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Konkan Fruit Fest

Celebrating the Little known Fruits

The Botanical Society of Goa facilitates the organization of the Konkan Fruit Fest annually since 2003 at the Promenade along the Dayanand Bandodkar Marg, Campal-Panaji. This year the event will be held from 22 to 24 April and will be open to the public 10 A.M. to 8 P.M. from Friday to Sunday. Fresh Fruit entries for the competition must reach the venue by 3 P.M. on Thursday 21 April, 2016. Fruit products from juices and pickle to soufflés and tarts will be judged on 22 April and entries must reach the venue by 3 P.M.

The Corporation of the City of Panaji is the BSG’s traditional ‘Festival Partner’. The Goa Tourism Development Corporation is also partnering the event and the Goa Chamber of Commerce & Industry is expected to play a major role this year. The GCCI and its Committee on Agriculture partnered the Western Ghats Kokum Foundation, Panaji-Goa, to successfully host a one day seminar on 18 March, 2016, to promote entrepreneurship in Kokum and Jackfruit processing.

The Dr. Balasaheb. Sawant KKV, Dapoli, the ICAR-CCARI, Ela-Goa, the University of Agricultural Sciences at Dharwar and Bangalore and the University of Horticultural Sciences at Bagalkot participate in the event. The Goa Directorate of Agriculture has participated in the event almost every time. The Goa Department of Science, Technology & Environment has partly funded the event in the initial years and helped to nurture and perpetuate it. A number of other organizations participate along with a large number of fruit growers and processors of fruit products from juices, nectars and wines to jellies, jams and pickles. The Goa Food & Drug Administration and some other departments also participate.

There are various competitions to find the best fruits of a species and also for fruit products that add value. This year the focus is on the little known fruits of the Konkan and one will get to see many of the fruits listed above. Many people in Goa are familiar with the Peru or Guava(Psidium guajava), Adao or Adam’s fruit (Mimusops kauki), Boram or Ber (Zizyphus Mauritania), Bombay Bor or Jujube (Zizyphus jujuba), Nakli Badam or Indian Almond (Terminalia catappa) and some have eaten the fruits sometime in their life. Many have smelt the fragrance of the small off-white Vonvllam flowers in the hair of women but few have eaten the fruit called as. Ann-dodde or Bakul (Mimusops elengi).

Anvadde or Indian Gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica) , Rozanvdde or Star Gooseberry (Phyllanthus acidus), Karmal or Star Fruit (Averrhoa carambola) and Bimblim (Averrhoa bilimbi) are fruits that one pickles or makes into candy or even in jam. They are a favourite of the children because of their tangy taste.

Churna (Zizyphus rugosa) is related to the Ber but it looks and tastes like something else all together. Mauling or Citron (Citrus medica) is related to the common limes and lemons but is used more for medicinal purposes and, hence, the name. Velvet Apple (Diospyros kauki) is another Chickoo-like fruit that has been popularized in recent years but there is nothing like the White Sapota or Star Apple (Chrysophyllum cainito). This is a round, chickoo- sized fruit that when cut has a core that takes on a star shape.

Most of the above fruits and, obviously the fruit of the season Mango, will be on display and a part of the competitions. There is also a fun fruit eating competition at the venue on Saturday evening. It is a festival with music, fresh fruit ice-creams, fruits, juices, wines and other products on sale and display.

Miguel Braganza
Secretary-elect of BSG (2016-19) &,
Organizing Secretary of KFF 2016