A fruit part of the citrus family, comfortably at home in tropical, humid, and warm climates. Its parent tree grows quite sturdily over a couple decades, an umbrella-like canopy developing that shields the fruits. The jotuk fruits themselves grow on 'cords' that hang down from the canopy. The tips of the cords then curl into a spiral, upon which the actual flesh of the jotuk fruit grow. Its many different subspecies have different colored fruits, as well as different tastes. However, the cord core is universally important. If it is severed, the surrounding flesh immediately flips in its flavor profile. Sweet becomes bitter, sour becomes tart, etc.
Generally speaking, jotuk can be harvested by cutting or pulling the fruit from its parent cord at a joint just above the fruit. The edible parts of the fruit then have to be carefully separated from the spiral it grows from, unless one wants the flipped taste instead. Many animals, for the most part, only eat the flesh of the fruit and leave the cord. This seemingly allows the flesh to regrow quicker than starting a whole new fruit, per say. However, it is much harder for people to store the cut-open flesh, hence the fruit as a whole is preferred.
A staple fruit in tropical climates, jotuk are among the more preferred types to cultivate over others. While they take longer to start a grove, their diverse flavor profiles and ease of cross-species hybridization gives them great potential. Older farms with their own groves can produce fruit with remarkably unique tastes, even from generation-to-generation. Splice-grafting compatible plants to the jotuk tree is more the norm, allowing for individual control and customization.
For many longer-lived species, like jiuweihu
, jotuk groves are a very traditional family business. They tend to have a strong market presence, but inter-generational families for other species aren't unheard of either. Given the potential of jotuk, competition largely centers on making sure other people aren't 'stealing flavors' from each other. Of course, accidentally arriving at the same flavor poses quite the ethical dilemma to these businesses.
Mana-rich jotuk is a desirable commodity to mages
. While it usually doesn't have strong concentrations, the low mana can be useful for easier-to-digest consumption and recovery. In this form, it can be a luxury to have. The fruit also has some value as an alchemical ingredient primarily for flavoring of concoctions. Otherwise, a lot of possible potions would taste like death when someone drank them.
Jotuk fruit is usually associated with luxury and decadence, being many people's first ideas of what 'delicious' can be. It's also sometimes considered a royal, noble, or divine food. The trees are more evocative of aged maturity and respect, conferring ideas of slow-but-steady, and respectable hard work. Some consider the tree's habit of easily giving up its fruit as an estimable quality, evocative of sharing one's labors. This dichotomy shows up the most where 'high class' locations emphasize the fruit, but field workers venerate the tree instead.