This weekend we went to stay with friends at a working fazenda. Aside from a great time, I also experienced my first jabuticaba tree sighting.
The fruit of Brazil is usually rather weird for foreigners. I’ll admit, us Americans like our fruit pretty. But the fruit is, whether native or imported, often an unexpected combination of shockingly ugly and spectacularly delicious. (See Fruta de Conde and Pitaya.)
Except for the jabuticaba. My first real experience with this fruit was simply via song in Bebel Gilberto’s Jabuticaba.
The actual fruit is a round, lovely, dark purple berry that is perfect in its sweetness. Kind of like a grape but more attractive and more exotic tasting. Only obstacle is a big seed in the middle, but you can work around it. Nothing weird about that. Or so I thought…
…until I came across the tree on the fazenda this weekend.
Yikes. It’s like something out of a Dr. Suess book or a Tim Burton film. Fruit’s not supposed to grow like that, is it?
Upon first glance, it would appear to be more of a parasite than produce. But like so many other things I’ve stumbled across in this country, upon further investigation, the jabuticaba has proven to be both bizarre and delicious.