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Fruits that grow on the trunk of a plant, as if the branches were not even there. We are not imagining a fantasy country where nature has a tantrum but simply describing the appearance of the plant Jabuticaba. This is its Portuguese name, in the world it is known as "Brazilian Grape Tree“Which betrays its origin, while the scientific community, and in particular botanists, officially call it Myrciaria cauliflora.
Originally from Brazil, from the southern areas of this country, the whimsical tree we are talking about is regularly cultivated in order to obtain its fruits, considered exotic, rare and tasty. It grows mainly in areas that generally have a humid climate, even the soil must have specific characteristics, especially a acidity level suitable even if all the more alkaline soils are quite tolerated.
It has a rather slow growth so to get trees of considerable height we must have patience, but in the meantime we can count on a very long period of fruit production. Before them come the flowers that always sprout directly from the trunk, usually twice a year. They are pure white in color and modest in size with a strange shape due to the fact that the pistils are long and the petals very small.
Jabuticaba: rare exotic fruit
The fruits have the shape of grapes or at least they look a lot like us, they have a color that tends to purple and are used in the most diverse ways, for example to make jams but also wine and drinks such as fruit juices.
They sprout from the tree trunk and just take them in your hand and pull them slightly to collect them. If we want to use them to obtain wine or liqueurs, it is necessary to undergo a non-short fermentation process, otherwise we can use them in the short term for original fruit juices or for exotic and summer recipes.
We humans are not the only ones who can take advantage of this convenient food reserve, there are many animals who take advantage of it. For this the Jabuticaba it is considered a generous plant. On the other hand, the fact that there are so many animals that eat its fruits plays to its advantage. THE seeds, through animals, they can spread on the ground in areas far from the tree of origin. Each fruit contains four seeds and is about four centimeters in diameter. You do the math !!!
This curious fruit in our area still very little used, also has important properties that can help us feel better. Especially the peel turned out to be a remedy against asthma and diarrhea. There are studies that investigate its power in the fight against cancer and its prevention but there are no reliable data and it is still to be proven. Returning to asthma and diarrhea, to use Jabuticaba we have to take the peel and dry it. At this point we can also use it for heal from tonsillitis and any inflammation in the throat.
In Brazil, where the properties of this fruit are best known, it tells us that it has effects of anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. If you eat it, you will find vitamins C and B1, and numerous minerals including iron, phosphorus and calcium. There are several points in common with blueberries, don't you think?
So let's see how we can use these grain-like of Brazilian grapes on the table.
Jabuticaba at the table
One of the most common uses of this fruit is related to the preparation of jams and juices. It is a process quite similar to what is expected when dealing with other fruits of more common uses. It is different when you take the fruits and make them ferment to obtain wine and liqueurs. Always in alcoholic version it is also found combined with cachaça, a brandy common in Brazil, which is obtained from the distillation of sugar cane juice in some summer cocktails, first of all the caipirinha.
Jabuticaba and caipirinha
To prepare the caipirinha at Jabuticaba, you need five fruits and a couple of doses of cachaça of about 50 milliliters each. To complete the work crushed ice and brown sugar. We crush the fruits and cane sugar with the classic mortar, in a glass in which we then add the crushed ice and the doses of cachaça prepared. It is important that fruit and sugar are perfectly mixed to obtain a pleasant cocktail. The preparation is identical even if you use more classic fruits such as grapes, melon, green apple or lime but it is clear that the Jabuticaba gives a special touch.