My coworkers introduced me to this fruit the other day, but only knew the name in Burmese. Hence the title of this post was going to be “red mystery fruit”, but some hunting around Wikipedia proved fruitful (hi, DeAnn). I believe we have correctly identified the mystery sour red fruit as a goumi, also known as cherry silverberry. They look like oblong cherry tomatoes, with flecks of silver on their skin that make them slightly scaly. Wikipedia describes the taste as “juicy and edible, with an acidic taste,” which was about how I experienced it at work.
This morning we picked up a bag of them (which included the obligatory chili-sugar dip) at the market. We had a little fun with the presentation, practicing our fruit carving to make a little bowl for our chili-sugar dip. Digging in, all of the moisture disappeared from our mouths. It was one of the most sour foods I’ve ever had. Later I read, “the fruit must be fully ripe before it can be enjoyed raw, if even slightly under-ripe it will be quite astringent.” Quite astringent, indeed!