The Velvet apple (also called Mabolo) is not a real apple but rather a rare tropical fruit that is related to ebony trees. The name is well chosen as it looks like an apple but with a rather velvety skin, similar to a peach.
Basic information and facts
The Philippines, China
South and South-East Asia: Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia,
Evergreen or deciduous:
Velvet apples are evergreen trees.
The older leaves of the Mabolo tree are dark green. Younger leaves are pale green or pink with silky hair.
When ripe the velvet apple fruits are bright red, the size of an apple (8-10 centimeters in diameter) and with a velvet skin. The skin has a rather cheese smell, but the fruit itself has not much odor and tastes pleasantly sweet. The pulp has a whitish cream color and covers several rather big seeds. Seedless varieties exist.
The Velvet apple tree has a very dense and hard wood with a dark color. The tree belongs to the ebony family which is know for its hard wood: "iron wood".
Climate and weather:
Velvet apples grow in tropical climates.
Height of velvet apple trees varies between 10 and 30 meters.
Fruits are picked by hand.
The fruits are eaten fresh after removing the skin, or can be used to make juice.
The wood of the tree is very hard (iron wood) and is used for making furniture and utensils.
- Velvet apple fruits can be eaten fresh with some lime or lemon juice. Cut the fruit in half, remove the seeds, and scoop with a spoon.
- Velvet apple fruits can be combined with other fruits in fruit salads.