Indeed, the likes of pomegranate and acai have proved big hitters, both as produce and as ingredients for food positioned on a healthy platform. While there is no indication they will slow down anything soon, they are starting to look old hat compared to some of the new comers wearing the superfruit cloak. When Utah-based Earthfruits filed an application under novel foods legislation to market a concentrate from cupuaçu as a food ingredient in Europe, it had our editorial team scratching its collective head. Turns out that what Earthfruits dubs "pharmacy in a fruit" on the grounds of its antioxidant content comes from a tree in the cocoa family (Theobroma grandiflorum) which grows in the Amazon rainforest. The fruits are brown and fuzzy - an appearance that has earned them the nickname 'hardy kiwi fruit' - and are about the size of melons. We've not had the pleasure of trying them, but by all accounts the pulp is white and creamy, and can be used as a substitute to cocoa in chocolate food products. Camu camu was another that had us wishing someone would put together a compendium of weird and wonderful fruits. Said to look a little like cherries, the red-purple fruit also come from the Amazon, where they grow beside rivers on bush-like trees called Myrciaria dubia. Early on this year US-based Packaged Facts listed it alongside pomegranate, acai, goji berry and guarana as one of the fruits likely to prove a hit for the flavour industry this year. We couldn't find anywhere to try camu camu flavour anywhere near our office in France. But we have heard that they are unusually high in vitamin-C, which piqued the interest of several colleagues suffering from the sniffles. Natural ingredients company Wild drew inspiration from the South American lulo fruit for a new flavour concept, offering a juice concentrate or puree that enables it to be used in dairy products, ice cream, jelly and chocolates, and can also be provided in a form suitable for bakery products. Who-lo? It looks like an orange-coloured tomato, apparently, but has light-green jelly-like flesh that tastes similar to pineapple or lemon. If it wasn't hard to transport because the fruit continues to ripen after picking, it would be perfect size for the toe of a stocking, methinks.
When I was a kid, my Christmas stocking always had a satsuma stuck in the toe. But this year children could well be finding some of the new superfruits that have been cropping up in supermarkets since the trend started to take off.