There is a wide variety of fruit available in South America. While living in Colombia I happened to try a fruit, similar to a Gooseberry, which was yellow, fresh, juicy, a little tart, and delicious all at the same time – a fruit that is also rumoured by locals to have health properties. Back in Australia, I recently found a dried version of this same delicious fruit – the Incaberry.
The Incaberry, or Uvilla in Spanish, is grown in high altitude tropical climates in South America. This is a benefit in a number ways as not only are the Incaberries able to be grown year round (a benefit for the local farmers) but it also means that when dehydrated, no preservatives are needed in order to store them effectively.
In dried form, the Incaberry is a bronze-colour and can be used as a substitute for, or in addition to, raisins, cranberries and other dried fruits. The Incaberry, however, is different to a lot of other dried fruits in that in dried form there is no added sugar, or preservatives, like most others available in Australia.
Grown organically in Ecuador, the Incaberry allows for local farmers to be able to produce a viable crop for high altitude areas, 2500m above sea level, as the majority of crops in Ecuador are grown along the coast. The constant climate of the high altitude areas, also means that the crops can be grown year round, which enables the local farmers involved in the production of the Incaberry to increase to over 400 people and provide a great source of income.
As for the folk stories about how the Incaberry has many health benefits, the Incaberry has been shown to be high in fibre (19.1g of fibre per 100g), Vitamin C, Potassium and Phosphorus, all the while staying low in sodium, carbohydrates and fats comparative to other dried fruits.
For more information on the Incaberry, and where they are available, check out their website at www.incaberry.com.au where you’ll find a number of recipes using the Incaberry. I’m feeling healthier already.