A bigger cousin to the Australian lilly pilly, this fruit is juicy and crunchy, and goes well with strong-flavoured foods.
The jambu, or Syzygium samarangense, is indigenous to South-East Asia and is extra-tropical, meaning it grows outside of tropical regions – in the Phillipines, it does best in areas with long, dry seasons.
Its taste is quite similar to the lilly pilly, but much milder, as there’s a lot more juice to the fruit, and larger (about 5cm tall). The texture is somewhat similar to a nashi pear, save for the firm, waxy skin. Traditionally, when green, jambu is eaten raw with salt. The pink fruits are eaten raw, with no accompaniments since they have more flavour and sugar than the green fruits. A common way to serve the fruit raw is to remove the core (where the seed is situated), leaving the rest of the fruit whole. Being quite bland in flavour, and juicy, use the jambu as a substitute to watermelon, in juice, or apple, in salads. Pair it with strong flavoured foods, such as chilli and olive oil, strong salty cheese, or pineapple. If you have a really mushy dish, add it for a bit of texture.