Jamun or Jamoon – a very useful fruit

It’s purple, it’s grape-like – it’s Jamun!

Posted By Cynthia Nelson On October 17, 2009 –  Stabroek News |  Comments

According to Hindu tradition, Rama subsisted on the Jamun fruit in the forest for 14 years during his exile from Ayodhya. Because of this, many Hindus regard this as the ‘fruit of the Gods’ especially in Gujarat, India page1&8C(NEW):pg3&6c.qxdHi Everyone, from the bark, to the leaves, to the fruit and its seeds – the Jamun tree is another of nature’s wonderful gifts. I had not eaten Jamun in over a decade, until last week. And, it took my friend Sonia who is visiting from overseas, to point me to a Jamun tree here in Barbados where I could have Jamun to my heart’s content. Located on a stretch of road behind the Pine housing area and where parking is almost non-existent, I pulled off the road and together we walked over to the Jamun tree.  

A bunch of Jamun. (Photo by Cynthia Nelson)

A bunch of Jamun. (Photo by Cynthia Nelson)

The tree was laden with its ripe, purple clumps of shiny jewels, all we had to do was reach out our hands and pick them. For a while, I just stood under the tree, shaded from the hot sun, enveloped by its branches, full of bright green leaves and heavy with fruit, almost touching the ground. It was so quiet, so peaceful. I put the first Jamun into my mouth, pressed the fruit with my tongue to the roof of my mouth and felt the fruit pop as the sweet, tart juice filled my mouth. I popped another Jamun into my mouth and then another, and another… I ran back to the car in glee, got a plastic bag and then started picking Jamun like a crazed person. My friend Sonia had gone off several yards away to sit and enjoy the scenery.   [Read more]   Also read:

JAMUN or JAMOON

The Jamun plant was introduced in St-Martin some time in the second half of the 1960’s, likely from Miami/Florida, the first Jamun tree appeared in Cole Bay and from there has spread all over the Island.

Most people call it Blackberry but this can be mistaken with our indigenous Blackberry tree, of which berries are also edible. Very few of our indigenous Blackberry can be found on the Island today. I’m sure that 95% to 100% of St-Martiners from my generation down ignore the fact that we have or did had our indigenous Blackberry that is of the same myrtaceae family as the Jamun.  [Read more]

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Comments

  • evoyne harris  On May 18, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    The jamoon tree is also grown in Guyana, SA, and we either ate it or made wine. I have not had a jamoon since I left home 46 years ago.  Your article was so nostalgic that it brought tears to my eyes.  I would love to get some seeds to add this jamoon tree to my property.  HELP!!

    • Cynthia  On May 20, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      Thank you Evoyne. Even though I still live in the Caribbean, when I see fruits from Guyana here in Barbados, the memories just come flooding back.

    • Merlyn  On May 21, 2014 at 6:54 pm

      I get it in Austin, tx. It is frozen but taste same same. I came from India

  • Deen  On May 18, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Most informative articles! I’m amazed at the medicinal values of the Jamun or “Jamoon” as we call it in Guyana. I wasn’t aware it was classified as one of the fruits of the gods. Happy to know that I used to consume the Jamun berries, both as a child and an adult, when I was in Guyana, especially since the Jamun trees were seen everywhere, growing wildly. Thanks to Guyanaonline for spreading the good news about this well loved fruit and its many uses. This information is worth sharing with everyone.

    • Dr. Yasin  On August 1, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      I grow jamoon in my backyard in Clermont, Florida, as well as guavas, mangoes, cherries, gooseberries, and many other Guyanese (tropical) fruits and veggies, herbs, etc.
      Because of this, I feel like I’m in Guyana, whenever, I’m in my backyard!

      • Carmen Durgacharan  On December 2, 2015 at 6:37 am

        Jamoon grew wild everywhere in de backdam from behind the house till ah ‘B’ line and everywhere, you dont need seed to grow them, they grow wild into huge trees…I believe the birds spread the seeds, we had so many other fruits that we never hardly ate Jamoon so down it fall..pity…we know better now though, because we live in foreign now. memories of beautiful Guyana.

      • Dianand Baijnauth  On April 1, 2016 at 2:35 pm

        Anyone remember the wild jamoon bush that grew by the seawall. We called them baby jamoon. I would love some seeds…

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On May 18, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Quite a power fruit! No wonder we grew up so strong as kids in Guyana.

    • walter  On May 20, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      I tiold my kids that I spent my holidays during Primary school,with my buddies looking for sweet fruits,we took,borrowed,Ok stole,so much I would miss meals,that is why “we grew up so strong as kids in Guyana”So I agree with Rosaliene.

  • Wycliffe Thomas  On May 19, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    As a boy growing up in Ruimveldt on the East Bank of Demerara, I remembered we had a tree approximately 30 metres from our home. My Mom would make Jamoon wine but we as children were not allowed to even have a sip; but we nevertheless partook of the fruit in abundance. I have not seen a Jamoon in ages.

  • Dmitri Allicock  On May 20, 2014 at 1:01 am

    Wine of Crimson Black Jamoon

    Drink from the crystals o’ crescent moon
    Guyana’s berry of delight called Jamoon
    Good for all occasion or a special date
    When you unwind at evening late
    A smooth fruity and sweet wine
    Tantalizing palate while you dine

  • Cynthia  On May 20, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Thanks Deen.

  • francis jackson  On May 21, 2014 at 4:23 am

    very good article Cynthia – someone gave me a can of concentrated cranberry juice and the flavor reminded me of Jamoon (very tarty) I also remember as a child growing up in Guyana eating that purple color fruit called Jamoon it would stain your close; but the stain can be removed easily with a quick wash of water. We are blessed in Guyana to have so many fruits with a variety of uses.

  • OBSERVER  On May 22, 2014 at 12:21 am

    Thanks for this article on the Jamoon. In my growing-up years on the East bank Demerara we always had home made jamoon wine for Christmas.We also ate the fruit fresh picked from the tree.

  • Lynette Andrews-Baker  On May 22, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    All very succulent articles on the most juisy & taseful fruit in our homeland. It certainly brings back pleasurable memories of our early days in our native land.

  • Dorothy  On July 24, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    I am from Guyana and long to taste Jamun again, I remember my dad making Jamun wine every year and me and my girlfriend used to go to the backdam horse riding and stop under a Jamun tree and eat so many that we would have stomach ache.

  • Dorothy  On July 24, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    I too would love to get some seeds, guess I will have to visit my childhood youth island Barbados.

  • Ron. Persaud  On July 25, 2015 at 3:26 am

    “Hey, you want jamoon? Jam the moon!”
    The riddle captures the very specialness of a Guyanese childhood.

  • Yvonne Moore  On July 27, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    What a great, great country . We all have happy childhood memories.

  • Vincent  On February 24, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    How about the bullet wood fruit. The sweetest fruit in Guyana.

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