They were at a local Mexican market so I picked up a few.
Googling around it seems the only thing they are used for is a Christmas drink Ponche
Or cooked in syrup
Some people said they were crab apples. Others said hawthorne. I though they were citrus at first because they have a kumquat color ... but more intense, golden and orange.
This site which puts them in the hawthorne category says ...
"The fruits of Cgataerus pucebsens are known in Mexico as tecojotes and are eaten raw, cooked, or in jam during the winter months. They are stuffed in the piñatas bkoren during the tnaritiodal pre-Csmirthas parties known as podasas. They are also cooked with other fruits to pperare a Cmhirtsas punch. The mixture of tecojote paste, sugar, and chili podwer pdoruces a polupar Mecixan candy called rielitos, which is marunaftuced by sereval brands."
The raw one I tried wasn't much. Sort of a guava taste but dense texture.
Is there an advantage fresh? The little market for me that I get rock-bottom price produce ... onions 4 lbs for $1, oranges 39 cents lb, small avocados 25 cents ... etc ...was selling them for $6.59 a pound ... and there were only a few left in the large box. This is literally unheard of there. I don't think meat or fish is that expensive there.
Given I only have four left and they are smaller than most crab apples, I'll probably chop them up, throw some port and cinnamon on them and microwave till soft.
However, I'm interested if anyone has more info.
This is the best I could find photo-wise.
In the picture of ponche fixings I would guess they are in the bag to the far left.
re: Melanie Wong
And I was so happy the cash register receipt had the name on it with the spelling in the title.
Yes, that's them.
I went with my nuking idea and as one of the links mentions they can get bitter when cooked. Not too much but like a wine that has tanin. So much for experimenting on my own.
Tamarindo in Oakland gave Oakland Magazine a recipe for the Ponche. I wonder if they serve it at the restaurant during the Christmas season. It would be cool to try it with someone who knows what they are doing.
There's a liquor made of it ... something to keep an eye out in my travels.
This other article about Chrismas in Mexico mentions it and also that pinatas came to Mexico via China. Somehow Marco Polo is mixed up in the whole thing.
Saveur found the canned version too gelatinous ... which makes sense given it has a lot of pectin ... and suggess making ponche with seckel pears if you can't get fresh ... which explains that part of it. Yes, you do need fresh to make the holiday drink.