Pitanga, Surinam cherry, Brazilian cherry, Cayenne cherry
cereza de cayena (Spanish), pendanga (Venezuela), cereza quadrada (Colombia), Surinaamsche kers/zoete kers/monkie monkie kers (Surinam), cerise de Cayenne (French Guiana)
(Eugenia uniflora — Family Myrtaceae)
The pitanga is native to a region extending from Central America to Brazil.
The shrub, or small tree, bears flowers singly or in groups of up to four. These, in turn, bear small ribbed fruits that progress in colour from green to orange to red to dark purple when fully ripe.
They are edible after suitable preparation, which involves splitting them open, removing the resinous seeds, chilling them to eliminate the aroma, and finally sprinkling with a sweetener.
They can also be made into chutneys. In Brazil, the juice is made into vinegar. It was the Portuguese who “discovered” the shrub in Central America and named it.
They were also instrumental in spreading the fruit around the world.
A number of suitable cultivars have been developed, yielding delicious, juicy fruits.