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Rumberries are a spherical, tropical fruit roughly the size of blueberries, each around 13 millimeters in diameter. Unripe berries are green, while mature berries can range from yellow-orange to deep purple. The outer skin is thin, like a grape. Each Rumberry features a central seed, which is covered by a succulent, aromatic flesh. Rumberries are tannic with a tangy, bitter-sweet flavor and hints of nutmeg, allspice, and pine wood. The berries are found on the Rumberry tree, which can grow to a height of around 18 meters.
Rumberries are available in the fall months.
The Rumberry, also known as Guavaberry, is botanically classified as Myrciaria floribunda and belongs to the Myrtaceae family. It is most commonly found in tropical America. Rumberries are the main ingredient in Guavaberry liquor, a sweet, spiced alcoholic beverage made with rum and cane sugar that is traditionally homemade and shared during special occasions in the Virgin Islands. Guavaberry liquor is considered to be the national liquor of Sint Maarten.
Rumberries contain vitamins C and B, as well as minerals like calcium, iron and phosphorous.
Rumberries can be eaten fresh, and are used to make tarts, jams and liquors. They pair well with brown sugar and sweet, cream-based foods, like ice cream and yogurt. They can be used whole as a garnish or muddled into cocktails and beverages. Store Rumberries in a bag in the refrigerator, where they can last up to a week.
In Cuba, Rumberries are considered to be detoxifying, and local herablists use them to treat liver ailments. Rumberries also feature as a medicine in a fantasy role-playing game called Runescape, popular in the mid-2000s.
The Rumberry is native to to the warm, tropical lowlands of Central and South America, and the Caribbean. They are found in the wild and in home gardens in their native countries, including Cuba, Jamaica, Bermuda, and the Virgin Islands, as well as home gardens in Hawaii and the Philippines. The tree is a slow-growing plant that thrives only in warm weather conditions. It is notoriously difficult to cultivate, and takes 6 to 10 years to bear fruit after being planted.