(Anacolosa luzoniensis – Family Olacaceae)
Galo nuts come from a Philippine tree distributed in forests at low to medium altitudes from northern Luzon to Mindanao. It produces a very nutritious, edible nut of good quality and taste. The tree can be found from India to the Pacific, but it is extraordinarily rare. A Malayan version was found in Malacca in 1867, but has since disappeared as has one found in Singapore in 1909. Other Olacaceae nuts include the following:
– Heisteria parvifolia is a plant from tropical west Africa that produces a fruit, from deep scarlet flowers, that has an edible white kernel that is sometimes used as food by the people of Liberia.
– Ongokea is a tree of some 125 feet found in Sierra Leone, Angola, and Zaire and which produces small yellow drupes with an offensive odour. However, the nuts are edible when ripe, and are quite oily.
– Scorodocarpus borneensis is called the woodland onion; but it is actually a tall tree found in Sumatra, the Malay peninsula, and Borneo. The tree has a garlicy smell to the wood, leaves, flowers, and fruit. The nut is edible, but eaten mostly by jungle tribes.
– Strombosia pustulata is an evergreen tropical African tree that grows to 100 feet and bears round or ellipsoid fruits that contain a single seed. The fruits have a hard, waxy, cheesy kernel in a thin, brittle shell. Their odour is suphurous or phosphoric and low in oil. They are rarely eaten as even small amounts can cause vomiting.
– Ximenia americana is called the wild olive, wild plum, false sandlewood, seaside plum, or tallow-wood. It is a small, parasitic, spiny shrub found worldwide. It produces fruits that taste like sour apples, but contain a large, edible, oily seed. The oil amounts to more than 65% and used in cooking in southern India. The nuts can cause some delirium, so cannot be eaten in any quantity; but they are rich in protein. Some are edible like filberts, while others are strongly purgative, or even poisonous.