Jabuticaba berries are not your typical berries; they are native to three states — Minas Gerais, Goiás and São Paolo — and are only in season for just a few weeks of the year! Here's everything you should know about them:
1. They are very rare
One of the reasons you may not know about the jabuticaba berries is because of their rarity. These exotic fruits only thrive in a subtropical climate, and in rich, well-drained soil. The berries are also very expensive to cultivate as they can take anywhere between six and eight years to reach full maturity and bear fruit. They are not a favorite with farmers either because they have a short shelf life.
2. They are considered indigenous to Brazil
These thick-skinned, dark purple berries are most commonly grown in Brazil and particularly, central and southern parts of the country. But unlike other exotic fruits, exporting them is very difficult to do as they have a short shelf life and start to ferment three to four days after harvest.
So, unless you live in Brazil or are planning a visit to the famous tourist centre, you may never see the jabuticaba berries!
3. They are sweet but also very acidic
Jabuticaba berries are commonly compared to the muscadine grape and are even nicknamed "the Brazilian grape." They are especially loved for their signature taste which is a combination of sweetness and acidity. Their firm skin is tart while their softer centre is incredibly sweet.
4. You can eat the jabuticaba berries in various ways
Brazilian natives love to eat the jabuticaba berries raw and freshly picked. But, that is just one out of the numerous ways you can enjoy the delicious fruits! You can juice them or make them into jams and jellies to pair with your favourite pastries. To curb wastage, they are even commonly processed into alcoholic beverages!
5. Jabuticaba berries are very healthy
Eating Jabuticaba berries provides numerous health benefits. They contain a greater amount of antioxidants than common berries like blueberries, grapes and even acai. They also contain vitamins C and E, calcium, iron, potassium and phosphorus, as well as anti-inflammatory properties.
Although jabuticaba berries are rare, you can find them at specialty farms or on Amazon. You may also enjoy them in the form of processed goods like juice and wines.