The name may be hard to say, but this fruit tree’s simple pleasures (translate: jams and jellies) make up for it.
What is the Jaboticaba?
The myrtle family (myrtaceae) is home to the Surinam Cherry, Guava and plants that produce clove and allspice; however, the Jaboticaba tree is one of its most unusual members. This difficult to pronounce name (try saying it three times in a row) is little known outside its native Brazil but grows quite nicely in Southwest Florida, particularly in areas close to the coast.
What you’ll love about your Jaboticaba is plucking its edible fruit right off the old trunk growth and branches (which means it’s best not to prune it). It requires medium sun and will thrive in a wide range of soils but doesn’t tolerate salt and cold temps. The honey-scented flowers are a subtle white and will mature in about 20 days, delighting you with dark purple berries one inch in diameter. Although fruiting occurs on mature trees throughout the year (it can take years to bear fruit), the largest yields are typically in the spring.
Hundreds of recipes exist for the Jaboticaba fruit—from preserves to wine to pies and beyond. It tastes a lot like a Muscadine grape (except it’s slightly acidic and spicy) and can be eaten right off the tree. Anti-aging with similar health benefits to cranberries, the fruit is high in vitamin C, protein and calcium and low in carbs and calories. Next time you’re up for a treat, try this Jaboticaba recipe from Food.com.