Monday, June 27, 2011

Maui Preserved Jaboticaba Jelly

Jaboticaba is a very unique tropical fruit that is native to Brazil.  It is also referred to as Brazilian grapes.  The fruit is about and inch in diameter with a purple skin and clear flesh; much like a concord grape.  The skin of jaboticaba is extremely bitter/tart, the flesh is very sweet, and the seed has notes of cinnamon and allspice if bitten into.   The flavor is unique unto itself but texture and overall level of sweetness is comparable to a grape.  Unlike grapes, however the jaboticaba grows directly on the trunk of a tree as seen in the photos above and below.  There are several species and the tree is planted for decoration as much as cultivation in native Brazil.

We came across jaboticaba for the first time at the Makawao Farmer's Market on Maui.  The fruit was brought by a friend from a tree on her sisters farm.  So far, this is how we find jaboticaba, by chance; to our knowledge it is not cultivated in an orchard setting in the United States.

Nicole has brought us another harvest from the same tree and we wasted no time making jam.  Being that the skin and seed each posses a unique flavor profile individually we saved the solids after the first cooking of the jam.  With this we are going to craft our first tropical cocktail bitters; more on this in a future post.  In the second cooking we combine the sweet-tart,syrupy liquid of the first cooking with Maui gold raw cane sugar and cook until the mixture thickens.

The resulting jelly is spreadable and sweet.  The flavors trick your mouth at first by mimicking grape jelly but within seconds you can taste the spice and citrus notes that are unique to this fruit.  Maui Preserved Jaboticaba Jelly is the perfect breakfast spread for your table on or off island. 

Catch up with us at the Maui Swap Meet (every Sat. 6-2), Makawao Farmer's Market (every Wed. 9-3) or email us to place your order today! 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tropical apples?

The Malay apple known as a mountain apple in modern Hawaii and as ‘ohi‘a ai or  ‘ohi‘a lehue in the Hawaiian language.  It was an important fruit of the Polynesians, and was later distributed to the America's on one of Captain Bligh's voyages. The fruit is pink to deep rose in color and has a texture similar to a pear or apple, it is incredibly juicy, hydrating and high in Niacin.
We discovered a cache of mountain apples at the Maui Swap Meet.   This being our first season we are preserving fruits in their season on Maui we took a simple approach to our first preparation.   We really like the texture of mountain apples and find it to be one of the most unique traits it has, for a tropical fruit.  It's not that we can't find apples or pears on island but when it comes to island grown produce this is a rare find.   To keep this in tact we simply preserved slices of fresh mountain apple in vanilla cane syrup.  We are always happy when we can make anything that is 100% island grown ingredients and this one fits the bill.  Hmmmmmm..... what can we use these with; ice cream, pancakes, fruit salad, cocktails, crepes, cheese pairing.  That's all for right now; we'd love to know what you do with them!