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November, 2009

Check out this month's fresh Fall fruit.

Fresh Italian Chestnuts
Fresh Italian Chestnuts
Chestnuts are generally grown in northern climates, although they can be found from Alaska to the Middle East. In the past, most chestnuts were ground to make flour for breads, while today, chestnut flour is used primarily for fancy cakes. Chestnuts have been associated with good digestion when eaten. They have an extremely high sugar content, which makes them excellent for cooking and baking. Italian Chestnuts are a holiday favorite for roasting. Chestnuts should be cooked before eating to bring up the sugar content; otherwise they are starchy and often bitter. Chestnuts can be microwaved or roasted. They are a good source of B Vitamins and iron, and they are low in sodium.





Ready to Eat Steamed and Peeled Italian Chestnuts
Ready to Eat Steamed and Peeled Italian Chestnuts
These ready to go chestnuts are perfect for cooking and baking. They are already steamed and peeled making them easy and ready to use in your favorite holiday recipes. They are great for baking and save a lot of prep time. Melissa’s Steamed and Peeled Chestnuts are 100% natural with no additives. They have an extended shelf life, due to the packaging. They should be kept refrigerated for freshness. Convenient to use all year around.







Cactus Pears
Cactus Pears
Also called Prickly Pears, Indian Figs or Tunas, cactus pears are a fruit indigenous to Mexico and the Southwestern U.S. They are now grown across the country and are becoming more and more popular among consumers. They are an egg-shaped fruit full of thorns or pricks, which are carefully removed before you purchase them. However, caution should still be taken when handling them. Cactus pears are delicious cut in half and scooped out. The vibrant red flesh is full of edible seed and can be used in jams, sauces, salads or drinks. Cactus pears are low calorie and a good source of vitamin C. They are also an excellent source of magnesium. Ripen fruit at room temperature, and then refrigerate until ready to use, no more than a few days. Cactus pears have a limited shelf life, so they are best when eaten as soon as they are ripe.


Strawberry Papayas
Strawberry Papayas
Strawberry papayas are the most delicious papayas of all varieties. They are red-flesh papayas and are juicy with a hint of fresh peaches and berries. Strawberry papayas can be eaten plain, once ripe, or in fruit salads, in desserts or blended into drinks. Just cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and eat. You will think you are in the Tropics, once you taste one of these papayas. Strawberry Papayas are grown in several areas throughout their season. They grown in clusters at the top of the tree and are picked once they begin to streak with color. When you purchase a strawberry papaya, choose one that is soft to touch; it should have a slight blush of yellow as opposed to solid green. You can ripen fruit at room temperature in a paper bag in about 3 days. Strawberry papayas are low calorie and high in vitamin C. They have about 39 calories per 3 1/2 oz. serving.


Passion Fruit

Passion Fruit
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.


Cherimoya
Cherimoya
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.