Relishing the Wild Fruits of Meghalaya

Meghalaya, also known as the "Abode of Clouds", is not just about picturesque towns and cascading waterfalls. There are many delicacies available in this hilly state, including a wide variety of wild fruits. If you visited the state and conducted a random survey asking passersby, "Meghalaya is famous for which fruit?", the overwhelming majority would respond "Sohphie fruit". Let us look at why and how this fruit, which is virtually unknown in the rest of the country, has earned this distinction in Meghalaya.

Foraging in the Wild for Sohphie fruit

Myrica esculenta, commonly known as Sohphie fruit, is one of the most famous wild delicacies in Meghalaya. It is found across the hills of Jaintia in Meghalaya and has a special taste that will sweep you off your feet. Sohphie marks the arrival of springtime in Meghalaya. Tourists and locals alike enjoy its crunchiness and juiciness until the end of summer. The shelf life of the fruit lasts for about two to three days, so it must be consumed soon after picking.

red fruit and seeds
bowl of dark red fruit

Not only Tasty, but Medicinal as well!

The locals claim that drinking Sohphie fruit juice has the power to cure dysentery, stomach problems and a whole host of other ailments. If you meet a local healer in Meghalaya, they will tell you stories of their ancestors using this fruit for its medicinal properties. In addition to its healing properties, it contains antioxidants, is anti-allergic, anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory. Researchers also claim that the bark of the tree is capable of treating asthma, fever, lung infections, worms and jaundice.

That's not the end of Sohphie fruit!

If you are a perfectly healthy person, there are many ways that you can enjoy the wild fruits of Meghalaya. In addition to being eaten raw, Sohphie fruit is also used to make pickles and jams. To enhance its taste, bamboo shoots and bhoot jolokia are often added to the pickles. If you are the kind of person who seeks adventure in everything, then you can even eat Sohphie fruit raw with salt and chilli powder.

vineyard at sunset

Other Wild Fruits in Meghalaya that You can Munch on

It is said that Meghalaya has some of the most diverse botanical habitats in Asia, particularly in the Khasi and Jaintia hills. Not everything is edible, but if you spot a wild fruit you recognize in the wilderness, it can make for a great snack. Here are some other wild fruits of Meghalaya you cannot miss while you’re here:

Cantaloupes: The cantaloupe is a large, bright yellow sweet melon that can be pureed, preserved, and prepared as a marmalade. The high water content of these melons helps cool the body during the summer.

Soh Lyngdkhur: Locally referred to as Soh Lyngdkhur, the sweet black mulberry is very rare compared to other varieties of mulberries in India. This fruit's remnants can be mashed and boiled to reduce throat inflammation, and it also has anti-fever properties.

Sohiong: Also known as Meghalaya Cherry, Sohiong is a fruit native to the trans-Himalayan region. It has a dark purple hue reminiscent of grapes. Depending on what they are used for, you can enjoy them fresh or preserve them by making squashes, jams, and jellies.

Meghalaya has a lot of hidden gems to offer visitors who know where to look for them. Go exploring, then rest up in the delightful accommodations at Woodstock Resort in Shillong to recharge yourself.

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