This is a quick update on a food I found while walking with my mother this last week through the subtropical hollow. My mother has what seems to be endless energy, so long walks are natural to her. Plus, she doesn't live in a subtropical zone, so she loves to walk and see the palms, flowers, and fruit trees along with the brick roads and 1920's era homes.
On one of these walks, I picked a berry off of a plant that I could not identify as either a tree or a bush at first glance. I didn't eat it due to fears of falling over and going into paralysis along with other creative situations my mind came up with at the idea of eating poison berries. I did, however, run home and research the berry. It turns out that it is called a Surinam Cherry (Eugenia Uniflora) a.k.a Brazil or Cayenne Cherry and it is edible.
These berries are said by some to be native to tropical America while others claim they were probably brought from Goa to the Americas. Either way, they are considered an invasive species to my area, yet still quite nice to eat when fully ripe. The flavor is somewhat like a bell pepper with a hint of tomato, grass, and sugar. In fact, the less ripe berries are quite tart and grassy in flavor.
I made a jam with these fruits, which was quite nice on bread with goat cheese. I hope you will not pass this fruit up if you notice them in your hollow.
2 Cups Surinam Cherries (deseeded)
1/2-3/4 Cups Sugar
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
Hold each cherry over a measuring cup and squeeze the seed(s) out of the fruit. Do this until you have the desired amount of cherries.
In a pan, place the cherries, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a high simmer and stir. Lower the heat and allow to simmer on low heat stirring intermittently. Do this until you get a jam like consistency (this took me about 30 minutes). If you are canning, place hot in sterilized jar and cover properly. Otherwise, enjoy with bread, cheese, etc...