You can eat fully-ripened Monstera delicious fruit. It has an exotic tropical fruit taste that reminisces a pineapple banana mix.
These fruits sound mouthwatering. Don't they? But you have to wait until the hexagonal greenish scale begins falling. Don't eat any part where the scales don't come off with a slight finger flick.
We have everything you will like to know about Monstera deliciosa fruit, including benefits, taste, and a lot more. You will also know when to pick and how to eat it.
Table of content
About Monstera deliciosa
Monstera deliciosa is a popular houseplant in North America. People value this ornamental plant, not for its edible fruits but the lovely heart-shaped leaves that become fenestrated and split when it matures.
It is native to Southern Mexico to Panama. But it has been naturalized in Southern Florida, Hawaii, and other places.
Monstera is Latin. It means monstrous or abnormal, describing the leaves that get fenestrated when they mature except Monstera dubia. Some also get split or pinnatifid. And the name deliciosa means delicious in Latin, referring to sweet edible fruit.
Monstera deliciosa goes by various other names like Swiss cheese plant, Windowleaf, ceriman, and split-leaf philodendron. But Swiss cheese plant with Monstera adansonii and Monstera obliqua, whose fruits are inedible.
Because of its sweet edible fruits, M. deliciosa goes by various common names, including Penglai banana, fruit salad plant, Mexican breadfruit, delicious monster, or fruit salad tree.
There are several varieties, including Monstera deliciosa var. borsigiana, var. Brazil (Common Brazilian Form), and var. sierrana. Also, you will find variegated forms such as Monstera borsigiana Albo variegata, Monstera Thai Constellation, Aurea variegata, etc.
We don’t know if fruits of these varieties and forms are safe. We haven’t had a chance to see them. Why? Because they are a little rare and expensive except var. borsigiana.
Last but not least, the Spanish call this plant Costilla de Adán, Portuguese costela-de-adão, and French plante gruyère. In Mexico, it is at times known as piñanona.
Size and appearance
Mature Monstera deliciosa will start flowering at 2 to 3 years. It will bear a small white or green inflorescence flower on a spadix sounded by a boat-like whitish or cream to the yellow spathe. This spathe dries and falls off afterward.
This Swiss cheese fruit is bigger than other Monstera species. It measures about 6 to 10 inches long and 1.5 to 2.5 inches thick.
How does it look like? The fruit resembles corn ears covered with bluish-green or green hexagonal scales and has aggregated berries beneath the scales.
It takes at least ten months and sometimes up to 12 to 14 months for the fruits to mature and ripen when the plant blooms.
Last but not least, if you live in Florida, including Miami or Hawaii, you probably have seen it.
Monstera deliciosa fruit taste
Monstera deliciosa fruit tastes like a blend of pineapple and banana and resembles jackfruit. Some people also note that it has strawberry, coconut, passion fruit, guava, or mango undertone. People perceive tastes differently. So, they are not wrong.
The starch is converted to sugar as it ripens, hence the sweet taste. Deliciosa fruit is sweeter than cherimoya. But has some mild acidic tones like pineapple. We think it tastes tends more toward a pineapple than a banana. What do you think?
When to pick and how to ripen it
How do you tell that a Monstera deliciosa fruit is ready for picking? You will know it is time to harvest if it turns a bit light green in color, starting form at the base.
Next, look at the scales. They will begin loosening or separating. And the lower ones near the stalk will start falling off or lifting (look bulged).
At this time, the base will snap much readily if you try breaking it. But we recommend cutting it with at least an inch of the stalk.
Suppose you leave it for a little longer, an aroma that reminisces pineapples and bananas. This scent is more when it’s almost halfway ripe. But it will quickly go away.
Once harvested, you can ripen it by placing it in a plastic bag and storing it at room temperature. You can also wrap it in a newspaper or put it in a jar and cover it with a brown bag.
It will take about 4 to 6 days to ripen fully. And the ripening starts from the stalk up toward the apex. You will see scales falling on their own or with a slight scrape with your finger.
How to tell your Monstera deliciosa is ripe?
Eating unripe Monstera deliciosa fruit will cause severe mouth and oral irritation. Also, your lips, tongue, mouth may swell. Why? Because it has needle-like insoluble calcium oxalates. So, you must know when it is ripe.
That said, it goes without a say that you must know when it is ripe. Otherwise, eating it may be nasty.
Please wait until the greenish scales begin falling off, or a slight finger flick or brush will remove them. Don’t use force or pull them. Instead, eat only the part where the scales come off or are falling. It may ripen about an inch a day.
Once the scales flake off, you will notice pulpy or creamy off-white aggregated berries attached to an inedible inner core. It has some black bits (flower remains). They are ok to eat.
Rarely, you may find some spheroidal pale greenish leaves that resemble large peas. These are the seeds.
Last but not least, if you can eat your fruit as it ripens. Just eat only the part where the scales have fallen off or come out with the slightest finger flick.
How to eat monstera fruit
There is no specific right or correct way of eating Monstera deliciosa fruit. You can use a fork or spoon to scoop the fleshy, cone-like aggregated berries that will quickly come from the core (inedible). But don’t overeat because they are a little higher in oxalic acid.
Too much may cause kidney issues or form stones in the urinary tract. So, moderate.
Besides eating it, you can use it to make a fruit jam, and in places where it grows (native), they use it to make Monstera-based whipped deserts, add it to fruit salad or ice cream. You will get many recipes online.
Monstera deliciosa fruit benefits
Besides the exotic taste, Monstera deliciosa has some benefits, including the following:
- It is nutritious, i.e., it has protein, carbohydrates, sodium, and calcium with no fats, making it a great snack after gym or athletes who need instant energy
- It has vitamin C that helps in collagen formation, boost immunity, helps in the repair of body tissues, growth, development, absorption of iron, and other functions.
- In Central America, people use it as a laxative to help improve bowel movement. But no scientific studies are backing this use.
- Some sources link it with “those recovering from radiotherapy” (1)
Not many studies exist of other potential benefits of this fruit. We don’t want to speculate.
Where to buy Monstera fruit and price
In the native habitat, southern Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduran, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Belize, you will find ceriman fruit sold in grocery stores and markets.
In the US, you can get a few vendors in Florida. One online vendor is Miamifruit.org, where you have to place a preorder when in season. Here you will buy a small box with 3-5 pounds for $127.00 and $197.00 for a larger one weighing 7 to 10 pounds.
We don’t know where people in Australia, Canada, the UK, or other parts get it from or don’t eat them. But you can try Facebook groups or Instagram. Also, you can try googling “monstera deliciosa fruit for sale” and see what recommendations you get
Besides the needle-like calcium oxalates, also known as raphides, some people are allergic to this fruit. So, if you are prone to food allergies avoid it or start with a tiny bit and see how your body reacts.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
No. Monstera deliciosa is unlikely to flower or fruit indoor. They will often flower in their tropical natural habitat. But if you grow them outdoors and your conditions are favorable, they will.
It depends. Unripe fruit and all other parts of the plant (leaves, flowers, stems, roots, petiole, etc.) are toxic to cats, dogs, humans, and other pets. But once they ripen fully, you can eat them. But don’t give your pets as they are unhealthy to them.
The best place to put Monsteras is close to your bathroom or kitchen window because they prefer light and humidity.