Monstera Deliciosa – The Delicious Monster

Would you eat something that you know could poison you? Would you take the chance if someone told you the experience could be worth it? Well, I did, and am glad I did. Here’s this poisonous strange fruit I found at Bellingen, one that possibly helps the locals when the munchies hit: Monstera Deliciosa. If the shape looks familiar, that’s because it is. You would have seen this delicious monster growing on indoor ornamental plants. They are surrounded by a large flower and they look great. It originates somewhere around Mexico and Panama, and what’s really crazy about it is that it takes a year for the fruit to ripen, and that if it is eaten unripe, it will cause blistering, itching, swelling and pain, and possibly the loss of a loved one: you.This is due to the large amounts of oxalic acid in the unripe fruit. So, the lady who sold this to me said that it would be ok to eat when those hexagonal scales fall off, and the fruit becomes easy to lift of the stem. Even then when I ate it, it still gave my mouth and lips a tingly sensation with a slight irritation. But I tell you what, it tasted phenomenal. It is possibly nearest in flavour and texture to custard apple, but it also tastes like pineapples and bananas and grapes and strawberries. In fact, this strange, all encompassing flavour is the reason why it’s also sometimes called the fruit salad plant. If you come by this plant, ask the shop when it would be safe to eat, but I urge you to try it. It’s delicious! Now, tell me, would you eat it?


  • We live in the Dandenongs where climate is rather cool most of the time. I don’t recall where we sourced our original plant but over the years have broken off large sections and just stuck them in the ground. Surprisingly, they all grew and we now have about six large plants that are loaded with fruit. I’m looking for uses (other than simply pigging out on the fresh ones) and was considering making chutneys or pickles, maybe add as a ‘mystery’ ingredient. Any ideas?

  • The fruit salad sort of flavour might go better with baked goods – or even just a jam rather than a pickle or chutney.

  • I have been adding to cakes (about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of monstera). Good in banana cake. Made a pear upside down cake with monstera added, very nice. Good in sticky date pudding. Beautiful in fruit salad. I am still experimenting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *