I’m sure I’ve mentioned jugo de lulo before as one of Colombia’s best juices, but I never explained (nor knew, until now) what lulo actually is. In Spanish, naranja means orange and lulo’s other name (outside of Colombia) happens to be naranjilla, or ‘little orange’. The fruit is as attractive to look at as its juice is to drink (just look at the photo below!).
According to Wikipedia, the fruit has a citrus flavour, sometimes described as a combination of rhubarb and lime. The juice of the naranjillas is green and is often used as a drink. The naranjilla fruit is harvested when fully ripe to avoid the fruit becoming sour.
At Purdue University’s horticulture site, they list some common uses for lulo in food and drink.
“Ripe naranjillas, freed of hairs, may be casually consumed out-of-hand by cutting in half and squeezing the contents of each half into the mouth. The empty shells are discarded. The flesh, complete with seeds, may be squeezed out and added to ice cream mix, made into sauce for native dishes, or utilized in making pie and various other cooked desserts. The shells may be stuffed with a mixture of banana and other ingredients and baked. But the most popular use of the naranjilla is in the form of juice. For home preparation, the fruits are washed, the hairs are rubbed off, the fruits cut in half, the pulp squeezed into an electric blender and processed briefly; then the green juice is strained, sweetened, and served with ice cubes as a cool, foamy drink. A dozen fruits will yield 8 oz (227 g) of juice. Commercially, the juice is extracted mechanically from the cleaned and chopped fruits, strained, concentrated and canned or put into plastic bags and frozen.
Sherbet is made in the home by mixing naranjilla juice with corn sirup, sugar, water, and a little lime juice, partially freezing, then beating to a froth and freezing. Naranjilla jelly and marmalade are produced on a small scale in Cali, Colombia.”