Jaboticaba is an exotic thick berry with purple skin that thrives in subtropical climates.
It is native to Brazil, and the locals there absolutely love it.
Currently, jaboticaba is grown in the United States and Southeast Asia. Most people grow them in their backyards.
The most common way to enjoy jaboticaba is eating out of hand. However, it has several other uses in the kitchen.
If you have never tried jaboticaba, you are probably wondering what it tastes like.
You are in luck because this article discusses everything you need to know about jaboticaba.
This will include the flavor, varieties, uses, nutritional benefits, and so much more.
You will be able to make an informed decision after reading this article.
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Jaboticaba flesh is either pink or white in color.
It has a sweet grape-like flavor and is very aromatic. It also has some hints of acidity but the acidity does not affect its sweetness.
The flesh of jaboticaba is gelatinous. It is embedded with a light-brown seed. The seed should be discarded because it has a tannic flavor which is unpleasant.
The purple skin of jaboticaba is edible. However, in some varieties, it is unpleasant to eat since it is very thick.
You can always remove the skin and enjoy the flesh inside.
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Jaboticaba varieties compared
The tree that jaboticaba grows on greatly influences its color, juice levels, texture, and flavor.
Here are some of the varieties.
- Red jaboticaba
This variety naturally produces a lot of fruit.
It also grows very fast compared to the other varieties since it takes 3-4 years to mature.
The fruits are usually small, but they have a perfectly balanced sweet and tart flavor.
- Purple jaboticaba
Purple jaboticaba also goes by the names Myrciaria and sabara.
It is the most common variety grown in Brazil. It has an amazing sweet taste which explains why it is so popular.
The skin has a mildly spicy flavor, although it is usually discarded.
- Yellow jaboticaba
Brazilians call this variety cabelluda.
As its name suggests, it has yellow skin. Yellow jaboticabas are not as fleshy as other varieties, but they have a superior flavor.
The flavor is a combination of peach and tamarind. It is simply irresistible.
- Grimal jaboticaba
Grimal jaboticaba got its name from Adolph Grimal, a popular botanist. The fruits are much bigger compared to purple jaboticaba.
Their skin is usually very dark purple in color. Its flavor profile is very similar to that of concorde grapes.
However, its acidity is much higher. Most people compare the flavor of grimal jaboticaba to grape candy.
Like I mentioned earlier, jaboticaba has several uses in the kitchen.
Although the fruit is not so popular, there are several recipes that have it as an ingredient. Here are a few uses for jaboticaba.
- Eat them out of hand
This is the most common way to enjoy jaboticaba, especially when they are ripe. Some jaboticaba varieties have edible skin.
However, you may find the skin unpleasant to eat. This should not deter you from eating this exotic fruit.
All you have to do is split the skin sucks the insides, and discard the skin.
Jaboticaba only has one seed inside it so you don’t have to worry about getting rid of seeds before enjoying the seeds.
Eating jaboticaba can be a bit messy since they are naturally juicy, so I suggest you eat it outside.
You can use jaboticaba to make juice.
The berries themselves are loaded with juice. To make this amazing juice, wash four cups of jaboticaba and place them in a blender.
Add half a cup of white sugar and some water then blend until all the ingredients are combined.
Once properly blended, strain the juice into a jug and discard the pulp.
Jaboticabas are a great addition to desserts. You can add the fruits to cheesecake, ice cream, or even sorbents.
Another interesting thing you can do is crush the jaboticabas and heat them in a pan with water and sugar to form a syrup.
You can pour this syrup over salads and pancakes. You can also add it to water for a refreshing cordial.
Jaboticabas can be used to make jam, chutney, marmalade, and relish.
It is important that you remove the jaboticaba skin before making any of these preserves. If you don’t, you will end up with an unpleasant tannin flavor.
Jaboticaba is an excellent addition to cocktails. My favorite one is a Brazilian cocktail called caipirinha.
It is a combination of sugar, lime, and cachaça. Instead of using lime, use jaboticaba.
Just break up ten berries using a spoon or muddler, place them at the bottom of your glass, and then add the sugar and cachaça.
Stir the ingredients so that they combine, add some ice, and enjoy.
Is jaboticaba healthy?
These exotic fruits are very healthy. They are packed with vitamin C, phosphorus, iron, and niacin.
They are also a good source of antioxidants.
Most of these benefits come from the skin. Therefore, if you find the skin on your jaboticaba inedible, you won’t enjoy all the nutrients it offers.
Interesting facts about jaboticaba
- When in season, the jaboticaba tree produces stunning white flowers. The Brazilian people nicknamed jaboticaba tree grapes.
- Jaboticabas that mature in warmer months are usually sweeter and their skin are not so thick.
- Jaboticabas quickly ferment once they are harvested. This explains why they are only sold locally in areas where they are grown.
- Overripe jaboticaba usually has a fermented aroma. Therefore, you can easily identify overripe jaboticabas.
- Jaboticaba fruits grow directly on the tree trunks instead of the branches. They are cauliflorous.
- Jaboticaba skin has medicinal purposes. It can be used to treat dysentery and asthma.
Where Jaboticaba grows
Jaboticaba thrives in Brazil and other countries that have warm climates. They are not common in countries that experience cold weather.
In the United States, you are likely to find them in Florida. Most people grow them in their backyards.
The chances of jaboticabas ever becoming mainstream products that you can find in supermarkets and grocery stores are very slim.
This has nothing to do with how they taste. The simple explanation is that they do not store well.
The fruits start fermenting just a few hours after they are harvested. Consequently, their flavor starts to diminish.
The best way to enjoy jobaticaba is by eating them when they are fresh off the tree. They have a tropical flavor that is sweet and grape-like.
If you have never eaten jaboticaba before, go ahead and try it. I can bet that you won’t be put off by its taste.