Cayman’s native fruit – naseberry

 

The round, grey-brown fruit is sugary sweet, with a similar taste to brown sugar. But if eaten too early, the unripe naseberry is hard and astringent, causing an unpleasant drying sensation in the mouth.
Once ripe, it is soft and easily opened by pulling it apart with your fingers, to reveal a fragrant smell and a blushing peach- and salmon-coloured flesh. Inside will be anywhere from three to 12 hard, glossy black seeds with a pointed end.
The fruit is found across Cayman, ripening in August and September.
Pick the fruit when the black “needle” has fallen from the bottom, or the fruit separates from the stem easily without leaking sap when mature.
It will ripen to perfection if picked when mature but will shrivel if picked too soon. Wrap them in brown paper for a few days to ripen or hide in a dark place.
Naseberries are rich in antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, aid digestion and act as an immune booster.
They are used in beauty products, with its natural fruit acids moisturising and nourishing the skin.
Years ago, children made chewing gum out of it by mixing the green naseberry sap with brown sugar.

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