Nance Fruit Tree (Byrsonima crassifolia)| How to make Chicha de Nance

The Nance (Brysonima crassifolia) Fruit Tree (Nahn-C). How to make Chicha de Nance or Nance soaked in Guaro.

The Nance (Brysonima Crassifolia) tree and fruits are used as far North as Mexico and as far South as Peru. It is a food source for mot-mot’s and robins as well as providing nectar for honeybees here in Costa Rica. The Nance tree’s wood can be used for tool handles and furniture making but not in general construction because of the small size of the trunk. It is also favored as firewood because of it’s pleasant aroma when burned. The fruit however, does not have a pleasant aroma. If you are walking around and you think that you have stepped in dog poo but nothing is on your shoe check to see if you are under a Nance tree. The fruit falls and ferments quickly. 

Nance Fruit Tree Costa Rica

Nance Leaves and Flower

If you do happen upon some fresh nance put them in a container of water as soon as possible because the water slows the aging process. If the fruit is bright yellow you could enjoy it right away but be aware that it has 90mg of ascorbic acid (kind of Vitamin C) in it and it can cause un-comfortability in your “gas”tro regions. We were given a cupful of fermented, brown nance’s at the Carnaval in Limon. The guy said that he makes them on his farm in Cahuita. It made my top 10 most disgusting things that I have ever tasted list but all the locals were asking me where I got it. I spooned out all of them to people that asked and I instantly became the most popular girl on the block.

Nance  Fruit Tree Flower

Nance Fruit Green

Chicha de Nance

Your best bet is to capture the flavor in a syrup to put on your pancakes in the morning or your ice cream sundaes at night. The more sugar the better with this fruit. We use our nance as Chicha de Nance. We freeze our fruit as soon as it ripens, put it in a bottle and then fill the bottle to the top with Guaro. We used an 1800 bottle because it has a nice wide mouth and you have to leave it sit for a few months to enhance the flavor. It becomes a kitchen shelf decoration as well as an item of discussion for visitors. You can make yours pretty by also adding mint leaves.

Nance Fruit Image

Cacique Guaro Bottle

Bottle of Chicha de Nance

Not all nance’s are plump enough to be used in this manner. I use the smaller fruits in my slingshot to keep the dogs out of the garden. Please, before you give me trouble about pelting my dogs in the butt with nance fruits consider that they steal my passion fruits , knock over corn stalks and make a mess of our sugar cane. I should probably be hanging them by their little doggy toenails.  Seriously, I in no way harm my dogs. I can not even feel the husky’s neck through all that fur and the golden tries to catch them in her mouth. That being said, they are good subjects for honing my slingshot accuracy.

Nance Fruit in Slingshot

As I was researching the nance I found someone online selling nance trees for $197.00. For $197.00 I will bring you five nance trees, plant them for you and push you in your swing so that you can enjoy your nance from different angles! Do not pay $197.00 for a nance tree. Simply, come to our place and take one of our starts.

See our other fruit posts: Fruits and Foods Costa Rica

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