Tropical and Sub-tropical Fruits


Find Tropical Fruits

Not too long ago the phrase "tropical fruits" conjured images of bananas, mangoes, pineapples and papayas.

The list of available "recently discovered" (ha ha) tropical fruits has multiplied in the last few years, it's easier to get things from one place to another and people have become much more adventuresome and want to try new things.

Ideally tropical fruit should be eaten warm from the sun, beneath the tree-vine-bush-or-whatever, or at least as close to its place of origin as possible.

Here is a brief description of the contents of the fruit basket in my kitchen, in the tropical Peruvian coast. Some of it comes from our garden, some from our neighbor, Mrs. Kochi, and some from my "caserita" (favorite vendor) at the local farmers' market:

Maracuya: this grows on a vine in the back patio, very prolific; strong and unusual flavor. Either you love it or hate it. We use the yellow fruits to make juice or maracuya cheesecake. Snakes are very fond of it.

Granadilla: also a vine, next to Saint Anthony's statue at the other end of the patio; oval fruits with a hard orange and brown shell which you remove, just like you would the shell of a hard boiled egg. The inside is indescribably good.

Pepino dulce: literally sweet cucumber, which is what it is. Tastes not unlike watermelon.

Lucuma: dark green skin, deep floury golden yellow inside. If you haven't tasted home-made lucuma ice-cream you haven't lived. The lucuma tree is a beauty.

Pacae: these 1 foot, dark green pods have a sweet wooly white flesh. Very unusual, lots of fun to eat.

And to round up:

Ciruelas del Fraile: press a whole ciruela against the roof of your mouth to understand the meaning of juiciness!

These are just an example of what grows in our little corner of the tropical Americas. Each tropical region in the world can fill in baskets and baskets of different stuff that you have never even dreamt off.

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