What Does Lucuma Taste Like?

Lucuma is a South American treasure, often called the “Gold of the Incas.”

The taste of Lucuma is a blend of sweet potato, maple, and a hint of caramel which is typically consumed in its dried and powdered form. This allows it to add a unique sweetness to various dishes, from smoothies to baked goods.

In this guide, we’ll explore more about Lucuma’s taste and ways you might be able to use it in your kitchen.

How Does Lucuma Taste?

What Does Lucuma Taste Like

When it comes to the taste of Lucuma, it’s a mix of sweet and savory, with a hint of nuttiness that adds depth to its flavor profile.

The sweetness of Lucuma is like a sweet potato but with a twist. It has a subtle maple undertone that gives it a distinct and memorable taste.

The texture of Lucuma also contributes to its overall flavor. It’s slightly dry, similar to a hard-boiled egg yolk, which allows it to absorb and enhance the flavors of the dishes it’s added to.

In essence, Lucuma is a flavor enhancer. It’s a fruit that brings its own unique taste to the table while also elevating the flavors of the dishes it’s used in.

Types Of Lucuma

  • Fresh Lucuma: Fresh Lucuma has a creamy texture with a sweet, slightly tart flavor. It’s often compared to sweet potato or pumpkin.
  • Lucuma Powder: Lucuma powder is made from dried Lucuma fruit. It has a sweet, slightly nutty flavor and is used as a natural sweetener in recipes.

Comparing Lucuma With Other Fruits

  • Mango: Mangoes are much sweeter and juicier than Lucuma. While both have a tropical flavor, Lucuma has a more subtle sweetness and a creamier texture.
  • Sweet Potato: Sweet potatoes and Lucuma have similar sweetness levels. However, Lucuma has a more fruity flavor, while sweet potatoes are more starchy.
  • Pumpkin: Pumpkin and Lucuma both have a mild sweetness and a creamy texture. However, Lucuma has a more distinct, fruity flavor.

Does Lucuma Taste Good?

The taste of Lucuma can be quite appealing to those who enjoy a blend of sweet and savory flavors. Its unique combination of sweetness, reminiscent of sweet potato, and a hint of nuttiness can make it a favorite for many. The subtle maple undertone adds a distinct touch.

However, not everyone might be a fan of Lucuma’s taste. If you prefer strong, bold flavors, Lucuma might come off as too subtle for your liking. Its sweetness is not overpowering, and the nuttiness is a background note that might not appeal to those who prefer more pronounced flavors.

Additionally, the texture of Lucuma might not be to everyone’s liking. It’s slightly dry, similar to a hard-boiled egg yolk, which might be a bit unusual for some. But if you’re open to trying new textures and flavors, Lucuma could be an interesting addition to your kitchen.

Freshness and ripeness play a big role in the taste of Lucuma. A ripe Lucuma has a richer flavor and a creamier texture. On the other hand, an unripe Lucuma can be a bit tart.

What Does Lucuma Look Like?

Lucuma is a fruit that’s quite distinctive in appearance. It’s round to oval in shape, similar to an avocado or a small melon. The outer skin is green, but don’t let that fool you. Unlike many fruits, the green skin doesn’t indicate that it’s unripe.

what lucuma looks like market

When you pick up a Lucuma, you’ll notice it has a certain heft to it. It’s solid and firm, much like an apple or a pear. This firmness is a good sign of a healthy, ripe Lucuma. It might be overripe and not ideal for consumption if it feels too soft or squishy.

When you cut open a Lucuma, you’ll find a vibrant, egg-yolk yellow flesh inside. The color is striking and can be a delightful surprise if you see it for the first time. In the center, you’ll find a large, shiny, dark brown seed, similar to an avocado.

When buying Lucuma, look for firm fruits with an even green color without any significant blemishes or soft spots.

When buying Lucuma powder, look for a vibrant yellow product that indicates good quality.

Do Lucuma Have Seeds?

Yes, Lucuma does have seeds.

lucuma seed

When you slice open this intriguing fruit, you’ll find a large, dark brown seed nestled in the center. It’s similar in appearance to an avocado seed, but don’t be fooled. Unlike avocado seeds, Lucuma seeds are not edible.

The seed is quite hard and can be difficult to remove. You’ll want to use a spoon or a knife to carefully pry it out. Remember to be cautious while doing this to avoid any accidental slips or cuts.

While the seed isn’t edible, it doesn’t mean it’s useless. Some people like to keep and plant the seeds, hoping to grow their own Lucuma tree.

However, growing a Lucuma tree outside its native environment can be challenging. So, when you’re enjoying your Lucuma, remember to discard the seed safely unless you’re up for a gardening adventure!

How To Make Lucuma Taste Good

Making Lucuma taste good is all about how you prepare it. Here are some tips to enhance the natural flavor of Lucuma:

  • Use ripe Lucuma: A ripe Lucuma has a richer, sweeter flavor. Look for Lucuma that is firm to the touch but gives slightly when pressed.
  • Pair with complementary flavors: Lucuma pairs well with flavors like vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. These can enhance the natural sweetness of the fruit.
  • Sweeten if needed: While Lucuma is naturally sweet, you can add an extra bit of natural sweetener like honey or agave if you prefer a sweeter taste.

How To Use Lucuma In Recipes And Side Dishes

Lucuma can add a touch of sweetness to any dish. Here are some popular ways to use Lucuma:


  • Lucuma Smoothie: Blend Lucuma powder with bananas, almond milk, and honey for a sweet, nutritious smoothie. The Lucuma adds a subtle sweetness and creaminess to the smoothie.
  • Lucuma Pancakes: Add Lucuma powder to your pancake batter for a unique twist on a breakfast classic. The Lucuma gives the pancakes a slightly sweet, nutty flavor.
  • Lucuma Ice Cream: Lucuma is a popular ice cream flavor in Peru. Blend Lucuma pulp with cream, sugar, and vanilla for a homemade version of this treat.

Side Dishes

  • Lucuma Yogurt: Mix Lucuma powder into your favorite yogurt for a nutritious side dish. The Lucuma adds a subtle sweetness and a boost of nutrients.
  • Lucuma Salad Dressing: Blend Lucuma powder with olive oil, vinegar, and honey for a sweet, tangy salad dressing. The Lucuma adds a unique flavor to the dressing.
  • Lucuma Roasted Vegetables: Toss your favorite vegetables in a mixture of Lucuma powder, olive oil, salt, and pepper before roasting. The Lucuma adds a hint of sweetness to the vegetables.

Lucuma FAQs

What is the best way to eat Lucuma?

Lucuma can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. It’s often used in desserts and sweet dishes due to its subtly sweet flavor. You can use Lucuma powder in smoothies, pancakes, or ice cream. Fresh Lucuma can be eaten or used in cooking and baking.

Can you eat Lucuma raw?

Yes, you can eat Lucuma raw. However, it’s more commonly consumed in its dried and powdered form. The raw fruit has a starchy texture and a subtly sweet flavor.

Where can I buy Lucuma?

Lucuma can be found in some specialty grocery stores or online. The fruit is native to South America, so it might be harder to find in other parts of the world. Lucuma powder, however, is widely available and can be used in a variety of recipes.

About Justin Micheal

Hey, I’m Justin and the home cook behind Food Meets Flavor. I have a passion for cooking and making food delicious. So, I started this blog to help others understand what different types of food taste like and how to make everyday meals taste even better.