This bright orange berry, the size of a large avocado and with an intensely acidic flavor, comes from the Amazon jungle and is one of the favorite ingredients of the local gastronomy. It is widely consumed in the form of spicy sauces, juices, nectars, ice creams, paletas, and desserts.
If you cut the fruit in half, it looks like a conic tomato. You should consume it when it’s very ripe, and you’ll know it’s ready when the skin begins to wrinkle. Chop it and boil it in water until soft, then strain, add sugar to taste, and serve cold or with ice. You can also process the pulp in a blender, add sugar and water, and serve very cold, as a refreshing juice. Combine this cocona juice with mango, passion fruit, soursop (anona), or any other tropical fruit juice for a delicious beverage.
Cocona is popular throughout Amazonian towns and tribes, usually served as a spicy condiment made with raw, chopped cocona and its juice, ají charapita (a local chili pepper), cilantro leaves, and salt. This is called ají de cocona or cocona uchu and you can accompany any regional dish with it.