Gac fruit

Gac is popular in China and is becoming better known in the U.S. now. (Tim Barker / Getty Images/Lonely Planet Image)

Tastes and uses: The berry has a split personality, starting out tart but mysteriously turning sweet after a frost. It is eaten fresh or dried, when it resembles a raisin. The fruit is made into a sweetened beverage and turned into jams, sauces and puddings. Native Americans have used the plant and its berry to treat headaches, arthritis and other ailments.

It is also a favorite fruit of the emerging wine industry in South Dakota.

Attributes: The high-fiber berry is rich in lycopene. It also has four times the ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, of oranges, according to a study last fall in the Canadian Journal of Plant Science.


Super fruits — the action heroes of the citrus world
Aronia, Gac fruit and buffaloberry are among the newest to hit the produce aisles in select stores or take root online.

Had enough chocolate-covered strawberries or raspberries dropped into a champagne flute? Shopping for the newest super fruits isn't quite like picking a pound of apples. But if you'd like to try them, here are some sources:

Aronia: Whole Foods Market carries an aronia berry juice and the Superberries brand of the fruit in fresh-frozen form and as gummy chews. Juice concentrate, extracts and supplements can also be found on Amazon.com. Seeds to grow the hardy shrub can be mail-ordered from Raintree Nursery in Washington state, raintreenursery.com.

Gac fruit: A variety of options are carried on Amazon.com — Gac lotion, fruit powder, oil, seeds, even fresh fruit. Gac powder can be ordered from royaltropics.com.

Monk fruit: Monk Fruit in the Raw is carried by Target and Wal-Mart. Monk-fruit sweeteners and extracts can be ordered from Amazon.com. Monk fruit is also used in some Kashi and Bear Naked products, sold at many markets.

Buffaloberry: Limited commercial availability beyond the Great Plains. Seeds to grow the shrub, which thrives in poor soil, are sold at Amazon.com. Wines made from the berry can be found at prairieberry.com and strawbalewinery.com.

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