fruits that are exceptionally sweet -- the sugar apple, the caimito and the dillie. But in island culture, the dillie tree is much more significant. Many many events and things take place in the shade of the tree, and the island lore is rife with "tings happenin' under da dillie tree". Under the Dillie Tree is a very common saying among these islanders. I suspect that it hearkens back to a much simpler time.

I bought the fruit from the Haitian fruit vendor. I have yet to see a dillie tree in my wanderings.

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