Surinam cherry (other names: pitanga)
Eugenia uniflora (Myrtaceae family)
Origin: tropical South America
Fruiting season: spring and fall
Height: small tree (up to 25 ft)
Relatives: jaboticaba, guava, mountain apple
As the name may suggest, Surinam cherry is native to Suriname and tropical South America. It is often grown as a hedge in Hawaii and the fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, fibers, and antioxidants.
The fruit is a size of a cherry with a pumpkin-like shape. While ripening Surinam cherries turn from green to yellow, to orange and different shades of red (and some varieties to almost black). Fruits with darker red color are sweeter and less astringent.
In Hawaii, Surinam cherry produces a first crop in March-May and a second in September-November. The fruits are ripe when fully colored and fall into your hand with a light touch. Suriname cherries are juicy and aromatic with resinous, pine-like notes—a uniquely sophisticated tropical bouquet.