Many of us might be familiar with peanut butter, but how many of us know about the peanut butter fruit?
This is a small, orange-red fruit. It has a thin skin, pulp, and a seed at the center. A peanut butter fruit measures 1 inch in size, like a grape or a cherry tomato. It is a juicy fruit that has a dense pulp. The texture of the peanut butter fruit can be described as dense, smooth, creamy, and sticky. Fruits start as green when they are still young and unripe. Then they will turn light orange. When they are ripe, they are dark red. This fruit comes from an evergreen tree that can grow to as high as 26 feet. The peanut butter fruit tree is a perennial flowering plant native to Central America and South America.
Species: B. glandulifera
Binomial name: Bunchosia glandulifera
Peanut Butter Fruit Trivia
- Peanut butter fruit is also known as Monk’s Plum.
- Sure, the fruit is unique because it tastes like peanut butter, but another reason why this tree is grown is because of its potential as an ornamental plant with yellow blooms that can help beautify the space it is in.
- There are food historians who believe that the name Bunchosia comes from the Arabic word bunchos which means coffee, because of how a part of the peanut butter fruit resembles the famous Arabica coffee beans.
- The peanut butter fruit goes by many different names in Brazil, such as cafezinho, caferana, ciruela, ameixa-do-pará, caramela, and ameixabrava.
Peanut Butter Fruit Buying Guide
If you are buying peanut butter fruits, check if the fruit is tender. When you press your finger against the fruit, you should feel the flesh yielding a little bit, but not too much that your fingers easily go through it. That firm tenderness is a good indicator that the fruit is ripe. It should be red too; if it is light yellow or green, those are unripe peanut butter fruits. Check if there are holes or bruising or marks on the surface of the fruit. If you are using it for cooking, you will need a lot. But if you just want to snack on it, a bowl would be enough.
Unfortunately, peanut butter fruits are not produced on a commercial scale for these to be available all year long in groceries and supermarkets. The reason why is because this fruit is very delicate and highly perishable (if you don’t harvest it on time it can easily spoil while still attached to the tree). If it cannot stay fresh long enough to make it through shipping, transport, storage, and distribution, investing in peanut butter fruit commercial production is not a viable business venture. The best chance of finding peanut butter fruits for sale is if local growers are selling their harvest in a farmers market or farmstand. You might find street vendors selling peanut butter fruits when they are in season.
Peanut Butter Fruit Production & Farming in Texas
If you are planning on growing peanut butter fruit trees, you don’t have to wait for a long time because this is a fast-growing tree. Plant your peanut butter tree using well-draining soil with high organic content. Make sure the soil is within the neutral-slightly acidic range, equivalent to 6.1-7.5 pH.
The peanut butter fruit tree grows best in locations that fall under USDA Hardiness Zone 10. This is a tropical tree that needs full sun and warm weather. Younger trees that are still growing will have a difficult time surviving freezing temperatures, although mature trees display the ability for frost tolerance even in temperatures that drop to as low as 28°F. Expect this tree to produce small, yellow flowers in spring and summer. In the summer up to fall, the trees will begin to produce fruits.
Aphids and spider mites are the enemies of a healthy peanut butter fruit.
- Aphids – Kill aphids using neem oil, insecticidal soap, or horticultural oil. You can also use the pesticide malathion, which is the most commonly used organophosphate insecticide in the United States, or rotenone, a selective, non-specific insecticide typically used in home gardens for insect control.
- Spider mites – To get rid of spider mites, use neem oil and apply it through foliar spraying. It contains azadirachtin which is effective against spider mites. You can also use horticultural oil (which also targets aphids and thrips). Pests die after exposure to horticultural oil due to suffocation since the oil blocks the spiracles through which insects breathe. Another effect of horticultural oils is disrupting the metabolism of insect eggs. Lastly, horticultural oils disrupt the insect’s ability to feed. As a result, the insect starves to death. Using pyrethrin spray is also an effective method against spider mites. Another option is spinosad, a mixture of two chemicals called spinosyn A and spinosyn D typically used to control a wide variety of pests.
The peanut butter fruit tree is native to Central America and South America. This is grown in Florida, California, and Hawaii.
In the US, you will find what is known as silver peanut butter fruit (Bunchosia argentea). This is native to Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Guyana, and Suriname. This is cultivated in O’ahu in Hawaii and the Rio Grande Valley in the state of Texas.
Where else can we find peanut butter fruit? These trees are also grown in Australia.
Enjoying Peanut Butter Fruits
When you eat a peanut butter fruit, you will notice that it has a sticky, dense pulp. And when you are eating it fresh, you don’t have to peel off the thin skin. It got its name because it tastes and smells like peanut butter. The common practice with regards to eating peanut butter fruit is that you snack on the fresh fruit. Others claim that besides the nutty taste of peanut butter, you’ll also detect a hint of sweet potatoes as well as berries when you eat this fruit. The smell is also similar to that of dried figs.
Similar to how the spicy flavor in your mouth increases when you eat more chili peppers, when it comes to peanut butter fruits, the nutty taste becomes more and more intense the more fruits you eat.
While peanut butter fruits offer nutrition, they should be eaten in moderation because of the high sugar content of this fruit. This reminder is important especially for diabetics and for those who are monitoring their sugar intake for health reasons.
Make sure to store any leftover peanut butter fruits because these are highly perishable. Here are some tips for storing your peanut butter fruits.
- If your peanut butter fruits are still unripe, keep them at room temperature (at the counter or on the table) until they are ripe. When these are finally ripe, you can put them in a bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate them. There, the peanut butter fruits will last for 3 to 5 days.
- You can also freeze your ripe peanut butter fruits. Make sure to clean them and cut them into halves. Remove the pit and put these in a freezer bag. In the freezer, the peanut butter fruits will remain in good quality for 6 months.
- The last option is to make peanut butter fruit preserves. This is a great way to save peanut butter fruits and keep them from rotting. A homemade fruit preserve will keep for at least three months after the bottle or jar has been opened. Unopened preserves can last longer.
You can use peanut butter fruits to make jellies, jams, and preserves. Here are other ideas for your peanut butter fruits – put them in a blender and make smoothies or flavored milkshakes or use them to make baked goods like cakes, muffins, and other pastries.
You can mix peanut butter fruit with cream cheese or yogurt if you want to explore a complex and enjoyable flavor profile. Other fruits like melons, apples, strawberries, mangoes, bananas, and more are very compatible with peanut butter fruits, taste-wise.
This fruit will give your body antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, and calcium. This fruit contains carotenoids, specifically lycopene, 10x more compared to lycopene found in tomatoes. Eating this fruit can help reduce cholesterol levels and help in maintaining heart health. It also has a positive effect on our nerves. Eating peanut butter fruits may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.