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What Does A Peanut Butter Fruit Taste Like?

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Peanut butter fruits growing on a tree

The peanut butter fruit is a small, olive-sized fruit that turns from orange to a vibrant red once fully ripened. It looks a lot like a grape tomato and thrives in tropical climates.

In most parts of the world, it is uncommon to find them in stores, so you may be wondering what a peanut butter fruit tastes like. Keep reading to discover its flavor, texture, and uses in the kitchen.

What do peanut butter fruits taste like?

A ripe peanut butter fruit has a nutty taste, surprisingly close to peanut butter, with a subtle hint of sweet, jam-like fruitiness. Its aroma is also distinctly nutty, but you may find it has some similarities to dried figs or sweet potatoes. The nut-berry combination makes some people compare the taste to a peanut butter jelly sandwich.

A peanut butter fruit’s texture is dense, smooth, and creamy with a sticky consistency. Those who taste the fruit liken this stickiness to a persimmon. They are highly perishable and aren’t suitable for shipping. Once picked the berries quickly soften and lose their quality.

The peanut butter fruit looks like a tomato, but it lacks the sweet and tart juiciness. Interestingly, this fruit gains nutty intensity the more you eat – a phenomenon similar to the heat intensity that builds as you eat more chili peppers.

Peanut butter fruit have thin skins which are barely noticeable when you’re eating them. Surrounded by pulp, a large seed is housed in the center of the fruit and should be discarded.

The yellow fruits that haven’t fully ripened are edible but possess less flavor and are firmer in texture. It is recommended to eat the bright red berries.

Peanut butter fruit taste infographic

Culinary uses

The most common way to eat a peanut butter fruit is to consume it fresh, out of hand. Peeling isn’t necessary but you need to spit out the pip. They mostly contain a single seed, but some have been known to contain two.

The pulp can be used to make ice cream, smoothies, and sherbet. It can also be added to baked goods like pastries and cakes. The fruit makes an excellent jelly or jam which are good options if you have a lot of this fruit.

For a healthy fruit dip, the pulp can be processed into a fine paste on its own. For a creamier texture, combine with cream cheese or yogurt.

Are you looking for tasty ingredients to pair with peanut butter fruit? Some useful options include melons, apples, strawberries, mango, and bananas.

Interesting reading:
What’s a good substitute for peanut oil?

How to store

Peanut butter fruits have a short shelf life and should be eaten within a few days of picking. Keep the berries chilled in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat them. The pulp can be frozen in zip lock bags or an airtight container.

Fast facts about the peanut butter fruit

  • Their scientific name is Bunchosia argentea and they are part of the Malpighiaceae (acerola) family.
  • The fruit tree is native to Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, and Peru as well as Guyana. They are easy to grow and can also be found in the warm climates of California, Florida, Hawaii, and Australia.
  • The tree has impressive looking red fruit and yellow blooms which make it a popular option as an ornamental.

Health benefits

The peanut butter fruit, like the acerola cherry, is loaded with antioxidants and fiber. It is also high in vitamin C and calcium, but the fruit should be eaten in moderation as it contains relatively high levels of sugar.

The flesh is an excellent source of lycopene which is commonly found in other red fruit like tomatoes.

Where to buy

Peanut butter fruit are delicate and aren’t suitable for shipping. Your only option is to search for them at local markets in areas where these fruit trees are grown.

In Central America, you’ll find them for sale from street vendors when they’re in season. For a reliable source of these berries, it may be better to simply plant a tree and grow your own. Of course, you’ll need a warm climate and room in the backyard.

Summing up

There are plenty of tropical fruits with names that suggest an amazing tasting food. Some of these can let you down when it comes time to taste them. The classic example is the black sapote which is nicknamed “chocolate pudding fruit” yet tastes nothing like it. The peanut butter fruit lives up to its name and is well worth trying if you get the opportunity.

The flavor, texture, and aroma closely resemble peanut butter and there are no unpleasant bitter or sour notes. Kids are likely to love this fruit for its novelty factor.

Are you looking to try peanut butter fruit for the first time? Please let us know what you think of their taste in the comments below.

Image credit: Asit K. Ghosh Thaumaturgist, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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