It took me 4 years to discover certain fruits and the Bora berry was one of them.
When you come to Goa for a holiday, you end up mostly on the beach hanging out or partying.
Your head is all over the place, you get Sussegad and dreamy enjoying the sun and culture.
I was definitely not a foodie when I first landed in Goa, well back then I was enjoying my independence and a new world, spicy food wasn’t my thing and I was never much of a fruit eater either.
Yeah it’s true, but all this changed. I stopped holidaying and became an immigrant, married into a new life and experienced good and bad times. The summers in Goa are very harsh and torturing.
This season used to be the time of the year when everybody would leave the little Paradise because you would steam alive.
That’s the time when you literally lose your appetite and end up drinking water only.
That’s when I rediscovered fruits again and ventured into new unknown organic fruit adventures.
There is this Bora berry, common to be found at roadsides and on the hills, a little brown reddish tuff looking berry.
Children traveling walking back home after school, usually plug them and eat them fresh, sometimes even with some salt on the berry.
Its all over the place growing on thorny trees and I hadn’t seen it!
Well, it wasn’t entirely my fault, because it isn’t sold like other fruits in the market, rarely you might see some local ladies selling it in big baskets on roadsides or bus stops.
That explained my ignorance but maybe didn’t justify it.
As European though, I have trouble to know what can be eaten and what not.
That is pretty much with everything around here.
How will I know that that snake the other day wasn’t poisonous?
The same way it is with food.
I was curious about the berry itself and health benefits of the berry, researched a bit and found some info I would like to share with you, my readers.
Bora berry, also called Jujube date, is a small reddish berry with thick skin, white sticky flesh, and a seed core.
The drier the berry gets the more difficult it is to eat it, getting more and more hard.
It has a strong fragrance which some might not like but the taste of the bora berry is totally different, very pleasing.
When you chew one berry, you ‘ll realize why it is called Jujube date too, the taste comes very close to dates.
The plant itself requires lots of suns and grows perfectly in a hot climate and on poor grounds.
The fruit is rich in Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, A and C -> Antioxidant, and Phosphorus, Potassium, Iron, Calcium and Magnesium Minerals.
The Medicinal Benefits include Blood purification, cancer treatment, stress relieving, digestion help, diarrhea, and fatigue alleviating.
Further, it is excellent against sore throats when cooked as tea and builds up stamina and promotes muscle growth.
Traditionally it is used for over 4000 years in China for its antibacterial and antifungal properties.
I call this a super fruit!
In Goa, it is mostly eaten as snack fresh or sometimes even dried in between or after your main meal.
Nobody uses the fruit in any different culinary way. I honestly wouldn’t know if it would make sense in a cake or part as a fruit salad.
In my research, I found that other Asian countries used it as tea syrup.
It would be nice to try out recipe ideas with this unusual berry.
Do you know a recipe with Bora berry/Jujube date, which you would like to share with us?