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West Indian Cherry

Updated: Feb 20

Known as Acerola, Barbados cherry, West Indian cherry, Wild crepe myrtle and Red cherry. Malpighia emarginata and Malpighia glabra are both used in publications describing this tropical shrub.

Appearance and Taste: The fruit of the West Indian cherry is bright red to deep red when ripe, and it has a sweet and tart flavor. The cherries are small, with a diameter of 1 to 3 cm, and contain three seeds.

Growth and Cultivation: The Barbados cherry can be grown in a wide range of tropical and subtropical environments. It prefers well-drained soil and full sun exposure. The plant is drought-tolerant once established and can produce fruit several times a year. At The Rs Farm, our 100+ West Indian cherry trees delight in the dry, sandy soil and full sun.  In addition to Acerola we also have Suriname Cherries.

High Vitamin C Content: The Barbados cherry is one of the richest natural sources of Vitamin C, containing much more of this essential nutrient than oranges or lemons. Just one small fruit can provide a significant portion of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C. While this cherry is renowned for its vitamin C content the immature green cherries have twice the vitamin C than the fully-grown red. 

Health Benefits: Beyond its high Vitamin C content, the Barbados cherry is also rich in antioxidants, vitamins A, B1, B2, and B3, and essential minerals like iron, calcium, and phosphorus. These nutrients contribute to immune system health, skin health, and overall well-being.

Cherries are predominantly enjoyed fresh or pureed to enhance a range of delights such as fresh juice, an invigorating punch, or a tangy sorbet. They lend their unique blend of sweetness and acidity to wines, artisanal jams, luscious jellies, creamy puddings, smooth ice creams, bouncy gelatin desserts, and as a delectable topping for cakes. Incorporating their fresh juice into fruit mixtures can prevent the browning of other treats like bananas and apples, making it an ideal kitchen hack for color-retention in fruit platters or salads. This small yet stout cherry steps beyond the keynote flavor, with value streaming from being an individual of cultural home remedies to a highly sought-after intake in food value circles for its contents, backing the entire form of well-being. Beyond the myriad of sweet preparations, it finds importance in age-old herbal proficiencies and the clear-yet-complex front of both food and fitness.

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