The Riberry tree (also known as Syzygium luehmannii) is medium to large-sized and occurs naturally in littoral and subtropical rainforests in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland. It also grows in tropical rainforests of northern Queensland.
The berries are harvested from late November to mid January however plantings in the southern parts of Australia may produce fruit into later February.
For thousands of years, Aboriginal people on the east coast, in the hinterland and rainforest regions, relied on riberries as a core food source. The fruit was usually picked and gathered by women and children. While children thought of the berries as delicious sweet treats, adults commonly referred to them as “medicine berries”. Riberries provided essential vitamins and minerals to fight against colds and keep the immune system healthy and strong. The pulp was also used to treat ear infections.
The riberry was also popular with the Europeans when they arrived in Australia with Captain James Cook. Botanist Joseph Banks simply recorded the riberry as ‘a small red fruit’. It was one of the first fruits used by the early colonists to make jams, jellies and cordials. While Captain Cook may have enjoyed the taste of the riberry, he surely did not appreciate its great nutritional power.
Download The Australian Superfood Co provenance map here.
Refreshing tart, spicy flavour with strong notes of clove and a hint of cinnamon.
Initially pungent, tart and slightly sweet on the tongue and front palate with a bitter astringent back flavour and a pleasant spicy note.
Cinnamon, sweet spiced tea of berries, cloves and spices with sweet honey notes.
The aromatic, cinnamon and clove ﬂavour of the riberries are perfect as an accompaniment for almost any dessert, particularly fruit-based desserts, chocolate (white in particular), and ice cream and sorbet. Perfectly complements a variety of fruit, especially other berries, apple, pear, citrus, tropical (banana, mango, papaya, pineapple), stone fruit and coconut.
Riberries enhance the sweetness of root vegetables (sweet potato, pumpkin, beetroot, carrot, turnip, parsnip) and sweetcorn.
Riberries pair well with dairy (yoghurt, most cheese varieties, cream, ice cream, and gelato/sorbet), oil and vinegar-based meat marinades and salad dressings, meat–based jus and egg-based condiments.
The berries complement white fish, chicken, pork, lamb and other red meat (e.g. game meat, such as kangaroo). Use it in a marinade, dressing, sauce or jus.
Riberries lift the profile of alcoholic beverages such as gin, vodka, white rum, Cointreau and tequila. It adds a refreshing twist to soda, tonic, mineral waters and lemonade.
Click here for delicious Riberry recipes.