Nance Cherries of Panama

Nance is a fruit which is extremely popular in this part of the world.  Almost everywhere you go, you will find bottles filled with nance cherries inside bottles with water inside.  The water is to preserve the fruit.  The nance fruit is the size of a very small cherry.  It is ready to harvest when yellow.

In Panama, the fruits are eaten raw or cooked as dessert. In rural Panama, the dessert prepared with the addition of sugar and flour, known as pesada de nance, is quite popular. The fruits are also made into dulce de nance, a candy prepared with the fruit cooked in sugar and water. My wife is an expert in preparing a finger-licking pesada de nance sprinkled with white cheese.

The fruits are often used to prepare carbonated beverages, flavor mezcal-based liqueurs, or make an oily, acidic, fermented beverage known as chicha, the standard term applied to assorted beer-like drinks made of fruits or maize. Nance is used to distill a rum-like liquor called crema de nance in Costa Rica. Mexico produces a licor de nanche.

Below is a picture depicting bottles filled with yellow and green nance cherries at a street side stand in Panama City.

Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

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