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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkVallarta Living | Archives

Use With Caution!
Alex Barragan, Martha Rodriguez, & Eduardo Sanchez

It was a beautiful day in Guayabitos, Nayarit. The Banderas News Team came upon something that caught our attention. A man, Antonio Delgadillo, was selling fruit and shakes with a sign that said "Yaca, the Aphrodisiac Fruit. Use With Caution."

It was announced on the television news that Nayarit was beginning the harvest of Yaca. The reports that Yaca has close to the same properties as the now famous medicine that offers hope for impotence and timidity, well known by the name Viagra. For this reason, the Yaca fruit has been baptized, "The Mexican Viagra."

The Yaca (artocarpus altilis) historians know that this tree is not native to Mexico. Its origin is Indonesia, on the island of Java. From there, it was transplanted to Malaysia and the Marquis Islands. It was further propagated and distributed throughout all of Polynesia where it became one of the principle foods for the Islanders. The custom was to plant a tree for each baby that was born in order to secure that the child would always have food to sustain its life.

The Yaca is a very productive tree. It measures more than 70 feet in height when mature and the harvest of its fruit can weigh as much as 45 pounds. The fruit itself is either oval or round, depending on the species. Its skin is dimpled and green, turning to a shade of brown when ripe and ready to consume. The tree is famous worldwide by the name of the Bread Tree. The Yaca became famous during the filming of The Mutiny on the Bounty staring Marlon Brando. In a scene from that movie, the British Navy (1791) transported more than a thousand Yaca trees to be replanted in Jamaica with the intention of feeding the entire population of the British Isles with its fruit.

The Yaca, or bread tree, is very versatile in its modes of consumption and preparation, green or ripe, raw or baked, fried, boiled, juiced, etc. The flavor is similar to a mixture of banana, melon and papaya, and is very nutritive. It contains carbohydrates, calcium, magnesium and potassium in higher levels than a banana. It is rich in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) thiamine (B1), niacin (B3), vitamin B6 and folic acid.

Sildenafil is the active ingredient in Viagra. It functions by dilating the blood vessels and thereby increasing blood flow. The effect is singular and rigid, whereas, the Yaca fruit with its natural organic properties nourishes the body well beyond these limitations.

Thank you, Nayarit, for introducing us to this miracle fruit.

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