Learning about the tropical fruits, plants and other curiosities from the tropical area of southern Mexico is always fascinating. We had been trying to figure out the name of the seed used in many of our earrings…to me, it looked like a watermelon seed and I thought maybe the seeds were trying to be passed off as something more exotic…or maybe the name they were telling me was the name for watermelon seed, but in a local language. This week, I finally had a breakthrough. I asked my future father-in-law (FFIL), who is a walking encyclopedia of Chiapas. I said “Are you familiar with a seed called “wash“?” (That is how it’s pronounced). And at that time, my future mother-in-law said “Oh yes, I know what it is…” and my FFIL added “Ah, yes, but in my town, they call it Guaje, not wash!” And I solved my mystery! I googled Guaje and found a ton of information on wikipedia and even recipes. Here in Mexico, they also make jewelry from the seeds, in addition to eating them as a snack with salt.