Think you are seeing blueberries?
Think you are seeing blueberries? Nope, these are garambullo, one of many cactus fruits enjoyed by locals in the central parts of Mexico. Like other red-purple-blue fruits such as cranberry, pomegranate and blueberries, the pigment indicates high levels of anthocyenins which is among those flavonoids highly recommended for good health.
Wait…what are flavonoids again?
Just think about eating a broad spectrum of color – each colour group plays a role in protecting your body’s cells against disease and boosting function of organs. This particular red-blue family is understood overall to be anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial; for guarding the liver against damage, reducing blood pressure, improving eyesight. And if you have heard before of “free radicals” these anthocyanins scavenge for them. Feel better? You should– free radicals are troublemakers; un-paired molecules that float around damaging healthy cells which, in the worst case scenarios, leads to cancer and heart disease.
Now that you know ‘why’, let’s talk about ‘how’ to enjoy garambullo fruits.
When you are in parts of Central Mexico (from Queretaro, north to San Luis Potosí, generally) where cactus dominate the landscape, you’ll find garambullo in season in May. It’s a short season, but the harvest is frozen, so thereafter you can find it … well, until it runs out. As a paleta (popsicle) or nieve (fruit sorbet) it’s absolutely delicious. Slightly blueberry, a bit of grape or raspberry to the flavor, and a color of technicolor magenta. While there will be added sugar, there is not much–the fresh fruit flavor is allowed to shine through and the little seeds just slip down your throat easily. You could easily justify it as a ‘not-so-guilty- pleasure’.
Right now, I am experimenting with using it to make a naturally fermented fruit vinegar. You can follow any standard recipe you like.
Try this link for some ideas
Any thoughts on other ways to use these special fruits? I’d love to hear your ideas!