Biribiri, bilimbi, bilimbino, yellow caramboleira, sorrel or cayenne lemon, many are the names of this exotic fruit with such a surprising flavor.
Biribiri fruit, scientific nameAverhoa bilimbi, It belongs to the Oxalidaceae family, like the carambola, although in external appearance, it resembles a cucumber and in flavor to a lemon, so sour. Internally, when cut into slices, the star shape resembles the carambola.
During the ripening phase, the biribiri can become a little sweet due to the accumulation of sucrose, but the original is actually the sour acid of the fruit that is cauliflora, that is, it grows on the stem of medium trees, up to 9 meters in height. height.
It is shaped like a cylinder, with five longitudinal lobes, measuring 4 to 10 cm, from dark to light green, depending on ripening.
Widely cultivated in tropical countries, Brazil is the third largest producer in the world, reaching 43 million tons per year.
Biribiri is native to tropical Asia, most likely from India or Malaysia, and it was introduced to Brazil around 1817, in the Amazon region and in the northeast, and from there, it spread along the Brazilian coast.
Nutritional and medicinal properties
This fruit has a high content of soluble oxalate and serves as a treatment for some diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia (excess fat in the blood).
Fruit juice, highly concentrated in oxalic acid, can even be used to remove rust stains from clothing and shine metal utilities.
The fruit is composed of a lot of acidity, citric acid and ascorbic acid, in addition to total phenolics, total carotenoids, flavonoids and antioxidant activities.
Among other biochemical qualities, it has a high content of ascorbic acid, has an antioxidant composition such as: phenolic compounds, flavonoids and carotenoids and exhibits a strong capacity to sequester free radicals, with more than 80% antioxidant action, both in green fruits and in ripe fruits.
Fruits contain high concentrations of vitamin C, E, and oxalic acid.
Fruit juice is rich in vitamin C, so it acts as an antiscorbutic, prevents scurvy disease and a lack of vitamin C in the body.
In addition, the high content of oxalic and ascorbic acid helps metabolic processes, such as the formation of collagen and the synthesis of epinephrine (antiasthmatic, vasopressor and cardiac stimulant effect) and bile and enzymatic acids, in addition to helping the absorption of iron by body part and inactivation. free radicals that destroy cells, protecting them.
It has antioxidant action because it is rich in vitamin E, which helps reduce the incidence of degenerative diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, inflammation, brain dysfunction, and delay premature aging.
According to agronomist Antonino Campos, biribiri leaf tea has the principle of metformin, used to treat diabetes.
Uses and recipes
It is used in cooking to produce pickles, jellies, juices, liqueurs, salads, sandwiches, and tea.
Biribiri is very tart and therefore a great driver in vinegar production. It can also be used as a substitute for lemon or eaten as a snack, sliced and added salt.
This recipe is special and is full of tradition and ancestry.
- 500 g of ripe biribiri
- 500 ml of cachaça
- 500 ml of water
- ½ cup sugar (to taste)
Cook the biribiri in water, until it is very soft, almost like a "porridge". After cooling, pass through the sieve and separate the bagasse from the liquid. Return the liquid to the heat, with cloves, cinnamon and sugar (as desired, if you want more or less sweet) and let it cook, about 20 minutes.
After it has cooled down, add the cachaça and place in a tightly closed glass bottle, serve after a week at least.
This pickle will leave you drooling and makes a great side dish as well as wowing your guests. We are going to learn?
- 500 g biribiri in strips or slices
- 200 g of salt
- 2 heads of garlic
- 800 ml vinegar
Place the biribiri in a bowl, alternating layers with the salt. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest overnight. This process is done to remove maximum moisture from the food, so it will be crispy.
The next day, rinse well and place in a sterile glass and add the other ingredients. Close and let it incorporate for at least a week.
If you want you can add carrot, cucumber, onion, pepper. It will be delicious.
This jam is spicy and sour. Exotic and with a remarkable flavor, enjoy the benefits.
The same measure of biribiri must be the measure of sugar, in a proportion of 50%. Add a few tablespoons of water, depending on the amount of the other ingredients, in the ratio of 500 g of fruit to 1 tablespoon of water. Bring to the fire and let it cook. Then just store in a tightly closed glass in the refrigerator.
Well now just enjoy this wealth of flavor and health. Enjoy your meal!
By Juliane Isler. Article in Portuguese