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The Strawberry Tree

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I came across the Modroño fruit in a Palma supermarket yesterday. I had never seen the sweet fruit on sale anywhere before, but I had eaten it once or twice and I knew that it was growing happily in Mallorca and throughout the Mediterranean. In fact I had taken a photo of a tree carrying this fruit, only a few weeks ago.

The tree is called Strawberry Tree (Arbutus Unedo). It produces masses of white flowers in November and December. The fruit takes 12 months to ripen, which means that a tree will carry both, the flowers and the mature fruit at the same time.

The Latin name Unedo literally means ‘I eat only one’ which suggests that perhaps the fruit should not be eaten in quantity. The taste bares no resemblance to common strawberries. The fruit can also be cooked and can be made into delicious jams and preserves.

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You might also be interested to know that Madrid, Spain’s capital city, has the Modroño tree as the official coat-of-arms, with a bear reaching for the sweet Modroño fruit.

The photo was taken near the town of Felanitx, Mallorca, Spain. The date: October 20th, 2007. The time was 15:03:51.

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