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Oct 13, 2010 05:01 PM

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.