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Friday, 29 May 2009
Foraging in Bermuda - Surinam Cherry
thanks to scentofgreenbananas for the image.
About the size of a bing cherry but not as sweet, these cherries don't really taste like a bing cherry. They are slightly astringent. More of a shrub or bush than a tree, they are found quite often growing as hedge along the road or railway trail. As usual I never pick fruit growing along roads, I don't really want to consume any more hydrocarbons than I already do.
When we were putting in a raised bed garden out at the east end of the island my friend Emily presented us with some surinam cherry juice mixed with a bit of lemon. I suggested that it would be really good with some Black Seal, the local dark rum. With a little sweetener, stevia or agave syrup, this concoction makes a delicious and refreshing drink.
Emily harvests the cherries and squeezes out the ample juice by hand, simultaneously removing the bitter skins and seeds.
This plant is considered invasive by some in south Florida.
You can read more about this delicious fruit at Dave's Garden. Here is an excerpt from a comment by foodiesleuth;
"We have two large shrubs in our yard - they are about 10' tall and about the same size in span. They are covered in fruit at this time and usually fruit twice a year.
I do not notice too many volunteer plants underneath. The birds don't seem to bother them and we have no squirrels.
The taste is sweet with a slightly tart undertone. I like making flavored vinegars with it. Wonderful in mixed fresh green salads, with some crumbled feta and chopped toasted macadamia nuts.
3 cups cherries
3/4 cup distilled vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
Cook until cherries are soft and mushy. Pass through a fine sieve, pushing as much of the pulp as you can through it. Beautiful ruby red color. Makes great gifts.
UPDATE RE: LARVAE:
I have never noticed any larvae on the fruit. We have had a huge crop of them this year and I have been making many different preserves and vinegars.....Made a wonderful trifle with the jam, vanilla pudding and angel food cake."