Malpighia glabra L.
In the book Frutas Brasil Frutas, authors Silvestre Silva and Helena Tassara claim that the small Barbados cherry – or acerola – with 1-2 inches in diameter, has a birth date in Brazil: it arrived from Puerto Rico in 1956, in the luggage of a professor from Pernambuco. Since then, the cultivation of this plant, native to Central America, has spread through the Northeast. Also called
West Indian cherry and wild crepe myrtle, this acid fruit has red skin and orange flesh, and is astonishingly high in vitamin C: with up to 100 times more than an orange or a lemon. Due to the nutritional properties of the fruit and the varied culinary uses (e.g. juices, ice creams, preserves, jams, custards and sauces), the commercialization of the frozen pulp flourished in the last decades of the twentieth century in Brazil.