Yes it does smell like vomit and who would have thought that you could actually eat them! Well I did...with salt....just like eating young mango!
Vomit fruit, cheese fruit, noni (Hawaii), Indian mulberry, beach mulberry, nunaakai (Tamil Naidu, India) are some of the names given to mengkudu (Malaysia), Morinda citrifolia, a tree in the coffee family Rubiaceae, a native from South East Asia to Australia (from Wikipedia). The plant is shady, It bears flowers and fruit all year round with a pungent smell more like vomit when ripe.
My late father planted this tree so that he can have abundant supply of mengkudu leaves to wrap the tungku (hot brick) for his 4 daughters' post maternity confinement! The kampung folks knew so much about the medicinal benefits of this great plant. I started eating the young leaves with sambal belachan as ulam since in primary school when balik kampung for school holidays. Now we have more than one plants around the house, which are becoming a bit of a nuisance because they shed their leaves all the time, and the ripe fruits falling on the ground, are germinating new seedlings all over the garden!
ripe mengkudu fruits smelling like vomit falling on the ground, can
be a health hazard if you step on it and slip..
young mengkudu fruit
mengkudu white flowers
my shady mengkudu tree where I can sit to rest
and a shady place for my new seedlings...
Here are some of the medicinal values of mengkudu plants. The young leaves although blanched in hot water are still bitter to eat but said to lower your blood pressure. The ripe fruits are blended and strained for the juice, a good healthy drink..must add a bit of sugar or you can't drink it! And you have to pinch your nose to drink it....Aptly named vomit fruit!