Consumer Demand for Exotic Fruits on the Rise
Looking for an early taste of fresh summer fruits? Then take advantage of the wide variety of fresh tropical and exotic fruits already available at your local grocery store. These delicacies make flavorful, colorful compliments to salads, rice dishes and mild-flavor proteins such as turkey. From mangos and papayas to kiwi and starfruit, you can enjoy fresh fruit year-round!
Papayas - a tropical fruit which is melon-like in texture and has a delicate fragrance. Flesh color can be yellow or orange-red. Size and shape vary. When purchasing papaya, look for well-colored fruit. Allow it to ripen at room temperature until the skin has turned at least half yellow. Once ripe, it can be refrigerated. Papaya is a good source of vitamins A and C.
Star Fruit - also known as Carambola, is a native of Southeast Asia and India. It is also grown in Hawaii and Florida. Named for the five-pointed star shaped slices it makes, star fruit's pale yellow, juicy flesh contains a few small, flat seeds. It's naturally glossy skin is edible. The starfruit's flavor ranges from sweet to tart and has been likened to a combination of orange and pineapple. Tart varieties are similar to lemon. Greenish starfruit should be stored at room temperature in a paper bag until they turn golden and develop a fragrant aroma. Once ripe, they can refrigerated for a few days. Starfruit are low in calories and a good source of vitamins A and C , as well as potassium.
Mangos - have a yellowish-orange flesh, a rich flavor and spicy aroma; they vary in size and shape. Some varieties change colors as the ripen and turn more yellow or red. Mangos must be fully ripe before eating. Let them ripen at room temperature until soft, then use or refrigerate for a few days. Mangos are rich in vitamins A and C.
Passion Fruit - is egg-shaped and has a thick, hard shell that is deeply wrinkled when ripe. The aromatic, jelly-like flesh of this tropical fruit is sweet-tart in flavor and filled with soft, edible seeds. The color varies, depending where the fruit was grown. New Zealand passion fruit is purple, while Hawaii's is yellow. Choose fragrant, shriveled, wrinkled fruit that is rich in color. If the skin is smooth, ripen at room temperature, turning occasionally. Passion fruit can be refrigerated in a plastic bag for a few days, or frozen for longer storage. Passion fruit contains about 16 calories and has small amounts of vitamins A and C.
Guavas - there are many different varieties which range in appearance and flavor. Guavas can be round or pear-shaped. They range in taste from tart to sweet with flavors similar to strawberries,, pineapple, bananas, or a combination of them all. Select fruits very yellow in color. Allow guavas to ripen at room temperature until they yield to palm pressure. Once ripe, guavas can be refrigerated a day or two. If stored longer, the skin turns leathery, but the fruit is still fine.
**Information provided by Melissa's Brand/World Variety Produce, Inc., a large, California-based distributor of specialty produce in the United States.**
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