Commonly consumed in all parts of India and is popular among school and college-going students, ‘Ber’ , called ‘Berry in English or ‘Zizipus’, is popular and cheap. Various health benefits of consuming this fruit also can be found in Ayurvedic literature. Most of the benefits are related to the digestive tract.
The only taste of the fruit attracts consumers, who are not interested in its varieties, except two or three.
A roadside vendor near Gulmohar Mangal Karyalaya, Khamla Road, attracts the attention of commuters, because of about 15 heaps of different-looking Ber fruits. A casual enquiry with Jitendra Sahu, the fruit vendor reveals that almost 15/16 different varieties of Ber are available with him. Every variety has a little different taste.
Jitendra said that the fruits are purchased from the market and kept in different heaps for the consumers. Even if they dry up, the consumers are interested in consuming it.
Jitendra came to Nagpur about five years back from Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh, to help his fruit vendor brother.
He could not name the varieties of the fruit. But he enthusiastically informs the customers about different tastes of fruits in different heaps.
The rural population may not be interested in buying the fruit, as they are available aplenty in villages, that too free of cost. However, urbanites take interest in the fruit, for personal consumption and also for use in religious celebrations like ‘Makas Sankranti’.