Bukut. Carao. Stinking Toe. Cassia Grandis of the Fabaceae family
BUCUT CONTAINS A GOLDEN BLACK SYRUP INSIDE THE PODS. - BUCUT SYRUP FOR THE NEW EXPLORER, HAS A FOUL SMELL, which has been associated as a " STINKING TOE. "
I just finished reading the health value of the BUCUT Syrup. It is very good as a Blood Builder. - It has proprieties which are now highly recommended for anemic persons. When I was young in my home village, BUCUT was abundant. From far away, one could see the beautifully blooming trees.
We used to pull several bucut pods place them inside a crocus bag and soak them overnight in the river. - -The following day, we treated ourselves with a sweet Milky Juice. ( not so good smelling, but delicious. )
Delicious when soaked in water and sucked out of the pod. Or when crushed with a hammer and boiled in water. This is the pod averaging a foot and a half to two feet in length. It does smell like stinky toe!
It tastes like chocolate mostly with a hint of molasses.
I eat it straight out of the pod. I don’t know why I love it so much! Especially the spineless ones.
Take out the inside sections (look like coins) soak in water and sweeten. Makes a delicious drink.
Many homes in Belize, especially those in the countryside have Bukut tress as shade and ornamental trees and the seeds are readily available from many seed companies worldwide. In Belize and other countries of Central America, the tree grows wild in the forest and rural areas.
Bukut fruit is reputed to cure anemia and is used as a natural herbal remedy for a variety of ailments. Medicine: In Belize the fruit pulp is used as a laxative similar to C. fistula and reported to be more powerful. The ripe pods and seeds of Cassia Grandis are also used as a laxative. A decoction of the leaves is used as a laxative and in the treatment of lumbago. Fresh juice of the leaves of the tree is is used externally in the treatment of ringworm. Timber: Cassia grandis known in other countries as Carao, is also reported to give strong multipurpose wood. Gum or resin: The seeds of Cassia grandis is a potential commercial source of gums. Seed gum is a potential binder for the pharmaceutical industry.
Many folks in Belize, especially adventurous kids, consume the ripe fruit when in season despite its somewhat unattractive smell – this is definitely an acquired taste. The fruit contains jam-like sections that surround the seeds. People who sample the fruit (you eat it by sucking on the sticky pulp of the fruit and spitting out the seeds) describe the smell as “funny” and the taste as something tangy and sweet and a mixture between chocolate and cherry.
In Latin America Cassia Grandis is better known as Carao and is used to make a popular drink. The fruit pulp and seeds are boiled for twenty minutes and the resulting decoction – a creamy brown liquid or “milk” is then chilled and served as an exotic and nutritious drink. People describe Carao Milk as having a smell like that of cheese and an intense organic aroma.
Photographs by Kimo Jolly
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