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Noni FAQs

Noni is a bucket list fruit for some fruit adventurers, and a staple food in cuisines around the world. Botanically known as Morinda citrifolia, noni has a number of notable nicknames - beach mulberry, Indian mulberry and, more commonly, cheese fruit to name a few. Noni gets its funky moniker from its distinctively powerful and pungent aroma that rivals even the durian! But don’t let this fruit’s smelly reputation keep you from experiencing its unique flavor!

The earthy, composty fragrance of very ripe noni carries into its flavor, with a hint of citrusy sourness. The harder the flesh of ripening noni, the more astringent and sharp the flavor typically is. When fully ripened, the stinky-sour cheese flavor and fragrance is at its peak!

As noni ripens, the fruit turns from hard, bumpy and green into a creamy yellow, then white fruit with smooth, translucent skin that resembles an oval-shaped potato. Inside, noni fruits have white flesh and many dark seeds inside that are edible. Because they have a somewhat woody texture, some noni fruit fans choose to spit them out.

Noni fruit and juice are known to be used for nutritional and medicinal uses, but we’re here for the flavor! It’s commonly prepared as a fresh or fermented juice, eaten raw as a snack, or incorporated into sauces, curries, creams and meat and vegetable dishes.

Noni grows natively throughout Southeast Asia, Australia and throughout tropical areas of the Pacific. They grow on trees that bear fruit year round. The leaves of the noni tree are edible and can be enjoyed cooked or raw.

Fresh noni fruit starts out bright green and bumpy, with a firm, sour flesh. As it ripens, noni fruits turn a yellowish white, then translucent white as it reaches the perfect stage of ripeness.

Knowing how to tell when noni is ripe is the key to enjoying this hard to find fruit.

When immature, noni is bright green and hard, and inedible when raw. The green, unripened fruit will not have developed its full, pungent aroma yet, and will have a sharp, bitter flavor with a slightly numbing mouthfeel. At this stage, the skin is tough and inedible, and should be peeled away from the fruit for preparation.

The earthy compost fragrance of very ripe noni carries into its flavor, with a hint of citrusy sourness. The harder the flesh of ripening noni, the more astringent and sharp the flavor typically is. Within a day or so of turning white, the flesh will begin to turn translucent and weepy with juice coming from its thin skin. At this fully ripe stage, the stinky cheese flavor and fragrance is at its peak!

Noni is a staple food in cuisines found throughout the Pacific where the fruit grows natively. It’s commonly prepared as a fresh or fermented juice, eaten raw as a snack, or incorporated into sauces, curries, creams and meat and vegetable dishes.

Noni fruits have many dark seeds inside that are edible. Because they have a somewhat woody texture, some noni fruit fans choose to spit them out.

The noni plant, or Norinda citrifolia, grows natively throughout the Pacific throughout Southeast Asia, Australia and Hawaii. The noni fruits grow on trees with large, shiny green leaves that grow up to 30 feet tall. The tree bears noni fruit throughout the year!

Noni is a fruit that’s hard to find in its raw form, and is best known for its juice. There isn’t a lot of nutritional information about the whole noni fruit, but to get a sense of its nutritional benefits, take a look at the nutrition facts for noni juice according to the University of Hawaii

Noni Juice Nutrition (100g)

  • Calories: 15
  • Sodium: 11g
  • Carbohydrates: 3g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Vitamin C: 34mg
  • Calcium: 10mg

Luckily for fruit fans, noni fruits are available year-round!

FruitStand is proud to partner with small, specialty farmers to bring you exceptional quality noni. To be the first to know when FruitStand is shipping noni harvests, join our email newsletter

One of the most popular ways to enjoy noni is in juice form, either as a fresh or fermented juice made from whole fruits. Noni adds complex aromatic and earthy flavor to soups, curries and rice dishes, and can be consumed raw as an adventurous snack. Even though noni can have a challenging flavor at first for some fruit fans, its complexity is a taste worth acquiring!

Even though noni can have a challenging flavor at first for some fruit fans, its complexity is a taste worth acquiring! Noni is legendary for its pungent and deeply funky cheese aroma, with a flavor to match. The taste and texture of noni evolves significantly as it ripens. As it matures, the flesh gets softer and more complex, funky aromas emerge.

When immature, noni is bright green and hard, and inedible when raw. The green, unripened fruit will not have developed its full, pungent aroma yet, and will have a sharp, bitter flavor with a slightly numbing mouthfeel. At this stage, the skin is tough and inedible, and should be peeled away from the fruit for preparation.

The earthy compost fragrance of very ripe noni carries into its flavor, with a hint of citrusy sourness. The harder the flesh of ripening noni, the more astringent and sharp the flavor typically is. Within a day or so of turning white, the flesh will begin to turn translucent and weepy with juice coming from its thin skin. At this stage, the stinky cheese flavor and fragrance is at its peak!

Noni must be fully ripened in order to consume it raw. Fully ripened noni looks like a smooth, bumpy potato with translucent white flesh that yields easily to the touch. Eat raw slices of fresh noni as an adventurous fruit snack, skin, seeds and all!

There are tasty ways to balance out the pungent, cheese-meets-wasabi flavor of ripe noni fruit. For instance, try sprinkling some flaky sea salt on top of noni slices. Pair the fruit with a hearty cheese, starchy vegetable, rich sauce or sweet rice. 

Unripened noni has a very bitter flavor and tough texture that becomes edible only when cooked. Unripened noni is still very firm, and matures from completely green to a pearly white color. The green skin is very tough and should be discarded before cooking the fruit’s flesh.

One of the most popular applications of noni fruit is noni juice. Noni is believed to have anti-inflammatory and other healthful properties, particularly when fermented into a potent, sour juice. Ripe noni can be blended and strained into a fresh juice that is more powerfully and complexly aromatic and slightly citrusy with a mouth-numbing effect.

Noni fruits can ripen quickly and have a short shelf life, so proper storage is key to enjoying these hard to find fruits. Green, unripened noni should be stored in a cool, dark, well ventilated area to ripen, up to three days. Once ripe, the noni fruit will turn translucent white and much softer. These mature noni should be eaten immediately, or stored in a tightly sealed glass jar for fermentation.

Ripe noni fruit can be frozen easily, too. Carefully wrap and seal noni in a freezer safe container for up to three months.

These funky fruits should be eaten as soon as you open them. If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for one day, or consider freezing unused portions.

Is your dog showing interest in the pungent fragrance of your new noni fruit? Noni appears to be a fruit that dogs can enjoy in moderation under close supervision. As always, your FruitStand fam encourages you to clear the safety of any new fresh fruits or veggies with your veterinarian before offering them your pooch.

Even though noni fruit is lightly colored, it can leave a brownish stain on certain fabrics. This fruit is particularly soft and juicy when very ripe, so take extra precaution when eating noni while wearing your favorite t-shirt.

In life, a little fruit must fall. If you drop a bit of noni on your clothing, table cloth or napkins, first treat the spot with a stain remover that’s safe for that particular fabric. Follow the directions on the product to prevent the spot from setting, and pop the item into the washer as soon as you can.

Noni and soursop (or corossol fruit) are two fruits that don’t get a lot of attention in the United States. At first glance, they can look very similar. But they are, in fact, different fruits. 

Both the noni and soursop are green, oblong fruits with a green, bumpy texture depending on the state of their ripeness. Cut either fruit in half and you’ll notice white flesh and many dark seeds. However, the immediate difference you’ll experience is the pungent odor of the noni that is not present in the soursop.

These fruits differ substantially in flavor. The soursop is known for its sweet, custardy flesh. Whereas noni fruit’s flavor is described as sour and fetid in an oddly satisfying way, with a numbing effect on the mouth and tongue.

The noni fruit is naturally fragrance-forward. Funky fresh, noni has an odor known to rival only that of durian. To reduce overpowering smells from noni, store them in a cool, dry, well ventilated part of your home. Some noni fans even like to keep them on the porch or in their garage.

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