English Name: Acerola
Botanical Name: Malpighia glabra
DESCRIPTION: Acerola fruits are round to oblate, just like cherry but with 3lobes. They are bright red (rarely yellow-orange) with thin skin nearly sweet, with a delicate flavour.
ORIGIN: The acerola is believed to have originated from the Yucatan (lingustic evidence) and its distributed from South Texas, through Mexico (especially on the West coast from Sonora to Guerrero) and central America to northern south America (Venezuela, Columbia, Surinam) and throughout the World ( Southeast Asia, India, South America) and some of the largest plantings are in Brazil.
Forty years old productive trees are known in Southern Florida. Sometimes called the Amazon cherry. It has taste that ranges from tarts to semi-sweet with the variety grown in the Amazon regions of Brazil being some of the tastiest. Acerola has long been consumed in Brazil as a health tonic. Acerola is as widespread in Brazil as orange juice in the USA. It is one of the top sources of vitamin C for Brazilians.
NATURAL BENEFITS: The Acerola is very high in vitamin C. It has a unique combination of niancin, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, protein, iron, phosphorus, calcium and polyphenols, such as epicatechin, procyanidin, quercetin and anthocyanidins. It is employed as a natural aid for anaemia, diabetes, high cholesterol, liver problems, fungal infections, tuberculosis, fever, dysentery and rheumatism.
USES: The best use of acerola are direct eating, jams, and jellies and syrups. Also, made into juice, ice cream, smoothies and pop-sickle.