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July, 2012

Melissa's refreshing fruits to keep it a cool summer...

Flavorosa Plumcots
Flavorosa Plumcots
These fruits are a hybrid of a plum and an apricot, commonly known as a plumcot. Plumcots retain the characteristics and flavor of a plum. Flavorosa plumcots are medium sized with dark skin and red flesh. The Flavorosa plumcot is very sweet with hints of cherry and pomegranate flavor; they are delicious to eat. Season is June to mid July.







Baby Heirloom Tomatoes


Baby Heirloom Tomatoes
Dating back before the early 1800's, heirloom tomatoes have been growing and pleasing palates for centuries. The nostalgic name "heirloom" deliciously connects us to days long gone. Generally an heirloom variety is one that has been around more than fifty years, can reproduce from seed and has a history of its very own. Recently heirloom tomatoes have made a welcomed comeback as consumers are demanding tomatoes that offer good old-fashioned flavor. Peak season is June – September.







Kiwano Melons

Kiwano Melons
Also known as the African horned melon, this very interesting piece of fruit contains a lime green, jelly-like inside with the texture of a cool cucumber. The taste is a subtle combination of cucumber, banana, melon and lime. The outer shell is spiky golden-orange and is often used as a serving dish filled with fruit salad, dip or other delicious recipes. Kiwano melons are also used to create exotic tropical drinks or delicious sauces for seafood, poultry and vegetables. Kiwano melons last for several weeks without refrigeration. Once they “give” to the touch, they are ripe and ready to eat. Do not store them near apples or bananas, as these fruits will shorten their shelf life. They are low in calories with only 24 calories in 3½ ounce, and contain more potassium than a banana. They are also high in Vitamin C.



Hami Melons

Hami Melons
This is a very special variety melon in which the seed originated in the Xinjiang area of China. Oblong in shape with yellow skin and green streaks throughout, the Hami melon has a juicy orange flesh. Its flavor profile is reminiscent to a very sweet cantaloupe, with more flavor and firmer crunchy texture. Highest brixing melon at this time of the season. Season is June – August.








Mini Watermelons

Mini Watermelons
These personal size melons are opening up a new segment of the marketplace. In the past, small families or single household buyers had to buy cut melon (not always perceived as fresh) or a melon that was only partially eaten and then disposed of. As a result, this category of buyers didn't buy many watermelons. With proper display and merchandising the personal sized seedless watermelon is gaining an audience of their own from non-watermelon buyers. In addition, the fruit is packed single layer, (not stacked in the carton) much like honeydews in a very durable carton. The fruit itself lends itself to an extended shelf-life due to a very durable rind. Season is almost year round, though peak is summer months.




Lychees

Lychees
Lychees are round, beautiful rosy red to dark brown colored fruits, about 1-2”, encased in a thin bumpy shell. They are sometimes referred to as ‘Chinese Cherries’. Lychees are considered a good luck fruit and are often given as gifts during Chinese New Year. The inside resembles a peeled grape and the taste is phenomenal! Lychees taste like a mixture of honey, strawberries and Muscat grapes. Lychees also have a large, inedible seed inside, so use caution when eating them. To eat a lychee, just crack the shell gently with your hand or teeth. Remove half of the shell and pop the lychee flesh into your mouth (or serving dish). Be sure to remove the seed. Lychees are delicious as a snack, in fruit salads, as a garnish or in stir-fry. They are best when purchased and eaten immediately, but can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. Store them in a plastic bag with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. Lychees are low calorie and have very little fat. They are a good source of potassium and an excellent source of vitamin C. Lychee is said to help relieve coughs, and is being tested by The Cancer Institute for activity against tumors.

Cherimoyas
Cherimoyas
Also called Custard Apple or Custard Fruit, this delicious heart-shaped fruit is a delicacy in the exotic fruit arena. They are a hand-pollinated fruit, which makes them a time-consuming commercial crop. However, since they are grown in so many areas now, supply is not a problem. The flesh of the cherimoya is cream colored with large black inedible seeds. They have a flavor similar to a blend of strawberry, mango and pineapple. To eat one, simply cut it into wedges and spoon out the creamy flesh while discarding the seeds. They are generally eaten as is, but they can be used in drinks, fruit salads or desserts. Cherimoyas should be kept at room temperature until ready to eat, and can be stored in the refrigerator once ripe for a few days. Cherimoyas are not a low calorie fruit, containing about 94 calories per 3½ oz. serving. They are also a source of vitamin B and fiber.