The acerola belongs to the so-called Malpighia family - just like the lianas with whose help Tarzan swings from tree to tree. The botanical name of the acerola is Malpighia glabra. Malpighias are found mainly in Central and South America, and the Mexican peninsula of Yucatan is considered the home of the acerola. The pretty red acerola fruit, which is about the size of a cherry or small grape, is also known as the maple, Antillean, Puerto Rican or Barbados cherry. It is not related to the cherry, which is native to Europe, but both species are stone fruits.
The acerola bush is evergreen and grows about one to three metres high, depending on the region. The plant likes a humid, subtropical climate and feels particularly at home in Mexico, Texas, Panama, Brazil and Guatemala as well as in Jamaica and Hawaii. If the climatic conditions are right, the acerola is rather undemanding: In the countries of origin, it is found not only along riverbanks but also along roadsides and in dry, mountainous areas, where it blossoms in white or pink during the rainy season.
In addition to Mexico, acerola is now cultivated primarily in Jamaica, Brazil and Florida, as well as in China and India. Unlike many other types of fruit, acerola bears fruit up to four times a year. Acerola cherries only need about three to four weeks to fully ripen and be harvested. The fruit has a very smooth, thin skin and is divided into three segments on the inside. The fruit flesh consists of about 80 percent water.
Pressing of the fresh fruit in the growing area
Acerola cherries are very sensitive and are not suitable for transport: even in the growing regions, they are rarely available in fresh form, as they spoil after just three to five days. For this reason, the fresh acerola fruits for our Rabenhorst juices are processed purely on site in the growing regions. The pressed fruit pulp is then transported to Germany for further processing.
The Maya already knew about the valuable properties of the acerola fruit and used it for traditional preparations. If you are looking for a high-quality natural source of vitamin C, acerola is ideal: there is hardly any other fruit that can hold a candle to it in this respect. For example, an orange contains less vitamin C than the acerola cherry for the same amount of pulp.
The flesh of the acerola tastes sour and is therefore mostly used in combination with other types of fruit. Used in the right dose, the acerola cherry provides a refreshing and fine exotic taste. Since the acerola is not grown in Germany due to the temperatures and it is difficult to transport, you will find it with us mainly in the form of:
- Powder or fruit puree,
- as dried fruit,
- as an ingredient in desserts and sweet dishes
- or as juice.
A high-quality pure juice, such as the multi-fruit juice with acerola pulp from Rabenhorst, contains almost all the natural plant substances of the fresh fruit. Alternatively, you have the option of using acerola as a food supplement or drinking it in a delicious Vitamin Smoothie.
Is acerola a berry?
The acerola is a tropical stone fruit and belongs to the Malpighia family. It is not related to the cherries or berries native to Germany.
Does the acerola cherry contain a lot of vitamin C?
Acerola contains about 1,700 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams - significantly more than most other fruits.
What does acerola taste like?
Acerola cherries have a tart taste. They are therefore best suited for consumption in the form of dried fruit, fruit spreads or as high-quality pure juice.