apple (Spondias cytherea)
apples are typically in season at Christmas time although there is a dwarf
cultivar that fruits year round. It is native to Polynesia and Melanesia and
was introduced to the Caribbean through Jamaica in the late 18th century. The
golden flesh is chewed off a central spiky seed and a drink is also made from
originated in south-east Asia and is especially common in coastal areas. The
green fruit contains a liquid endosperm to nurture the developing embryo and
this 'coconut water', as it is termed, is highly nutritious and enjoyed by
many. In Barbados, coconuts are sold by wayside vendors who cut off the top of
the fruit to allow easy access to the coconut water. As the fruit matures this
liquid becomes jelly-like and later forms a hard white flesh which is grated
and used in confectionary and baked goods.
is native to Brazil and has been spread worldwide in the Tropics. The true
cashew fruit is the familiar kidney shaped nut which is enclosed by a shell
which must be first roasted to destroy a caustic resin. In Barbados, it is the
false fruit or cashew apple that is used and this develops from the swollen
fruit stalk. The tree only does well in Barbados on the soils of the Scotland
Mammy Apple (Mammea americana)
handsome tree, native to South America, may have been introduced to the West
Indies by Amerindians. Inside its leathery, brown skin, an orange apricot-like
flesh surrounds two to four seeds. The flesh is eaten fresh or stewed in syrup
an eaten as a dessert. The grated seeds have insecticidal properties.
60¢ Barbados Cherry (Malpighia emarginata)
its common name, this fruit is probably of Central/South American origin. It
looks like a cherry and can be viewed as a health food due to its extraordinary
Vitamin C content, up to 4% by weight! It is eaten straight from the tree or
the sweetened pulp is made into jam, juice or frozen as 'cherry ices'.
Sugar Apple (Annona squamosa)
native to Tropical America and was probably introduced to the islands of the
Caribbean by the Amerindians. The fruit is borne on a small tree and the white
pulp is very sweet and typically eaten fresh. This type of fruit is termed an
aggregate fruit as many fertilised ovaries of a single flower fuse to form a
single fruit. Each fruit segment corresponds to an individual ovary.
Sea grapes (Coccoloba uvifera)
native, seashore tree has saucer-shaped leaves and bears fruit in bunches like
grapes in late summer. Fruit are harvested from wild trees along the coast. The
red-purple fruit are another example of a botanical false fruit. What is widely
regarded as the central seed is in fact the true fruit (an achene) while the
surrounding flesh develops from the bases of the flower petals and sepals.
$1.00 Tamarind (Tamarindus indica)
a native of Africa, is valued as a shade tree as much as for its fruit. It bears
numerous brown pods which are mature around May each year and which contain
several black seeds surrounded by a tart, brown pulp. This fruit is a favourite
with children while many adults find the flesh too acid. Mixed with sugar, it
is made into a confectionary, tamarind balls, and it can also be made into a
drink. It is also used in various proprietary condiments like Worcestershire
$1.25 Carambola (Averrhoa carambola)
hails from Asia; elsewhere in the Caribbean it is also called star fruit or
five fingers. The ripe fruit is eaten fresh or sliced where its attractive star
shape makes it an eye-catching addition to fruit salads. The fruit is rich in
oxalic and tartaric acids giving it tartness, the intensity of which varies
with the variety.
Mango (Mangifera indica)
native to India where hundreds of varieties are recognised. The tree reached
Barbados in the 18th century via Brazil and today several types are cultivated
which are propagated by grafting to maintain the particular combination of
traits. The Julie cultivar is one of the sweetest and most popular and
typically is in season around June/July.
$1.80 Banana (Musa X)
varieties are complex hybrids of two ancestral Musa species, native to the
Malay Peninsula. Banana "trees" are in fact giant herbs, the
"trunk" comprising leaf bases which encircle each other. The fruit
develop spontaneously from the flower without pollination so that the fruit is
seedless. Most locally grown bananas come from the parish of St. John.
Guava (Psidium guajava)
is native to South and Central America and possibly the Caribbean. Botanically
the fruit is classed as a berry and is a rich source of Vitamin C. Aside from
eating the fresh fruit, the flesh and central pulp with seeds are boiled with
sugar to make guava jelly and a preserve called guava cheese. The outer edible
portion or pericarp is also boiled with sugar syrup to make a dessert termed
$2.75 Avocado (Persea americana)
simply referred to in Barbados as 'pear', this fruit has been cultivated in
Central America for millennia. Avocado has the distinction of being one of the
few oil-rich fruit, along with olive, in contrast to the sweet dessert fruits
featured in this issue. The fruit contains healthy unsaturated fats and is
especially rich in Vitamin B6. It is typically eaten fresh or with pickled
$3.00 Gooseberries (Phyllanthus acidus)
unrelated to the temperate gooseberry except for their shared acidity. It is
probably only eaten fresh by children and even so tends to be made into jams
and sweets. The small, marbled-sized fruit are borne on a small to medium-sized
tree. The plant is native to Madagascar and was introduced to the Caribbean in
the late 1700's.
Soursop (Annona muricata)
native to Tropical America and probably introduced to the Caribbean by
Amerindians. Like the related sugar apple, it is an aggregate fruit formed by
the fusion of many fertilised ovaries of a single flower. The spurs on the
fruit represent remnants of the styles of individual ovaries. The whitish pulp
has a yogurt-like taste and can be eaten as is or made into a drink, dessert or
ice cream. The leaves are used to make a soporific tea.
Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
which is native to Iran has been widely cultivated since ancient times. It
prefers a Mediterranean to sub-tropical but has been introduced
successfully throughout the Caribbean. The name in Latin literally
means seeded apple. The prized part is the sweet, pinkish aril which encases
each seed. Originally, the Grenadine Syrup used to sweeten cocktails was made
from pomegranate fruit.
Reference material and images provided
by Professor C.M. Sean Carrington, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill
Security Printing Ltd.
x 13.25 per 2cm
Chancellor unwatermarked Oba
free 102 gsm
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 03 August, 2011.