Family Featured Food, Restaurants & Dining Fara Illich August 8, 2012

Let food be your medicine.” –Hippocrates
These wise words (spoken by the father of medicine) are the motto of the staff at Mojo Tree Farms, the growers and importers of the Pichuberry. This intriguing fruit made its debut this past Saturday at the Phoenix Public Market, and while the look of the fruit is similar to a golden cherry tomato, the taste is something altogether different.
pichuberryThe Pichuberry hails from Peru or, more specifically, the mountains of Machu Picchu.  When the British colonized the area, they named the exotic fruit the “Cape Gooseberry” (maybe a bit boring by today’s standards). Mojo Tree Farms, however, is re-branding the fruit as the Pichuberry to recognize the region where the fruit is grown.
How to describe the flavor? Well, while I was at the Pichuberry stand this past Saturday, one patron said, “It’s like a kiwi.” But that’s shorting the fruit its flavor dues. In reality, the flavor profile is much more complex.
The Pichuberry has the consistency of a tomato, with the first bite akin to that satisfying tear through a tomato’s skin followed by a burst of juice. The taste is slightly sweet at first, before mellowing and as you swallow a hint of tart is left behind.
What can you do with it?  The suggestions seem endless. Pop a few in a bowl of cereal for breakfast. Pair it with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella for a new twist on caprese salad. Dice it into salsa and use it to dress braised pork.  You could also be so bold as to use in a cocktail ala Pichu Mojito.
Right now, the berry is being sold at the Phoenix Public Market on Saturdays, and Mojo Tree Farms is working to get it into more places around the Phoenix area. Stop by and taste this powerhouse of a fruit (it’s filled with antioxidants and other good stuff).  A tub is $4 or you can pick up three tubs for $10. If you manage to make it home without eating all of your berries, call me over – I’m always up for a Pichu Margarita.
Join us next month for another culinary feature from the Phoenix Public Market.