Zanmann – Tropical Almond

Terminalia_catappa_fruits_at_various_stages_of_ripeness-1I remember spending endless hours sitting in the backyard, after collecting several ZANMANNs (Tropical Almonds) that I would shamelessly enjoy,  from the tree that my father had planted there.
The tree’s latin name is actually Terminalia catappa whose origin is of India. No matter how hard I would try to describe the fruit to some of my friends over here, they would not know what I would refer to.

See, ZANMANN (The fruit) is creole for Amande which some people think means ALMOND.
But the ALMOND and the Terminalia catappa’s fruit are two different things to my taste buds. They probably come from the same family however. I’m not too sure.

I used to not just enjoy the fruit (which you could eat with its bear skin btw) ,but I would also be armed with a hammer. YES! A HAMMER! I know I used to be between the ages of 10 and 15 when I would sit in the backyard using my father’s hammer but this was never considered a hazard back home lol . “What’s the hammer for?” you might ask.
Well, what else than to crack open the fruit so I could reach the nut that would lay inside of it as a desired treasure! It would take an eternity to do so but these endless minutes were totally worth it !

Terminalia catappa medicinal uses:

The leaves have many medicinal uses including diaphoretic, anti-indigestion, and anti-dysentery activities. An infusion of the young leaves or scraped bark are occasionally taken as a potion for treating mouth infections.

Published by Nathalie JB

Bonjou! My name is Nathalie Jean-Baptiste. Yes! I know, my last name doesn’t get any more Haitian than that! Who am I really? I consider myself a renaissance woman. I looooooove learning new skills in any field possible: Culinary, baking, painting, crafting, designing, writing, knitting, sewing. You name it! I often joke while saying “ I’m a tout bagay”. Which literally translates to “I’m everything”. Most say I'd make a great surgeon due to the agility in my hands. Sure, I can manage any tasks requiring detail and precision. It drives my audacity to venture in the kitchen with absolutely no experience. What better motivation than to share my culinary journey with you? To help you get better at things you probably thought you couldn't do. At least, that was my drive! I guess by now, you’ve already figured out that I'm the cook and photographer behind “Pilon lakay”. This blog started 8 years ago as I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about Haitian cuisine. Back home, I was never taught how to cook nor was I ever interested in being in the kitchen unless it involved baking. Instead, I loved preparing cakes and cookies. (Shhhh! I still do). After a couple of years in the US, like most of us immigrants, I missed food from home. The good stuff, you know! So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make of this a personal exploration of Haitian food. Boy what a journey it has been! While cooking up a storm in the kitchen, I wanted to encourage others like me to actually learn and explore Haiti’s gastronomy. I made sure my instructions were personal and beginner friendly. My recipe directions contain a lot more details than any other regular recipes. With a personal touch, it's a depiction of my thought process when I do these many tasks. I'm sure you can cook anything on here! If I can do it, you can too! Come experience Haiti through your taste buds! Meet you in the kitchen! Love, N.

3 thoughts on “Zanmann – Tropical Almond

  1. Hi,
    I read your article on Zanmann! Super excited someone can relate to me. For years my family have been taking me to Haiti back and forth for vacation as a child and was introduce with this delicious fruit which i have been dying to find out where do they sale them here in the US. I’m Haitian, born in the states and i don’t know what this fruit called, i have been asking my local grocery store if they sale it by describing the fruit. All say “no” or don’t know what i’m talking about. One time I was describing this amazing fruit to this person from the Caribbeans. She describe to me that its an almond tree. So i figured almonds are fruits first. Idk i figured finding out about this amazing fruit was difficult. until i saw your article about it and found out that i’m not the only one. Where can i find this amazing fruit in the states.

  2. Jen D, The fruit you talk about is called “Indian Almond” fruit. Just search the Internet and you will see a load of photos and articles and details of where this particular tree/fruit grows. You will also be able to know the name of the fruit in various languages of the countries in which it is available an eaten. I am a Tanzanian based in the UK and us lot enjoyed it either picking it from the tree or bought from the vendor during its season.

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