If you thought kiwi was the fruit with the highest concentration of vitamin C, think again. Peruvian camu camu contains more than 40 times of vitamin C than the kiwifruit. It grows in the jungles of Peruvian Amazon rainforest and also in Brazil. It is a reddish to purple cherry-like fruit that is a close relative of jaboticaba.
Its scientific name is Myrciaria dubia and is one of the most exotic fruits promoted by health seekers today. Camu camu grows on riverbanks and is a bushy tree that bears small flowers that have a sweet smelling aroma. The evergreen leaves are elliptic in nature and the tree bears the fruit which almost every Peruvian loves.
It grows not only in the tropics but also in the subtropical lands, where temperatures drop below zero. However, very cold temperatures make it impossible for this tree to survive. As it has a very high quantity of vitamin C, it also tends to be unpalatably sour.
Thus, people use it by blending the fruit with water or milk, and by adding sugar. Traditional Amazonian people did not really use the fruit but thanks to its high vitamin C content, people have begun to use it with water, milk and sugar. Overharvesting of camu camu has rendered it to be an endangered species, which is quite ironic, if you asked me. The next time you are in Peru, try to grab a drink made from camu camu and let us know how it tasted.