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What is this Brazillian fruit?

Can anyone tell me what the small fruits on the plate shown in this picutre are? This was taken in May in a beach town in Pernambuco. They are about 5 cm in diamater, they had a yellow-brown skin and were on a branch in a fairly tight cluster. One would squeeze them to free the white pulp from the skin. The pulp had somewhat sour taste and a texture somewhat like litchi. The pulp formed a thin layer over a large pit.

At the time, someone told me it was pitanga, but I think that is different. As best I can tell, it is maybe similar to imbu/umbu, but not the same.

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  1. They look like loquats to me, except the pulp is not white. I looked up pitanga - they're known as Surinam cherries here in Bermuda and are definitely not what's in your photo.

    2 Replies
      1. re: Athena

        The yellow fruit in the above photo is jambu. It smells and tastes a little like roses. Pitanga is a red fruit that grows in a hedge. It's shaped like a very small scotch bonnet pepper. I have found both growing unnoticed here in South Florida and have no problem eating both right from the tree/hedge. Pitanga is much more wide-spread here as it is used as a hedge at a property's end near sidewalks. Since most people don't know what it is, there is generally lots for me to eat!

      2. As far as Brazilian fruits it looks like a pitomba, not a pitanga and that makes sense with your description the sour taste and would be common at a feirinha in Pernambuco. Its also possible you got served a longan, those are sold along with lychees and mangosteens in some supermarkets (grown in the Northeast for export) which have a whiter flesh.

        1 Reply
        1. re: itaunas

          Thank you! I think you are correct that it is pitomba, and we just did not hear correctly when we were initially told that.

        2. Would it be considered hijacking if I piggyback on this and ask if anyone knows what this is? I assume it's a fruit. Growing in a tree in Rio.

          3 Replies
          1. re: c oliver

            It looks like a jaca. Very common in Rio. This one doesn't look ripe yet, it gets a brownish color when it is ripe. It's very sweet and has a whitish, gooey pulp.

            1. re: Toot

              Just took this picture a couple of weeks ago so early Spring in Rio. Thanks for the info.

              1. re: c oliver

                Jaca is, btw, what we'd call jackfruit.

          2. I have a few pictures of other Brazilian fruits on trees. These pictures were taken in Northern Espirito Santo, near Bahia. The first example is something which is very common in Bahia, the cajá-manga which is often planted to provide shade to cacau trees. They can grow very large as the one photo shows. This is one of my favorite eating fruits as its really tangy, sort of a cross between a mango and passion fruit. When you compare it to a mango tree including manguitas or small mangos, the fruit tends even more clustered together and the leaves not as long, plus it can be prickly.

            1. Here are some additonal photos of jaca on the tree which shows them closer to ripeness. When I get a chance I will buy one at a market or alongside the road to show what its like inside, but what you eat are the various seed pods which easily come out in sections. You can also cook and eat the seeds themselves. There are both "jaca mole" and "jaca dura" the latter being a bit more rare (particularly finding one which is ripe and not an unrripe jaca mole) and said to be more tasty. At this time of the year you can even find them when driving along highways, but when testing them for ripeness you need to be careful not to get sap all over your hands.

              1. Here is a not so great picture of graviola (soursop). If you have the chance to have juice made from the fresh fruit as opposed to the frozen puree its an amazing difference and worth it.

                1. In the center of this picture you can see fruita pão (breadfruit) which is a bit less common (note also the old large coqueiro on the left).

                  1. Its common to find a few varities of limes across Brazil and even more local names for some of them. The common lime (show here) is generally know as a limão tahiti or sometimes taiti. The limão galego or limão-de-casca-fina is only a bit less common is essentially a key lime this is usually my favorite for a caipirinha. The limão cravo is a cross between a lime and tangerine and can get a reddish color both in the skin and flesh, is often mottled with barnicle like spots (more so than the tahiti) -- it mixes well with the tahiti for a caipirinha, although not that great on its own. My camera battery failed me taking pictures of a tree with ripe limão cravo. I have mostly seen lemons called limão siciliano, although language wise the naming sometimes leads to debate (lima-de-Pérsia is also used but can refer to a sweet lemon) and its something more common in larger cities. There are also sweeter yellow varieties which come under the name of lima-de-pérsia or other limas, which also show up in caipirinhas from time to time along with tangerines.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: itaunas

                      Great pix, itaunas. I'm going to keep an eye out for these limaos!

                      1. re: c oliver

                        c oliver did you get any good fruit on this visit? This month is starting off well because Friday I was given a whole shopping bag full of cajá-mangas (photo of the tree above) which I love because of the mix of sweet and sour (I think of the taste as almost being a mix of mango and passion fruit).. Not certain how easy it is to get them in RdJ and avoid juices made from the frozen pulp which is really substandard. The only limes I have seen ripening right now are basic limao tahiti, but laranja lima is available, laranja-bahia (brazilian naval orange) was available but not seeing it as much, and laranja-pêra I just saw starting this week. Also this week some meixericas were around (tangerines). I also picked some guavas before the guava worms got them, but then left them out and went to work, when I got back ravenous relatives arriving from school polished all of them. I think the white guava plant I picked is done, but there might be a few red ones this week.

                        1. re: itaunas

                          There's a small farmers market on Sunday/today in Copa and we'll hit it. We missed the big one on Tuesday in Osorio cause we arrived that day. We have a slow cooker in the apt. so I'm planning on something meaty. Although how we could consider meat after gorging on feijoada yesterday is beyond me. But we'll force ourselves. I'm actually glad to see the higher prices. I hope it means higher incomes for workers. I actually fussed at an Aussie at the Hippie Fair for bargaining. Told him that the prices are fair and these people need the money. Somehow I don't think he appreciated my two cents :)

                          1. re: c oliver

                            c oliver two things that come to mind which would be fairly compatible with a slow cooker are vaca atolada (beef ribs stewed with yuca) which is a fairly heavy dish or a cozido (you could make it with "peito" or brisket) which allows you to add whatever vegetables you would like. Or make stewed "musculo" (beef tendon) with tomato/onions/garlic/green pepper and add abóbora (squash) and maxixe or quiabo when tender. Or if you want to skip the red meat, have a "galinha caipira" cleaned and cut, stew it, and either eat it with polenta or if you make a broth with it you can add "farinha de milho" (flocked corn) at the time of serving to make a quick stew (grab some couve for these). There are some quicker cooking things you can do which are substantial but not super heavy, carne seca or de sol with abóbora, maxixada, pork riblets or pork filet minon (from the backbone) served with a polenta or mingau de milho verde (if you blend the corn sometimes with minimal water and then squeeze out the liquid, you can thicken the starch into a thin polenta served both sweet and savory). I just had a pretty basic feijoada, but am longing for a feijoada pernambucana which isn't going to happen today because we are roasting pernil and beef ribs! :-)

                            1. re: itaunas

                              We bought collards, watercress (I think), fresh peas (oh, boy, do I love those), really hot, little peppers. They had no meat (just fish and chicken) so we bought some beef of indeterminate origin :) at Zona Sul. (I'll post what the labels says later) When I bought it Saturday, my intention was to c ook it yesterday or today. But it's so hot and humid I froze it for sometime soon.

                    2. it is siriguela.available in the northeast during brasilian summer

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tchan714

                        I believe its available around January. BTW, c oliver one non-native fruit which is in season right now is caqui, but if you can find cajá on this trip check it out.