Intoxicating Fruit - Marula

Amarula
Amarula

It’s delightful, It’s delectable, It’s Amarula!

Sunset time is time to relax, put your feet up, reflect, and indulge yourself.

Enjoy a glass of Amarula Liqueur either room temperature or splashed over ice cubes.

Sheer elegance when sipped from a crystal glass of course.

Just where does this unique tasting cream liqueur second only to “Old Baily’s” come from, and what is significant about the fruit from which it is made?

The tree on which the Marula fruit is grown is native to Southern Africa and protected in South Africa where the Liqueur is made and exported.


The Marula Tree

Aptly named by locals as “The Great Provider”.

The male Marula tree displays flowers while the female Marula tree produces the fruit. Both species are beautiful and both trees useful in every part from the bark to the leaves. The tree is characterized by it’s grey mattered bark.

Standing 9 – 18 meters (29 - 59 ft) tall they spread their thick crown of foliage to form an ideal shady canopy for the benefit of the native people in Africa as a meeting place, to perform tribal traditions, and celebrate weddings all denoting their appreciation for the tree that brings luck. Yes, how lucky is it to have a tree that can produce fruit to sustain the needy which has been the case since ancient times in Africa.

Marula Fruit
Marula Fruit

Benefits of the Marula Tree

THE FRUIT

A single tree can produce over 500kg of fruit per year. When ripe the fruit has a yellow skin with white flesh which is rich in vitamin C, being about 8 times more than in one orange. A marula fruit is the size of a yellow plum and has a nutty flavor.

Marula is part of the cashew, mango and pistachio family.

THE SKIN OF THE FRUIT

The skin when boiled makes a drink and when burnt can be a substitute for coffee.

The fruit is used to make jelly, juices, alcoholic drinks, jams, beer and wine.

It is the basis for the cream liqueur I recommended for a sundowner.

THE OILS WITHIN

Marula oil from the edible kernels are a delicious additive to meals in African cooking.

Rich in oleic acid it will improve skin hydration and smoothness. It is used in modern cosmetic formulations. In addition, it is used as a hair treatment.

THE LEAVES

The leaves make a relish and when chewed can relieve heartburn. The essence from the leaves is a remedy for bites and burns.

THE BARK

The bark of the marula tree has medicinal purposes ie- the treatment of malaria, bites and to stop pain. The inner bark is used to make rope and the soft wood is good for carving craft-ware, bowls, drums, stools and canoes.

THE GUM

The gum from the stem when mixed with water and soot makes an ink ideal for markings on carvings and skin of the tribes.

MARULA FRUIT

The Amarula Liqueur is made with sugar, cream and the fruit of the tree. It has a slightly fruity/caramel flavor.


Marula Fruit
Marula Fruit | Source

AFRICAN BOOZ for WILD ANIMALS

A popular centuries old myth is that elephants and other animals get intoxicated on the marula fruit.

The fruit is a delicacy for most of the animals in the African savanna but in particular the elephant. Herds of elephant roam from afar to gorge themselves. Also, kudu and baboon in particular.

Tipsy they seem to be but this notion can be disputed when you consider the huge amount of marulas an elephant would have to eat to be tipsy and with the large water intake each day the fruit would be diluted.

Whatever the conclusion, I’ll relax now with a glass of Amarula and ponder over the age old issue.


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Comments 22 comments

DonnaCosmato profile image

DonnaCosmato 4 years ago from USA

How intriguing! I've never heard of this fruit and I'm wondering if it is available here in the US? I loved the images and the video; how clever! Voted up.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

Thank you for the vote Donna!

I really don't think Marula trees grow in the USA.

The nearest you will get to taste marula there is to try Amarula liqueur, and that is wonderful!

The video is funny isn't it and now tell me, do you believe animals get intoxicated on the fruit?


Jannie D profile image

Jannie D 4 years ago from Parys, Free State, South Africa

Yummy! Is someone getting homesick? I hope you took a stash with you to Aus!


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

Thank you for the visit!

I couldn't take a stash of marula into Australia, but that's no problem as I will be back on the same soil in a few months time where the trees grow. Yes, you guessed right, a little bit homesick!

Your support is appreciated!


SanneL profile image

SanneL 4 years ago from Sweden

So fascinating! This is a fruit a never heard of before. The marula sounds so delicious, I would love to taste it but I guess I have to settle with the Amarula liqueur. This tree is quite remarkable. It is used to so many different things. Is there something it doesn't do?

This was very interesting. I learn so much from you!

Thank you.

Enjoy your day!


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

I do agree Sannel, it is fascinating to think that a tree can have so many uses and all are being taken advantage of. Thank goodness it is now being protected!

I wish the fruit was available all over the world for all to enjoy.

Do you believe that animals get intoxicated as the video implies?

Don't drink too much Amarula at once but enjoy!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Interesting Hub. I had never heard of the marula fruit. What a versatile and useful tree. Thanks for all the information.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

Thank you for taking time out to read this information.

As this tree is mostly unknown outside of Africa I thought it worth the article.

Have a nice day!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

I never heard of the marula, but it does sound like a very amazing tree! Loved your photographs and video, and the wonderful background information about the marula tree. I will be on the lookout for amarula liquor next time I'm at the liquor store! It sounds lovely!


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

I appreciate your input on the article!

This tree certainly provides much more than just shade and beauty, every backyard should have one.

I hope you find Amarula, you'll love it!

So, having watched the video, are you convinced that the animals get intoxicated on the fruit?

Good for a laugh either way!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi LadyLyell,

You are introducing me to so many things of which I am unfamiliar. The marula fruit sounds delicious. Have never tasted the liquor. Will have to give it a try sometime. Thanks for another informative hub! Voted up, interesting and useful.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

Peggy, that's what makes life so interesting, sharing all that is unfamiliar to people in distant lands.

The liquor is delicious so hope you can try it sometime. (chilled)

I take it as a compliment that you read and commented on the amazing Marula tree hub!


Sarena 4 years ago

Thank you for your interesting article, i have had Amarula so many times but never knew anything about the Marula Tree. Thank you for your hub


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

Thank you for the visit!

I couldn't take a stash of marula into Australia, but that's no problem as I will be back on the same soil in a few months time where the trees grow. Yes, you guessed right, a little homesick!


Skypal - Liz 4 years ago

Amarula liqueur, yes, it is so nice poured over ice and sipped slowly ... very 'more-ish'. I have not had enough in one sitting to end up in the same condition as the animals in your very funny video. Thank you for your very informative article.... I learnt a lot about the fruit tree.


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

Thank you for the comment and hope you continue to enjoy the liqueur. Smooth isn't it?


Sarena 4 years ago

Thank you for a very informative hub i learnt a lot about the Marula Tree, i loved the video its so funny seeing the animals intoxicated. Amarula is a delicious liquer i like it especially on a cold winters night.


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

Wow, the Amarula is quite a unique and interesting tree. We live in a duty-free zone so we've enjoyed Amarula liquor. It's so inexpensive here. Thank you for educating me on the amazing tree!


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed the article.

Have a nice day!


aboutaustralia profile image

aboutaustralia 4 years ago from Newcastle, New South Wales

A very interesting hub. What an amazing tree, and the liquor sounds delicious!


LadyLyell profile image

LadyLyell 4 years ago from George, South Africa Author

Pleased you found this hub interesting.

Amarula is more than delicious so hope you spoil yourself one day by enjoying a glass!

Have a nice day!


Natalie Hajduk profile image

Natalie Hajduk 3 years ago

Love the article! I worked as a ranger for almost 2 years and have seen and tasted the fruit however the intoxication of marula fruit is actually a myth. The levels of alcohol in the fruit is so low that an small animal such as a baboon would need to eat a whole tree of very ripe fruit that are fermented before feeling a bit drunk. The videos of the tipsy animals such as in the South African movie "The Gods must be crazy" was footage of animals that were actually darted and that gave the effect. Any fruit that is over-ripe and start to ferment will actually cause the same effect on animals.

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