The palmyra fruit or ice apple or irvol, as we Kudlites (Mangaloreans) like to call it, is a delicacy. Peel off the light brown skin that protects this wonderful fruit and pop it in your mouth. Bite it gently and let the cool sweet juice run over your tongue and down your throat. The pulp, which looks like ice, is soft and delicious. No Mangalorean can resist this delicious fruit.
In Mangalore, ice apples are not sold in the regular fruit shops. You have to wait for a simple villager to turn up with a pile of ice apples and sit by the roadside. Yes, that’s where ice apples are sold in Kudla—by the roadside. They usually appear in January or February and disappear either in mid-summer or at the end of it.
Watching an ice apple seller cutting off the deep purple-black outer covering of the fruit and gently removing the icy-looking pods, which are called “kann” (eye) in the local language, is a real treat. Each “eye” or “kann” costs Rs. 5.
You should eat ice apples because they are not only delicious, but also good for health. Here is a list of benefits of eating ice apples.
- They cool down your body.
- They are rich sources of vitamin A, vitamin B-complex, and vitamin C.
- They contain important minerals such as zinc, iron, potassium, and calcium.
- Ice apples are known for their anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- They are used to treat worm infestation, nausea, and vomiting.
- They serve as excellent laxatives and expectorants.
- The sap is used in the treatment of liver problems and ulcers.
- The fruits are used in the treatment of digestive disorders, especially constipation.
- Consumption of ice apples leads to weight loss.
- Ice apples refresh you and drive away fatigue.
Eating ice apples is one of the best things you can do this summer. Just remember to tell the vendor that you want them as tender as possible. Otherwise, he may give you ice apples that are as hard as rock, and let me tell you, these are not at all fun to eat.