The Peculiar Peanut Butter Fruit

Chances are you’ve never heard of peanut butter fruit. Going by its botanical name — Bunchosia grandulifera — it’s grown in gardens and farms in Hawaii, mainly as an attractive ornamental plant. A distant cousin of the acerola cherry, the fruit has the taste and texture of peanut butter. It’s easily grown and requires low maintenance. Unfortunately, it’s not widely cultivated in Hawaii yet because it has no commercial or agricultural value. A peanut butter fruit is about the size of a grape, and because it’s highly perishable, it must be eaten as soon as it's ripe. All you do is pop it in your mouth. There’s no need to peel it, but you do have to be careful of the hard seed inside. Peanut butter fruit can be frozen to make smoothies, ice cream, or sherbet, and just like acerola cherry, it’s rich in fiber and antioxidants. If you happen to live in Hawaii, don’t look for it in grocery stores. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find them for sale at some farmers markets around the islands. The season for this fruit is usually June-July, but some trees produce crop as late as October.