There's a new superfruit in town, and you've probably never heard of it.
Experts say it has huge potential.
Interest in healthy eating has led to a worldwide growth in the popularity of aronia berries and aronia products.
Also known as the black chokecherry, the berry is said to have more antioxidants than any other fruit.
The aronia berry isn't easily found in the grocery store, but it grows easily on the plains of North Dakota.
"They're really gaining a lot of interest across the U.S., because they have some of the highest neutraceutical values of any plants out there. They're way higher than blueberries and they're higher than elderberries even," said fruit project manager Kathy Wiederholt.
Wiederholt says aronia berries have more antioxidants than any other fruit, including the acai berry. It's not a fruit you'd want to eat on its own.
People describe it as having an earthy or astringent flavor.
But some people are using it to make wine. Vintner's Winery in Bismarck has two aronia varieties. Owner Allan Fuller says both wines pair well with steak.
"They're both dark red wines. So, it's going to be a personal choice. If you like a little bit sweeter wine and a steak, if you like those two, that's probably going to be a home run for you. Maybe not for your neighbor. Your neighbor might like a drier wine. That's the reason why we have two," said Fuller.
The Carrington Research Center has six varieties of aronia berries, and Wiederholt says they're easy to take care of.
"Plant them nicely, not too deep, not too shallow, kind of like how they are in the pot. and really, just water them the first few weeks, maybe the first year and make sure they don't get too dry. and after that, they should take off on their own," said Wiederholt.
The plant will begin yielding fruit in the second or third year, and each bush will produce about 15 to 20 pounds of fruit once it reaches maturity.
Wiederholt says the fruit pairs well with dairy products and can be great in a smoothie or with ice cream.
Courtesy: NBC News Channel