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Corynocarpus laevigatus

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Linton starts with ...
Attention Denise 1, Auckland, NZ

Dear Denise, I'm seeking your opinion and rating of the New Zealand Karaka Berry which is sometimes grown as a shade tree over here. Can you tell me if Karaka Berries are widely consumed and popular in NZ.

I tried a couple and thought they were quite good. They are now in season and collected a bag full as nobody eats them here and they are left to rot on the ground. Do you think its because of the seed toxicity so do you have any experience about methods to prepare them properly? Thanks for your advice......cheers!

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About the Author
Linton
NOBLE PARK,3174,VIC
20th January 2019 12:24pm
#UserID: 2286
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denise1 says...
Hi Linton, Virtually nobody eats them in Aotearoa -(NZ). They were once eaten regularly by Maori but only a few of mainly rural based maori eat them now. The nuts have to go through several alternate treatments of cooking then lengthy soaking in running water as is done with many poisonous plant products around the world. Probably 3 of each. There is said to be a giant round fruited one that only a chief was allowed to eat, but is possibly extinct now. Anyone chewing on a poorly prepared nut would most probably die of violent convulsions and the only known remedy used to be burying the patient in sand with only the face open to air then dug out when symptoms subside. I have heard that stock will eat the foliage but have no experience of that..There has been some doubt wether it is native as plants are only found wild where old maori village sites are and related plants are present in some pacific islands. They are also present in the Chatham islands. As for rating the fruit-I cant remember as it is ages since I tasted one. There must be some way to present it as a bush tucker and can certainly be productive. Before eating any quantity or marketing the flesh it would be prudent to have it fully analyzed for toxins. Another staple crop that was previously utilized ,( bracken fern root ) was tested and found to contain carcinogens. I would not recommend the nut as the maori ate it because they were hard up and the treatment of them was not always successful to my understanding.
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denise1
auckland NZ
21st January 2019 7:19pm
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Original Post was last edited: 22nd January 2019 7:50am
Linton says...
Thanks for the comprehensive report Denise. Much appreciated and answers my questions about this dubious fruit. I was intrigued to learn something of the historical background about it. Nice day!
About the Author
Linton
NOBLE PARK,3174,VIC
22nd January 2019 8:20pm
#UserID: 2286
Posts: 836
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