The Naseberry (Fruit)

On a recent trip from Jamaica to New York, my friend and neighbor asked if I could take some frozen naseberries for a relative of hers who, she explained loves naseberries.

She drove around town until she found a vendor selling the delicious fruit at about $2.50 for a half-dozen. She returned home, flush with a feeling of accomplishment and prepared the naseberries for me to take. Sadly, after all that effort, the Customs Department didn’t allow me to bring the naseberries into the country.

I was disappointed, especially for my friend’s uncle who, I knew, would be anticipating his absolute favorite fruit – the naseberry.

The Naseberry (Fruit)
Peeled Naseberry

Also called sapodilla, the naseberry is a small, slightly round fruit that has the same brown color as a kiwi. The flesh is light brown or rust colored, tastes a bit like cinnamon and is sugar-sweet with small, black seeds. The naseberry is high in fiber and rich in antioxidents.

When ripe, the fruit is firm but pliable so you can just break it apart with the fingers and eat it. Some people also eat the skin but I’ve never tried it.

It’s unclear when this native of Mexico and Central America made it to the Caribbean where it is a perennial favorite. The trees can grow quite tall — up to a 100 feet — but you’ll find at least one in the backyard gardens of many Jamaicans.

Naseberries are now in season so if you’re headed to Jamaica before April or May when the season ends, you might see it at the breakfast buffet table at your hotel. If it isn’t, you can always ask for it.

We typically eat naseberries as I’ve described above but I found this recipe for Pork Adobo with Pineapple-Naseberry Salsa in one of our local papers, the Jamaica Gleaner, that I can’t wait to try. The combination of the pineapple and naseberry is already making my mouth water.

Pork Adobo with Pineapple-Naseberry Salsa

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  1. 600 gm boneless pork butt or loin, diced
  2. 12 garlic cloves, chopped
  3. 24 whole black peppercorns
  4. 3 bay leaves
  5. 250 ml white cane vinegar
  6. 50 ml soy sauce
  1. 1. Place pork in a heavy bottomed pot.
  2. 2. Mix all other ingredients together.
  3. 3. Pour on pork and mix well.
  4. 4. Leave to marinate overnight, or at least four hours.
  5. 5. Place pot on heat, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until pork is tender.
  6. 6. Remove pork from pan, leaving the sauce.
  7. 7. Boil sauce until slightly thickened.
  8. 8. Put pork back in sauce, mix well, season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Serve with jasmine rice and pineapple-naseberry salsa.
Adapted from The Jamaica Gleaner

Pineapple-Naseberry Salsa

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  1. 1 pineapple, peeled and sliced
  2. Black pepper, milled
  3. 6 oz fresh naseberry, peeled, deseeded and diced
  4. 1 oz Appleton Gold Rum
  5. Chopped, fresh mint to taste
  1. 1. Liberally coat the pineapple with the fresh ground pepper.
  2. 2. Cook on a hot grill for one minute each side, allow to cool.
  3. 3. Dice pineapple and mix with naseberry, rum and mint.


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11 comments on “The Naseberry (Fruit)

  1. I’ve never heard of this fruit, but I would certainly like to try it. Sadly, I’m not surprised that you couldn’t bring it through customs. They are so strict these days.

  2. Did you quickly eat all the naseberries before you went through customs or did you have to throw out the whole lot? Don’t bother trying to bring jerky into the USA either. They did not appreciate my attempt, especially since it was pork. Naseberries sound yummy, almost like cinnamon sugar. That Pork Adobo recipe seems very Filipino to me.

  3. It’s really sad when the customs stop you from taking things outside which you so lovingly pack for someone. I loved reading more about this fruit. It looks a lot like ‘chikoo’ that we have in India. I would like to taste them someday. Thank you for sharing it, Marcia. 🙂

  4. I’ve never heard of this fruit before either. Is there something similar that can be substituted because the pork adobo sure does sound delicious?!

  5. I wish I could have, Michele. The agent took them and only returned the container they were in.
    But, but beef jerky is already cooked! Weird, isn’t it?

  6. I have never heard of Naseberry fruit but by the looks of it, it looks close to a local fruit in the Philippines called “Chico”. The way you describe it, it is exactly the same. Anyway, too bad because you weren’t able to bring it home.

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