The inga bean is famously known as the “ice cream bean”, and for good reason. Inga beans are plump pods of succulent fruit that really do taste like the world’s greatest non-fruit based food.
This is a sweet bean that you’ll be glad you added to your fruit repertoire. Golden, waxy inga bean pods house pillowy soft chunks of white flesh. Inga bean fruit is as sweet as nectar with hints of vanilla that you might expect from its nickname. Gather the kids and watch them marvel at the unique texture and flavor that comes from such an unassuming pod!
If you’ve never had an inga bean, we look forward to sending you a beautiful FruitStand package from our small specialty farm partners. Keep reading to learn all about inga bean!
The white, candy floss-looking pulp of the inga bean is as flavorful and sweet as its moniker suggests. Raw inga bean pulp really does taste a lot like ice cream, with a hint of cherimoya and warm spice reminiscent of cinnamon. Texturally, inga bean pulp is fresh and juicy with a spongy and delicate feel.
Seeds of the inga bean are edible when cooked and toxic when raw. Prepared inga bean seeds have a similar flavor and texture to lima and garbanzo beans.
This big legume had us at ice cream, but the inga bean (inga edulis) is also known as the monkey tamarind, joaquiniquil, cuaniquil, guama and guaba. Inga bean pods can range in size from about one to nearly seven feet long! Ripe inga bean pods are dark yellow to brown with white pulp surrounding individual black seeds. Pods are similar in shape to other beans, but inga bean pods possess distinctive spines that make them look a little like winged beans.
Inga beans are native to South America, particularly in coastal countries of Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The trees from which the inga beans grow can reach up to nearly 100ft tall and will bloom multiple times throughout the year.
Inga beans are native to South America, particularly in coastal countries of Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The inga bean pods, which can grow to many feet in length, grow on a tree that’s known for its quick growth. These trees bloom occasionally throughout the year, which is why inga beans are available at different times throughout the year.
Follow us on Instagram @fruitstandcom to learn when inga beans are available for shipment directly to you from our specialty farm partners!
Inga beans are available periodically throughout the year (hallelujah!) because the plant blossoms periodically throughout the year. Join our newsletter to get alerts on when inga beans are available.
Whether an inga bean is certified organic or not will depend on the farm where it was grown. At FruitStand, we only partner with the best specialty farms for exceptional quality of produce. When each harvest is available, we'll tell you whether the fruit is considered organic or conventional.
Still curious about inga bean? Join our community on Facebook and ask us anything about inga beans!