Babaco

Botanical Name: Vasconcellea × heilbornii; syn. Carica pentagona
Family: Caricaceae
Also Known As: champagne fruit, chamburo, papayo calentano
Origin: Ecuador
Source: Subtropica.co.nz: The most productive of all the caricas. One tree can have up to 50 fruit on it at one time. Fruits within 1st year, the first fruits set lowest on the trunks are always the largest around 30cm long and 10cm wide, they ripen the earliest and the ripening progress extends up the trunk over two months. Fruit are seedless, skin yellow thin and edible. Tree-ripened they taste wonderful – fruit are extremely juicy and thirst quenching. Good for greenhouses because they only grow up to 2 metres. Excellent for flans, pancakes, fruit bread and fruit salad or fresh from the tree. Babaco chutney is tops too.

  • 30/15/2008 Love at first sight in the produce section of Moore Wilson’s. You had me at champagne.
  • 12/02/2010 Ordered a specimen from Subtropica.co.nz. It arrived quickly but looking thin and damaged from the ride — delicate compared to the mountain pawpaw. But it seemed to take to its new setting well and started new leaf growth quickly.
  • 19/04/2010 It’s flowering! I’m so excited to try one of these.