Did you know that Marula fruit contains 4x more vitamin C than the average orange? Every year at the height of summer the women of Limpopo hand-gather this exquisite fruit and take it to the Amarula factory in the outskirts of Phalaborwa.
It is only the female Marula tree that bears this exotic fruit which has a yellow colour, citrus tang and a creamy, nutty taste. The trees can be found all over the province and during December-January it is the sweet scent of ripe Marula fruit that lingers in the bush and in streets of towns such as Phalaborwa, where many trees can be found. Local communities are an integral part of the harvesting and for many locals their earnings from the picking bring welcome annual relief in their daily struggles.
At the factory the fruit is de-stoned and the fibrous white flesh crushed. After fermentation the pulp gets transported to the Western Cape where the Marula ‘spirit’ is distilled and aged in French oak barrels for at least two years. Dairy cream is then infused to give Amarula its rich, velvety texture.
The Amarula Lapa is a lovely visitor’s facility right next to the factory, in Phalaborwa. On arrival you will be welcomed with a glass of Amarula. After tasting the alcoholic marula nectar you take place in the lounge, where the entire process, from fruit to your glass, is explained on video.
During picking season you can even take a guided tour through the factory and see first-hand how the fruit gets prepared to be enjoyed by the rest of the world. Amarula is sold in over 100 countries world-wide.
The Amarula Lapa is open for tastings on Monday to Friday from 08:00 – 18:00 and on Saturday and Public Holiday’s from 08:00 – 16:00. A small shop sells Amarula gifts, such as branded glasses and clothing. The authentic Lapa also houses a restaurant where you can enjoy special dishes such as ‘Sticky Amarula Wings’ and a delicious ‘Amarula Cake’.
And as for the healthy high vitamin C content? Rather stick to the Marula fruit only……