Achotillo
a.k.a. Rambutan

Achotillo fruitAchotillo fruit still on the tree

Achotillo is a fruit found in many tropical areas that originated in Southeast Asia. In other countries, it is most commonly known as Rambutan although there are different names depending on the country. In Ecuador, we call in achotillo, possibly because it looks almost identical to achiote or annatto. 

Right now (March-April 2016) we are seeing wheelbarrows full of these furry little red fruit. It's obviously in season. :)

The fruit contains B vitamins and Vitamin C as well as a good amount of Manganese. 

How to Eat Achotillo

You can take your time and peel the fruit. Or in my house, we just break a hole in the skin and pop the fruit out. 

The inside of the spiky red skin is white and juicy. My son describes the taste as a mix between a banana and an orange. Others say it has a sweet and sour taste.

Have you tried this fruit? Tell us what you think it tastes like in the comments below.

It's not Achiote!

Achiote (or annatto) looks almost identical before you open the fruit. The spiny red outside is the same, but on the inside achiote has small red seeds that are ground up and used as a condiment in Ecuadorian, Mexican and other Latin American cuisines.

In my garden...

Achotillo treeThe achotillo tree in my backyard - please excuse the dirty wall ;)

About five years ago, I was planting trees in my backyard. I knew I wanted oranges, lemons and avocados. When buying the trees, the salesman was trying to get rid of an achotillo tree. I didn't know what it was and I didn't think I had room in my yard. The man persisted and said that it is a really beautiful tree; I don't remember him even telling me that it produces fruit. I ended up buying (for $5 if I remember right) and planting it along with my other trees.

A few weeks ago my husband came in with a handful of achotillo and said the tree was loaded with fruit. A pleasant surprise from a tree that I thought was just taking up space!


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› Achotillo

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