Sep. 24, 2017
Barbados cherries are eaten out-of-hand, mainly by children. For dessert use, they are delicious merely stewed with whatever amount of sugar is desired to modify the acidity of the particular type available. The seeds must be separated from the pulp in the mouth and returned by spoon to the dish. Many may feel that the nuisance is compensated for by the pleasure of enjoying the flavorful pulp and juice. Other-wise, the cooked fruits must be strained to remove the seeds and the resulting sauce or puree can be utilized as a topping on cake, pudding,
ice cream or sliced bananas, or used in other culinary products. Commercially prepared puree may be dried or frozen for future use. The fresh juice will prevent darkening of bananas sliced for fruit cups or salads. It can be used for gelatin desserts, punch or sherbet, and has been added as an ascorbic acid supplement to other fruit juices. The juice was dried and powdered commercially in Puerto Rico for a decade until the cost of production caused the factory to be closed down.
The fruits may be made into syrup or, with added pectin, excellent jelly, jam, and other preserves. Cooking causes the bright-red color to change to brownish-red. The pasteurization process in the canning of the juice changes the color to orange-red or yellow, and packing in tin cans brings on further color deterioration. Enamel-lined cans preserve the color better.
Wine made from Barbados cherries in Hawaii was found to retain 60% of the ascorbic acid. The ascorbic acid is not totally destroyed by heat, for the jelly may contain 499-1,900 mg/100 g. Of the total ascorbic acid in Barbados cherry juice, 0.18% is in the bound form. Other constituents include dextrose, levulose, and a little sucrose.