Suriname cherry
3 mins read

Suriname cherry

Introduction

The Suriname cherry (Eugenia uniflora) is a small, round fruit with a sweet and slightly acidic taste, native to the tropical regions of Central and South America, and the Caribbean. It is a popular fruit among locals and is gaining recognition globally for its unique flavor, nutritional benefits, and versatility in culinary uses.

Etymology

The name “Suriname cherry” is derived from the country Suriname, where the fruit is widely cultivated and consumed. The fruit is also known by other names such as “Pitanga” in Brazil, “Cereza” in Spanish-speaking countries, and “Cherry of the Antilles” in the Caribbean.

Description

The Suriname cherry is a small, round fruit with a thin, edible skin that ranges in color from red to purple. The pulp is juicy and surrounds a single seed in the center. The fruit has a sweet and slightly acidic taste, similar to a combination of a cherry and a pineapple.

Taxonomy and Cultivars

The Suriname cherry belongs to the Myrtaceae family and is classified as Eugenia uniflora. There are several cultivars of the Suriname cherry, including:

CultivarDescription
‘Red’Deep red skin and pulp
‘Yellow’Yellow skin and pulp
‘Purple’Purple skin and pulp
‘Giant’Larger fruit size

Distribution and Habitat

The Suriname cherry is native to the tropical regions of Central and South America, and the Caribbean. It is widely cultivated in countries such as Suriname, Brazil, and Mexico, and is also grown in other parts of the world with tropical climates.

Cultivation

The Suriname cherry is a relatively low-maintenance fruit tree that can be grown in a variety of soil types. It requires full sun to partial shade and regular watering. The tree can grow up to 10 meters in height and produces fruit within 2-3 years after planting.

Production and Uses

The Suriname cherry is a versatile fruit that can be consumed fresh, used in jams and preserves, or made into juice. It is also used in traditional medicine in some countries to treat various ailments.

Phytochemistry

The Suriname cherry contains various phytochemicals, including:

PhytochemicalDescription
AnthocyaninsAntioxidant properties
FlavonoidsAnti-inflammatory properties
Phenolic acidsAntimicrobial properties

Flavor

The Suriname cherry has a unique flavor that is both sweet and slightly acidic, with a hint of bitterness.

Toxicity

The Suriname cherry is generally considered safe for consumption. However, the seed and leaves contain toxic compounds and should be avoided.

Nutrition

The Suriname cherry is a nutrient-rich fruit that contains:

NutrientAmount (per 100g)
Vitamin C30mg
Potassium140mg
Fiber2g
AntioxidantsHigh amount

Culture

The Suriname cherry has cultural significance in many countries where it is grown. In Suriname, it is considered a national fruit and is celebrated during the annual Cherry Festival.

“Suriname cherry is not just a fruit, it’s a symbol of our culture and heritage.” – Surinamese farmer

In conclusion, the Suriname cherry is a fruit of versatility and nutrition, with a unique flavor and numerous health benefits. Its cultural significance and versatility in culinary uses make it a popular fruit among locals and a growing interest globally.