Jabuticaba: Brazil’s Prized Local Berry

Though also known as the Brazilian grape, jabuticaba is actually a berry – a delicious one at that. Locals wait all year for the jabuticaba’s short harvesting season to indulge in the flavorful forest fruit.

What Does Jabuticaba Taste Like?

Though only slightly larger than a marble, jabuticabas are big on flavor. The skin of the jabuticaba is tannic and herbaceous while its white pulp is milky sweet with citrusy berry notes.

Where to Find Jabuticaba?

Jabuticaba can be pretty difficult to source outside of Brazil for a myriad of reasons. Their harvesting season is only a few weeks long, they have a shelf life of about 4 days, and the trees take 6 to 8 years to mature and bear fruit.

Image Credit: Marina Augusto Fabiano de Paula from Pixabay 

However, there are a few growers outside of Brazil that sell fresh jabuticaba, so try to see if any are accessible to you. You can also buy jabuticaba seeds online and grow the tree yourself – but you’ll have to wait a few years to satisfy your Brazilian berry cravings. On the bright side, a fruit-bearing jabuticaba tree is a sight to behold. It’s a cauliflory, meaning the fruits grow from the trunk rather than off the branches.

How to Eat Jabuticaba?

While both the skin and the pulp of the jabuticaba are edible, the tough skin is usually discarded because of its tannic flavor. You can peel the jabuticaba or eat it whole and separate the skin with your teeth.

What to Do With Jabuticaba?

Image Credit: Flickr user João Pedro BorgesCC BY-NC 2.0 )

When it’s in season, locals use the fruit to flavor a variety of drinks and desserts. A few examples are smoothies, cakes, and, more recently, brigadeiros (chocolate truffles). It’s also a star ingredient in Caipirinha de Jabuticaba, a Brazilian cocktail of macerated jabuticabas in cachaça (a distilled spirit made from sugarcane). To extend the fruit’s shelf life, it’s usually made into jelly, compote, or wine.

Jabuticaba’s creamy sweetness and berry notes make it a wonderful addition to practically any sweet treat. Try topping a simple flan with jabuticaba compote or use the fruit in place of rhubarb in our coconut cream parfait.

Feature Image: heloenniareis from Pixabay 

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