Kokum is a fruit that shows resemblance to tomato but is sweet with aroma. A full ripen kokum will be purple. Kokum is used to make drinks or dried up to add as a spice, specifically in Indian dishes. The dried kokum will taste sour and will be dark in color.
Kokum is cultivated in India, especially in western India. Kokum trees will bear fruit up to 4 – 5 years after plantation. Kokum needs a hot and humid environment to grow. The kokum fruit is harvested in May and starts decaying fast if it gets ripped.
How To Store Kokum
Kokum is a juicy fruit and has a low shelf life. Kokum is used for different purposes and needs proper storage if you have to enjoy it for a longer season.
Keep at Room Temperature
Dried kokum is very well known for its usage as a spice in dishes. All you need is to keep the dried fruit in an airtight container. Dried kokum does not get spoiled easily at room temperature. Just make sure not to place it near heat in your kitchen.
On the other hand, kokum fruit has a low shelf life and needs proper precautions. You can make the fruit last longer by keeping it in a cool, dry corner of the kitchen. Make sure to store the fruit unsliced. The fruit should not be contained in an airtight container, or it will rot and catch mold due to natural moisture buildup.
For daily life usage, the fruit is mostly preferred to keep in a refrigerator. Refrigeration can save the fruit from external environment interaction and provides a cool, dark, and dry environment. In this way, the fruit lasts longer in the refrigerator.
You should not wash the fruit be storing it but if you have washed the fruit, then make sure to dry the fruit properly. Place it open in a bucket, and the airflow will prevent it from saving it from mold development. Make sure not to remove the stem before placing your fruit; also, keep it away from heat.
Freezing your fruit is also practiced on a commercial level where there is a need to store it for a long time. Freezing your fruit can be done in different ways. Some freeze the juice of the fruit, or some may also freeze the jams of the fruit.
Can You Freeze Kokum
Yes, kokum can be frozen. Freezing kokum can be done in many ways. You can store it as a whole by simply placing the fruit in the freezer. The fruit will get rock solid in about 2 – 3 hours. However, dried kokum is not usually stored. You can use the freezing bag to freeze the fruit.
Before freezing the fruit, make sure you dry the fruit completely if washed. Do not slice and freeze your fruits. You can also freeze the juice extract of the fruit or freeze the jam of the fruit. The fruit can be thawed later at room temperature or placing it in normal water.
How Long Does Kokum Last
The storage life of kokum is greatly affected by its surroundings. Do not bother with dried kokum as it can last for about a year at room temperature, and it can be stored in an airtight container. However, normal kokum fruit can last for about five days if harvested riped. If one has plucked partially harvested kokum, it can last for about two weeks at room temperature.
Kokum, like any other fruit, on a domestic scale, is stored in a refrigerator which can extend the life of the fruit for about two weeks. If you place a sliced fruit in the refrigerator, life can go down to a week maximum.
Freezing kokum fruit is achieved on a commercial scale where they need the fruit throughout the year. Frozen kokum fruit can last for 6 – 8 months with a little effect on the texture and taste.
How To Tell If Kokum Is Bad
One can easily tell if the kokum fruit is fit to be used in your recipe. Kokum fruit will exhibit obvious signs of expiry. The kokum fruit will have significant visual signs of expiry followed up by smell and taste.
- Appearance: The appearance of the fruit will change. As the fully ripped fruit will be purple, you will see that there will be dark spots on the spoiled fruit, and on touching the fruit, it will be soft and mushy. A good fruit has a firm, smooth touch and skin. Bad fruit will have wrinkled skin.
- Smell: Kokum will have a foul smell of rotting. A good fruit will have a sweet aroma, and you can easily differentiate a false fruit.
- Taste: A foul kokum fruit will have a bitter taste. However, if the fruit is fully rotten, the fruit will have a very bad smell and taste. It is suggested that you waste such fruit.