Cocona – Jewel of the jungle

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.


  1. I don’t know this fruit!! Going to look for it at my grocery store and try it as you suggest! Thank you!

  2. Cocona is just about my favourite refresco these days. I’m about to get a small cocona plant to accompany my fledgling cilantro and ají charapita plants. My goal is to one day make my own completely homegrown ají de cocona here in Tarapoto. My fingers aren’t too green, but I can cross them at least…

  3. Is cocona available in the US? Any feedback would be appreciated…thanks!

  4. Christopher Howlett says:

    Can this be bought any where in the UK I like the look of it as a healthy option


  1. […] and disturbed yellow phoebis philea butterflies. Meals in the restaurant were quite tasty with cocona spicy condiment of the jungle always on the table.  there was pisco sour drinking in the bar […]

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