“Cas” is a tropical fruit that belongs to the Myrtaceae family and is originally from Costa Rica. Its name derives from the word “Kas” in Brunca, the native language of the Central American Boruca indigenous people. It is currently also cultivated in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and, surprisingly, also in California. It is also known as sour guava, crown guava, Chaco guava, myrtle, Costa Rican guava or water guava. There is another variety, grown in Brazil, but it is larger.
Its most traditional use is to make “fresco”, a drink with ground cas, sugar and water.
With a similar appearance and characteristics to those of guava, cas (Psidium friedrichsthalianum Nied) is a fruit with a bittersweet flavor and one of the favorites when it comes to ice cream and fresh water.
It is a round or oval fruit between 3 and 6 centimeters in diameter, with a smooth and grainy texture, similar to that of the guava (Psidium guajava). When ripe, its color can range from green to yellow.
Cas, a fruit native to Costa Rica
Its tree can produce fruit all year round, however, the peak of production is during November and December while, from February to May, it decreases. This fruit is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E; phosphorus, folic acid, fiber and has a prebiotic effect.
Its consumption favors intestinal health and also intervenes in the absorption of iron and in the strengthening of the immune system. In addition, it keeps the skin healthy, since 80% of its weight is water and is a great ally for hydration, and prevents colds. Although it is a very little studied species, it is believed that its antioxidants are of better quality than those of blueberries or coffee. Its glycemic index is low and can be consumed by those who eat a diet low in sugars.
The cas is very versatile and, in addition to its consumption as a piece of fruit, it can be used as part of salads or eaten sprinkled with salt. It is also used for honeys, syrups, jams, jellies, jellies or ice cream. The most traditional use of the fruit is the simple, but no less delicious, fresh water or “fresco” as it is called in Costa Rica, it is made with ground cas, sugar and water. However, if what is desired is a slightly more substantial drink, the water can be substituted for milk or vegetable milks.