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Author Topic: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)  (Read 7487 times)

huertasurbanas

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Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« on: November 21, 2013, 03:32:04 PM »
http://www.huertasurbanas.com/2013/11/21/tasting-my-first-surinam-cherry-eugenia-uniflora/

I feel that It’s the “end” of a long journey that began when I had a space to garden and became interested in indigenous fruits for its ease of cultivation (not ants, no pests, no diseases, do not die with our frosts, drought resistance, adapted to the regional ecosystem and promote it, give pleasant smell beautiful flowers and foliage, its fruits are very nutritious with high concentrations of vitamins and antioxidants, etc..). These unique features make them a part in the food sovereignty of a nation.

This specimen planted in the garden had been purchased as “red pitanga” but was mature in black (color that has the best reputation in the species).

So you could see the fruit on the tree today, November 21:




The pitanga or ñangapirí has ​​been a great mystery to me for over a year or more: I’ve read all about it, I’ve gotten many little ones and cultivated some plants from seeds, and I have received several comments in English, Spanish and Portuguese, some negative (more negative) because the fruit to be obtained from seed is very variable.

This particular went through the colors: yellow, magenta, red, dark red and black.

 



(November 16, red)

 

When came off today (3 days after arriving to the black color) my face broke into a big smile, at last I would unveil the mystery: would the pitanga fruit worth?



 

I took some photos and took the small fruit into the house. There are varieties 3 or 4 times larger than this, but to me that does not matter a lot: while it is tasty, size does not matter at all.

I cut with a sharp knife and it “bled” immediately casting a surprisingly fluid and attractive red, you could almost smell the sugar.



 

It took my mouth eagerly, not wanting to lose the opportunity to try something that seemed so weak yet voluptuous for its colors, shiny black skin, spilled red juice on the plate.

It was like a quick shock of sweetness and some acidity, reminded me of other “berries”, maybe raspberries or blackberries, but rather to some jam (something very sweet and already cooked) of such fruit. Anyway it does not tastes like anything I had tried before.

As a result of an only small piece, the experience passed quickly: I can say it has its own personality, I was not displeased at all (only the sepals of what was the flower are bitter, but we can avoid eating them), my fingers were stained with a violet color (easily dyed).

The taste did not remember any other fruit in the family Myrtaceae that had tried before: no red arazá (strawberry guava) reminded me, neither the Guaviyú (size and similar color), nor the feijoa or guava. That is neither good nor bad, but it shows that the fruit has its own personality. Also, some people says it tastes like tangerine, but I dont think that about this.




In all, what struck me most was that its unique touch of bitterness between such sweetness is what it makes it special to me: should try many more pitanga fruits to really understand the taste and conclude that it is a spectacular fruit, with an only one so small it is impossible to give a final conclusion; only 2 fruits left in other tree that will be tested in a few days to look if they are similar to this, then I have to wait several months to test a ñangapirí again.

So: give me more of that!!!
« Last Edit: November 21, 2013, 05:36:27 PM by huertasurbanas »

fruitlovers

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2013, 04:04:23 PM »
Congrats! Felicitaciones! Next time you try the ñangapirí i suggest to just pop the whole thing into your mouth. Don't cut it. BTW i love the name ñangapirí. Has very nice sound to it.
Oscar

huertasurbanas

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2013, 04:53:46 PM »
Thanks Oscar, for sure, I will do that the next time

The reason why I tried to cut it into two is that online I had seen pictures of fruit halved and seemed to have firm flesh.

For instance:



But my fruit was not firm at all, it melted.


HMHausman

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2013, 05:54:27 PM »
Wow.....now this is a well documented first tasting experience.  We do have some talented members when it comes to this.  Thanks for sharing your experience with us.  Not my favorite fruit, but from a shear blast of flavor basis, a fruit that is rewarding and interestingly flavored for many people. Yours looks like it avoided the fruit fly attack that ours seem to suffer so often.
Harry
Fort Lauderdale, FL 
USA

fruitlovers

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2013, 06:03:36 PM »
Huertas: firmness is going to depend on how ripe they are. When fully ripe they get soft and juicy.
Hausman: have never seen any fruit fly maggots in surinams here. This must be caused there by one of the rare fruit fly types in FL we don't have here yet.
Oscar

luc

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2013, 06:22:37 PM »
Glad your fruit turned out great Huertas , I know a lot of people don't like them because some are astringent , I use to have a lot of trees , 80 at one time , have been eliminating a lot of the not so good ones , still have over 10 producing trees , several varieties and all excellent . Here I get several crops a year with good watering , fertilizing and full sun .
Luc Vleeracker
Puerto Vallarta
Mexico , Pacific coast.
20 degrees north

BMc

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2013, 07:02:25 PM »
Sounds like you have a good one!
Most of the ones here taste strongly of either diesel fuel or mineral turpentine. Even the 'better varieties' here that I have tasted have just been milder variations on those tastes. Im hoping that more recently introduced materials will yield better tasting fruit.
And dont worry about not having many fruit. You'll soon be swimming in them!

huertasurbanas

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2013, 10:40:51 PM »
I want to thank this forum and particularly Adam and Oscar for the recommendation as to when harvesting the fruit, without them the experience would have been bad.

Luc: I dont think that here I could get several crops a year with good watering, fertilizing and full sun, maybe 2, not more; If poted in a greenhouse, yes: maybe several (the last year it was in a pot and it flowered inside the house); Maybe I will try with some poted pitangas I have.

BMC: I'm afraid that when I try many pitangas the flavor would be similar to diesel fuel or tupertine, I hope that this does not happen.

HMHausman: do not think I'm very talented at it to describe the flavors, I can hardly imagine something and describe it; to me the taste was like a cooked jam of some berry as blackberry, raspberry and stuff. But definitely a very nice flavor and rich, sweet prevailed over any other detail.

I go to sleep happy with the whole experience: that tree was the first "rare" I got (there are Feijoas in my city, but the rest I had to buy in Buenos Aires, Entre Ríos and Misiones), this I bought to "Solnaturi" in Buenos Aires, and they had only one single pitanga to offer. I remember during the winter of 2012 I was very afraid that frost will damage it, then I had it in the front of our home, inside, and spoil it like a baby, and this winter It went out and had no problem at -3 ° C, its new leaves turned red, beautiful.

I was shoked that the fruit was so sweet, I could only compare it with the sweetness of the grapes; it was a "violent" experience. For me the taste was excellent and great, but I am very cautious because I would have to eat more of these fruits to "understand" the flavor and to give a reliable verdict.

huertasurbanas

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2013, 07:33:49 AM »
a rainy day here, yesterday we had a terrible storm and 34º C in spring...

then I thought: maybe high winds threw two pitanga fruits who hung the 2nd tree, but luckily there are still ... these do not seem to want to change color from red to black ... and It was sold as black pitanga ...



« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 09:30:54 AM by huertasurbanas »

HMHausman

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2013, 09:48:48 AM »
Hmmmmm......I wouldn't give up total hope, but the redness of the fruit at this stage/size leads me to think you may have a red and not a black fruited variety.
Harry
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huertasurbanas

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2013, 04:24:01 PM »
Hmmmmm......I wouldn't give up total hope, but the redness of the fruit at this stage/size leads me to think you may have a red and not a black fruited variety.

Maybe we are right: they are still red, this was different than the black one: the black one went from orange to magenta to almost red and then it went fast to dark red and black, so this should be a red one...

in the end, what they sold me as black is now red, and vice versa;

they are from different nurseries and behave somewhat differently: the (actually) red produces totally red/scarlet leaves in winter and it's more deciduous, while what was sold as red (but it ripens black), does not produces many red leaves in winter and it's more perennial: mostly green ones...

MangoFang

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2013, 06:03:53 PM »
Nice job Huertas.  I too have a surinam cherry that has not fruited yet -
hopefully next year......

Gary

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2013, 09:12:01 AM »
Hi ! Any of you tryed to make dried pitangas like dried grapes or tomato? Thank's!  ::)

huertasurbanas

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2013, 10:41:49 PM »
Nice job Huertas.  I too have a surinam cherry that has not fruited yet -
hopefully next year......

Gary


I hope that too, man, they could be great!

Mines are still red, so: yes, they will be red:



I think that tomorrow will try them for the first time: 4 days in red colour maybe is enought...

huertasurbanas

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2013, 09:35:18 AM »
A photo of yesterday's rainy night:




Well, after 5 days of setting and maintaining the red color, today morning I went to the tree to see how they were and throwed a little: it detached gently. It was rare to see a lot of small red ants turning on one of them (the most mature), but then I saw a break in the skin, then I realized that the ants went crazy: good sign. 



They are really very visually appealing fruits, I decided to test the more mature one, the right in the photo:



This time it tasted like a good tangerine (just as one woman from Argentina told me), sweet but not so sweet as the black pitanga I tried last week, and it let a bitter aftertaste, which could compare with turpentine or something like that, but not exactly tupentine.

My opinion is that, as grapes, if we do not like to eat their bitter skin we can spit, but could not complain more than that about this pitanga: the tangerine flavor was very good. If reproach the  bitter skin would have to say the same of mandarins: the shell is horribly bitter in mandarins!



Still, I say that I like more black than red ñangapirí, but both are good fruits, and having 2 colors helps to aesthetically make a meal (imagine desserts made with these fruits, and I would be fine!) But I imagine myself in some years saying "this is not a good pitanga", and grafting it with a better variety, I dont know...

Updated:
My wife tried the second fruit and said, "for me it does not tastes like tangerine, tasty, is sweeter than tangerine."

She was "afraid" and stuck the skin. He was amazed by the large seed, it has been a good experience!
« Last Edit: November 27, 2013, 11:03:09 AM by huertasurbanas »

Mike T

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2013, 04:50:27 PM »
I have some black pitanga seedlings and have recently acquired some brazilian orange variety seeds that are popping up.Fom what I read they are supposed to be sweet and good tasting.Does anyone have experience with orange fruiting pitanga?

Luisport

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2013, 12:59:46 PM »
Hi ! Any of you tryed to make dried pitangas like dried grapes or tomato? Thank's!  ::)
Anyone?

HMHausman

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2013, 03:28:09 PM »
Hi ! Any of you tryed to make dried pitangas like dried grapes or tomato? Thank's!  ::)
Anyone?

Never considered it, not enough flesh for me, personally, to bother. 
Harry
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FlyingFoxFruits

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2013, 04:34:43 PM »
Hi ! Any of you tryed to make dried pitangas like dried grapes or tomato? Thank's!  ::)
Anyone?

Luis

sometimes if your lucky...(conditions must be right) the pitanga will dry naturally on the tree, without rotting...(jaboticaba does this too, and many other fruits).

they taste wonderfully sweet at this stage!  almost like sweet wine, but definitely not fermented!

fruitlovers

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2013, 05:06:38 PM »
Hi ! Any of you tryed to make dried pitangas like dried grapes or tomato? Thank's!  ::)
Anyone?

Luis

sometimes if your lucky...(conditions must be right) the pitanga will dry naturally on the tree, without rotting...(jaboticaba does this too, and many other fruits).

they taste wonderfully sweet at this stage!  almost like sweet wine, but definitely not fermented!

I was about to say the same exact thing. They taste good dried, but yes not a lot to eat.
Oscar

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2013, 10:39:30 PM »
i love them at almost all stages of ripeness once they are red. picking off the end helps a lot 

Luisport

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2013, 05:36:39 AM »
Hi ! Any of you tryed to make dried pitangas like dried grapes or tomato? Thank's!  ::)
Anyone?

Luis

sometimes if your lucky...(conditions must be right) the pitanga will dry naturally on the tree, without rotting...(jaboticaba does this too, and many other fruits).

they taste wonderfully sweet at this stage!  almost like sweet wine, but definitely not fermented!

I was about to say the same exact thing. They taste good dried, but yes not a lot to eat.
I see... the major problem is too litle. Thank you very much! :)

huertasurbanas

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2013, 09:42:32 AM »
Hi ! Any of you tryed to make dried pitangas like dried grapes or tomato? Thank's!  ::)
Anyone?

Luis

sometimes if your lucky...(conditions must be right) the pitanga will dry naturally on the tree, without rotting...(jaboticaba does this too, and many other fruits).

they taste wonderfully sweet at this stage!  almost like sweet wine, but definitely not fermented!

I was about to say the same exact thing. They taste good dried, but yes not a lot to eat.
I see... the major problem is too litle. Thank you very much! :)

eugenia uniflora vary in size from 1.2 cm to 2.5 cm (I think)

fruitlovers

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2013, 01:10:04 AM »
Hi ! Any of you tryed to make dried pitangas like dried grapes or tomato? Thank's!  ::)
Anyone?

Luis

sometimes if your lucky...(conditions must be right) the pitanga will dry naturally on the tree, without rotting...(jaboticaba does this too, and many other fruits).

they taste wonderfully sweet at this stage!  almost like sweet wine, but definitely not fermented!

I was about to say the same exact thing. They taste good dried, but yes not a lot to eat.
I see... the major problem is too litle. Thank you very much! :)

eugenia uniflora vary in size from 1.2 cm to 2.5 cm (I think)

Yes, but because they are very juicy once you dry them there is not much left to eat.
Oscar

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Re: Tasting my first surinam cherry (Eugenia uniflora)
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2013, 06:10:39 PM »
I've never had them stay on the tree that long lol

 

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