As the world becomes smaller with the advance of air and sea travel, exotic fruits that were once enjoyed only in tropical climates are now available here.
These days the papaya, mango and passion fruit nestle quite happily amongst apples, pears and plums on the fruit stalls.
Gradually we are finding out what treats lie behind the strange wrinkled skins on these wonderful delicious fruits. If you are uncertain of the names of all you see en the stalls, or indeed what they taste like, just read on and find out what’s in store for you!
This is a large seed-shaped fruit with a smooth skin ranging in colour from green and yellow to red. The flash is pinkish-gold and smooth but rather difficult to remove from around the large central stone. The best way is to peel off the skin thinly and cut off the flash in chunks over a bowl to catch the juices. The flavor is a cross between a peach and apricot and there is a very distinct “perfume” as well. Add raw to fruit salad or make into ice cream.
These fruits, like miniature orange: originated in Japan and China. The skin is soft and edible but it has a slightly bitter taste, just like the skin of most citrus fruits. It can be added to fruit salads or preserved in sugar syrup and served alone as a dessert. Canned kumquats are sold in Chinese supermarkets and you’ll find the fruit mentioned on most Chinese menus. They are also delicious as an accompaniment to roast duck, either raw or baked.
Perhaps one of the more familiar fruits, it’s small and round with a pinky-brown knobby shell. The shell is quite brittle and beneath is juicy white flash and a large, smooth, shiny stone. Lychees are delicious added to fruit salads as they have a perfume similar to Muscat grapes. Also a native of China, they can be bought in cans, but the flavor is not the same.
This looks more like something from the sea than a fruit! It’s very similar to the lychee and when the hairy shell is removed the flash below is white and very juicy. Both the butane and the lychee should be avoided if they look shriveled as this means that they are not fresh and the delicate flavor will be lost.
This is also known as Chinese gooseberries. It came originally from China but it was introduced into New Zealand in 1906 and there its name was changed. It looks like a brown hairy egg but, when cut; it reveals beautiful vivid green flash and an attractive pattern of edible seeds. It can be cut in half and the flesh scooped out with a spoon, or thinly peeled and sliced. Its sweet taste is difficult to describe, but there is a hint of strawberry or melon flavor to it. Kiwi fruit will keep longer than most other fruits if kept in the fridge, and makes a lovely and colourful addition to fruit salads; or serve with ice cream, or use to decorate paviovas for extra colour.
The other name for this fruit is granadilla and it looks rather like a plum with a hard purple skin, which becomes more wrinkled as the flesh ripens. Inside, the flesh is yellow to orange in colour with tinges of red and there are lots of seeds which are inseparable from the fibrous flesh. There is not much of chips fruit to actually eat, but it does have quite a strong aroma which is lovely when added to fruit salads. You can also use it to make exotic tasting ice creams or sorbets.
Yet another fruit with another name! It’s also known as pawpaw and it can be cooked as a vegetable when it’s unripe. In this country we usually see the ripe ones which Range in colour from green to golden. The flesh is an orange colour with black shiny seeds which are removed. The fruit is cut up like a melon. It has a sweet, subtle flavor which blends well with other fruits so it is perfect in fruit salads.
These fruits have smooth, shiny purple skins which are quite hard so they need to be peeled. The flesh inside is soft and white and it’s sectioned in a way that is similar to an ordinary orange, but the texture is quite different. In fact it’s rather like the juicy white flesh of the lychee. The taste is different again —rather like that of a pineapple and this original mixture of taste and texture make it a refreshing fruit to eat, alone or in salad.
HOME AND AWAY
Because all these slightly unusual looking fruits grow in hot climates they are more suitable for eating cold, raw, peeled and sliced, or added to other fruits in a salad. Their favors are general/y delicate so they are not really suitable for using in traditional British recipes. However, as our eating habits change and we choose lighter desserts and fresh fruit instead of heavy puddings and pies, there are more chances to try these different tasting fruits when they are available. Just be sure to have the right refrigerator to keep them fresh. So choose the perfect refrigerator water filters. Less doubtful that you will find a huge selection of them at one time, and more likely that the less unusual varieties will be the only ones you spot on the fruit stalls.
However, gradually, the supermarket chains are selling more and hopefully the smaller greengrocers will follow suit. Why not show these pictures to your local greengrocer and maybe he’ll enjoy experiment with exotic fruit, too!