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April, 2011

Take a look at our fresh April fruit...

New Zealand Red Tamarillos
New Zealand Red Tamarillos

Tamarillos are also known as “tree tomatoes”. They grow world wide, but are currently from New Zealand. They are also grown in the United States and Ecuador. Tamarillos are egg-shaped fruit, about 3-4 inches long. The outside is inedible, but the inside is full of rich, meaty flesh that contains small seeds, similar to a regular tomato. Tamarillos have a tart, tangy flavor and are used as both a fruit and a vegetable. When used as a fruit, tamarillos are generally served in a tart with creme, or some other sweetener. They are often eaten raw with a little lemon juice and sugar. When used as a vegetable, they are generally used like a regular tomato, in sauces, stews, sautéed or grilled. Tamarillos are a very versatile fruit. Tamarillos must be peeled before eaten, as the skin is not edible. They are very low in calories and sodium, and are a good source of vitamins A and C. Store unripe tamarillos at room temperature until they yield to gentle pressure. Otherwise, store in the refrigerator for about 1 week.

New Zealand Feijoas
New Zealand Feijoas
Feijoas are grown throughout the world and have become very popular in the United States. Sometimes feijoas are referred to as a pineapple guava, but they are actually two different fruits. Feijoas are lime-green, egg shaped fruits, with a soft succulent flesh. They are very fragrant and are often eaten as a dessert, in compotes, jams, pies, and sauces. Fresh feijoas are great in fruit salads, or as a garnish. Feijoas are rich in Vitamin C, 28mg per 100 g serving, and have only 35 calories per 3 ½ oz. fruit. Feijoas are best when kept refrigerated and are ripe when they are a bit soft to the touch.






New Zealand Passion

New Zealand Passion
Passion Fruit originated in South America, most likely Brazil. Now, passion fruit is grown worldwide. Passion fruit comes from the passion flower, which is a beautiful tropical flower with a wonderful fragrance. Passion fruit is generally purple, but can also be golden, and has a jelly-like golden flesh, filled with soft edible seeds. Passion fruit looks like an egg, with a thick, hard shell that gets wrinkled as it ripens...the more wrinkles, the better the fruit will be. Contrary to popular belief, Passion Fruit is named for the bloom of the Passion Fruit flower. This bloom is thought to symbolize various parts of the Passion of Christ (such as the crown of thorns and the nails of the crucifixion) and not because of passionate powers it was once believed to contain. Passion Fruit is generally eaten fresh but may be cooked for use in sauces and fillings. Simply halve fruit and scoop the pulp and seeds with a spoon. Passion fruit can be purchased with smooth skin for use later, or with wrinkled, dimpled skin for immediate use. The more wrinkles, the better it will taste! Passion fruit can be frozen once the flesh is removed from the shell. It is best stored at room temperature. Passion fruit is very low calorie with about 18 calories per medium fruit and contains vitamins A and C.

New Zealand Kiwano
New Zealand Kiwano

Also known as African Horned Melon, this very interesting piece of fruit contains a lime green, jelly-like inside, with the texture of a cool cucumber and taste with a hint of cucumber, banana, melon and lime. The outer shell is spiky golden-orange and is often used as a serving dish filled with fruit salads, dips 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 from their initial picking. 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 calorie with only 24 calories in 3 ½ oz., and contain more potassium than a banana. They are also high in Vitamin C.

Asian Pears
Asian Pears
Asian pears are thought to be a cross between an apple and a pear, when actually they are closely related to a pear. They taste very similar to a pear, but resemble an apple, which is where the name derived. There are hundreds of varieties of Asian pears available today, making them available just about all year around. They are delicious eaten out of hand, firm and crunchy with plenty of quenching juice. Asian pears are great on fruit platters, in salads, in pies, or desserts, or where ever you may use an apple. Most Asian pears will last about 30-60 days when refrigerated, but it is always best to eat as soon as possible. Store them in the refrigerator, wrapped carefully so they will not bruise. Most apple pears are handpicked and individually wrapped to prevent any bruising in shipping. Asian pears are a good source of Vitamin B and potassium. They are also low in calories (about 44 per 3 oz.) making them the perfect snack.


Kumquats

Kumquats
Originally introduced in the mid-19th century to the U.S., this ancient fruit has been familiar in Japan and China for thousands of years. These tiny citrus are bright orange and shaped like an egg. They are completely edible. The sweet, thin rind offsets the tart flesh. They are great as a snack or even candied. Kumquats are generally available year-round with a few gaps in growing regions. Kumquats are best when kept refrigerated. They should have bright skin with no blemishes. They are very low in calories and have about 50 calories in a 3 ½ oz. serving. They are also an excellent source of Vitamin C.





Baby Bananas

Baby Bananas
Also called niño, ladyfinger, or finger bananas, baby bananas are somewhat smaller than even the most popular yellow Cavendish banana, and are actually sweeter. They are native to tropical countries like Central and South America, the Caribbean and Mexico. Familiar in Latin American, African and Asian cooking, baby bananas are amazingly versatile. Shaped like a miniature slender banana, this small, crunchy specialty banana is usually eaten out of hand or sliced raw in fruit salads. Did you know… that the banana is considered an almost perfect food? The banana is very low in sodium, high in potassium, and contains approximately 6 vitamins and 11 other minerals.




Burro Bananas

Burro Bananas
The shape of this banana is flatter, smaller and squarer, yet just as versatile as other bananas. The burro banana is described as having a tangy lemony flavor. Once ripe, the soft flesh is creamy white or yellow with some firmness toward the center. Used when firm, the burro banana can be sliced and added to cereals or made into banana chips. The burro, softened, can also be mashed and used in cake and other dessert recipes.








Red Bananas

Red Banana
A sweet banana with a touch of raspberry flavor, the short and plump red banana is easy to distinguish. The slightly pink and creamy flesh within a reddish-purple skin is often used to add flavor and color to many dishes. Similar to the traditional banana, this tropical fruit is imported from Central America, generally Ecuador. Red bananas are great in fruit compotes and salads or used in baking as you would any banana.








Plantain Bananas

Plantain Bananas
Larger and firmer than dessert bananas, plantains are commonly used as vegetables rather than fruits because of their lower sugar content. Extremely popular in Latin American countries, plantains are also favored in West Indian and African cooking. Plantains are rarely eaten raw unless completely black to insure ripeness, and are usually baked or fried and served like a potato. These “cooking bananas” have a mild, squash-like flavor and are used in a wide range of savory dishes.