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Let’s assume you’re wandering through the wilds of Brazil one day. Maybe you decided to get back to nature and really find yourself. Perhaps you got a little too friendly with a beautiful Countess, the Count discovered your transgressions, and you need to lay low for a while.

Either way, as you trek through the wilderness, your stomach growling (since you undoubtedly ate all of your snacks on the long flight to Sao Paulo International Airport), you come across a tree and are faced with a dilemma.

On one hand, the tree is covered with what appear to be grapes. On the other hand, the tree is literally covered with them. As in, they’re growing all over its trunk. Can something this bizarre-looking be safe to eat?

What you see here is the Jabuticaba tree. Indigenous to Brazil, the Jabuticaba is also known as the Brazilian grape tree, but if you don’t seize each and every opportunity life gives you to say the word “Jabuticaba,” there’s a good chance you’re already dead inside. If that’s the case, please refer your next of kin to the remainder of this article.

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To some, it may look like the Jabuticaba is sporting some serious arborous acne. Alternatively, if you squint a little, the tree looks like it’s disguising itself as the tentacles of a giant squid.

▼ Cosplay! It’s not just for the animal kingdom anymore!

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Thankfully, the truth is far less terrifying, and much more delicious. Those are indeed fruits attached to the bark of the Jabuticaba tree, and they’re more than fit for human consumption.

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Jabuticaba fruits’ similarities to grapes are more than just visual. Their flavor has been likened to that of Kyoho grapes, a cross-breed cultivated in Japan. Like Kyoho, Jabuticaba fruits are covered by a thick, bitter skin that’s peeled before eating the inner portion of the fruit.

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Also similar to grapes, Jabuticaba fruit is rich in antioxidants, and can be used to produce wines and liqueurs.

The fruit-bearing sections of the trunk and branches are initially bear. First, flowers sprout from the bark, shrouding the tree in their white blossoms.

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Eventually, the flowers wilt and fall off, with the buds of the Jabuticaba fruits taking their place.

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The fruits gradually grow larger and larger, changing in color from a vibrant green to a deep purple as they ripen.

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Jabuticaba is a popular fruit in Brazil, regularly sold in markets. However, the narrow window of just four days between harvest and fermentation setting in means that Jabuticaba is hard to come by outside of its native nation, although there are reports of it being distributed by importers in Japan.

Since Jabuticaba goes bad so quickly, if you’re going to be hiding out in Brazil for an extended length of time, you may want to follow the local customs of making it into jam, or a tart if you’ve got access to an oven. Both will keep longer than the fresh Jabuticaba fruit, thus providing you with a steady supply of nutrients until the Count’s anger subsides and the coast is clear.

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Source, images: Laba Q