What Is Gac Fruit?
Gac fruit (Momordica cochinchinensis) is a bright orange spikey fruit found in Southeast Asia. It’s only harvested for two months each year (December and January) and is often used on special occasions in Vietnam as well as in traditional Chinese medicines.
Sprengel found that the plant belonged to the Linnean genus Momordica and changed its name in 1826.
Gac grows as dioecious vines. Its male and female flowers are on separate plants, producing flowers typically 5–10 centimetres (2.0–3.9 in) in length. Its vines can extend to 20 metres (66 ft) long, and its flowers blooms once a year, single or in bundle, around two to three months after the vines are planted. In one season, a plant can produce from 30 to 60 fruits.
Typically, gac fruits are round or oblong, about 13 centimetres (5.1 in) in length and 10 centimetres (3.9 in) in diameter, covered with small spines on the exocarp. Upon ripening, it gradually changes colors, from green to yellow, orange and finally red.