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Lilly Pilly Berries
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This item was last sold on : 10/17/20
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Lilly Pilly berries are small fruits, averaging 1 to 2 centimeters in length, and are round to oval in shape. The tiny berries grow in large clusters, and the skin is firm, shiny, and taut, ranging in color from pink-red, violet, to magenta. Underneath the surface, the thin, white flesh is distinctly crisp with an aqueous and airy, cotton-like consistency. Depending on the variety, the flesh may be seedless or contain a pea-size hard seed. Lilly Pilly berries have a sweet-tart, musky, and metallic flavor with fruity, spice-filled notes reminiscent of cloves, cinnamon, pears, cranberries, and apples. It is important to note that there are many different varieties of berries under the Lilly Pilly name, and each variety will vary in flavor and texture.
Lilly Pilly berries are generally available in the summer through fall in the Western Hemisphere and the fall through winter in the Southern Hemisphere. In some tropical regions in the Southern Hemisphere, the plants may produce multiple harvests of berries throughout the year.
Lilly Pilly berries, botanically a part of the Syzygium genus, are brightly colored, sweet-tart fruits found on evergreen shrubs or trees belonging to the Myrtaceae family. THERE ARE OVER SIXTY DIFFERENT SPECIES WITHIN THE MYRTACEAE FAMILY THAT ARE IDENTIFIED AS LILLY PILLY, AND EACH SPECIES BEARS FRUIT THAT VARIES IN COLOR, SIZE, AND FLAVOR. IN THE PLANT’S NATIVE REGION OF AUSTRALIA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA, SYZYGIUM LUEHMANNII, ALSO KNOWN AS RIBERRY, IS CONSIDERED ONE OF THE MOST COMMON SPECIES FOR CULTIVATION, AS THE BERRIES ARE SLIGHTLY LARGER, CONTAIN SMALLER SEEDS, AND HAVE A SWEETER FLAVOR. Lilly Pilly berries are also known as Lilli Pilli, Monkey Apples, and Cherry Satinash and are favored as a tropical ornamental plant with edible fruits. A single Lilly Pilly tree can produce over 176 pounds of fruit in one season, and the trees are frequently found along city sidewalks, in parks, and grown in home gardens as a natural fence, protective screen, or privacy hedge.
Lilly Pilly fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that strengthens the immune system, reduces inflammation, and boosts collagen production within the skin. The berries are also a good source of anthocyanins to protect the body against environmental aggressors, folate to help develop genetic material, and calcium to reinforce bones. Among Aboriginal Australians, the fruits were locally known as “medicine berries” and were believed to help prevent colds and infections.
Lilly Pilly berries can be consumed fresh, out-of-hand, but the fruit’s tart flavor can sometimes be overpowering when raw. The sour notes are balanced when the berries are paired with sweeteners, and the fruits are primarily utilized in Australia in cooked applications, including baking and boiling. Lilly Pilly berries are used to make jams, jellies, syrups, and chutney, and they are incorporated into salad dressings for a unique flavor. The fruits are also mixed into green salads, blended into smoothies, cooked with sugar and used as a topping over ice cream, or baked into muffins, pies, cakes, bread, and tarts. In addition to sweet preparations, Lilly Pilly berries can be served as a tangy sauce for roasted meats or infused into liquors for cocktails. Lilly Pilly fruits pair well with hard cheeses such as cheddar, manchego, and aged gouda, fruits such as strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries, meats such as kangaroo, pork, poultry, and lamb, and fragrant floral-forward herbs such as cilantro and lemon verbena. Whole, unwashed Lilly Pilly berries will keep 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator. The fruits can also be frozen in a sealed container for two years.
Lilly Pilly berries are known as bush tucker or bush food, which is a descriptor used for native Australian plants that were consumed as a source of nutrition among Aboriginal Australians. In ancient times, when the brightly colored berries were in season, they were gathered by the women and children and were primarily consumed fresh, out-of-hand. Lilly Pilly berries were also dried and stored for extended use throughout the year and could be easily carried when traveling on foot. In 1770, Lilly Pilly berries were one of the first recorded plants in the logs of Captain Cook, and with the continued settling of European colonists, Lilly Pilly berries expanded in popularity as a flavoring for jams and jellies.
Lilly Pilly trees are native to Australia and Southeast Asia, where they have been growing wild since ancient times. In Australia, the trees are primarily grown in Queensland and New South Wales, and the hardy plants favor the volcanic and deep sandy soils found throughout the tropical and subtropical rainforests of the region. Today Lilly Pilly trees are cultivated on a small scale for their tart berries and are also grown in home gardens as an ornamental variety. When in season, the berries can be found through specialty grocers and local farmer’s markets, mainly in the Southern Hemisphere. Outside of the Southern Hemisphere, Lilly Pilly berries are extremely rare and are available through select growers in California. The Lilly Pilly berries featured in the photograph above were grown at Murray Family Farms near Bakersfield, California.
Recipes that include Lilly Pilly Berries. One is easiest, three is harder.
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Specialty ProduceNear San Diego, California, United States
1929 Hancock Street San Diego CA 92110
About 350 days ago, 10/01/20
Sharer's comments : Lilly Pilly from 3nut farms
Specialty ProduceNear San Diego, California, United States
1929 Hancock Street San Diego, CA 92110
About 352 days ago, 9/29/20
Sharer's comments : Also known as the Robert, used for jams and syrups. Thank you 3 Nuts Farm!