Summer Fruits at their Peak
Passion Fruit originated in South America, most likely Brazil; now it is grown worldwide. It is generally purple, but can also be golden, and has a jelly-like golden flesh, filled with soft edible seeds. It looks like a purple egg, with a thick, hard shell that gets wrinkled as it ripens...the more wrinkles, the riper 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 any “passionate powers” it was once believed to contain.
It is generally eaten fresh but may be cooked for use in sauces and fillings. Simply halve the fruit and scoop out the pulp and seeds with a spoon. It can be frozen once the flesh is removed from the shell and is best stored at room temperature. Passion fruit is very low in calories, with about 18 calories per medium fruit and contains vitamins A and C
Sweet Young Coconuts
The Sweet Young Coconut is traditionally used for the sweet, delicious water it contains. It also contains a sweet pudding-like flesh that is delicious right out of the shell, and can also be used in fruit salads and custards. The easiest way to enjoy the water is to carefully pierce one of the “eyes” on the coconut using Melissa’s Coconut Opener
. Once you pierce the hole, insert a straw…then enjoy the delicious coconut water as a refreshing drink.
These tiny grapes are actually a Zante Currant (also known as Black Corinth) variety that is seedless. These miniature grapes grow on vines in clusters of as many as 300 grapes! It is believed that Champagne Grapes get their unique name because of their California usage: draped over a glass of champagne or wine as an edible garnish. They are a very sweet grape that is generally eaten as is or used in desserts, smoothies and sorbets.
Champagne grapes should be washed before being eaten. Keep them stored in the refrigerator for longest shelf-life and eat within a few days for best flavor. Grapes are a good source of potassium with about 65 calories in a three ounce serving.
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 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 3½ ounces serving. They are also an excellent source of Vitamin C.
Also known as the African horned melon, this very interesting piece of fruit contains a lime green, jelly-like interior with the texture of a 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 fillings. 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.
Organic Black Seedless Grapes
Melissa’s Organic Black Seedless Grapes are grown specifically to produce a better-tasting, larger-sized grape than conventional black seedless grapes. In order to ensure consistent production and high quality fruit, our growers go through a labor-intensive process of hand pruning, cleaning and harvesting. The grapes are grown on high trellis systems which allow the grapes to get more sunlight for better growth and higher sugar levels.
Black Seedless Grapes are delicious in fruit salads or eaten as a healthy snack anytime. They are great for kids because they are seedless and offer plenty of vitamins A and C. They are also a great low-calorie treat with less then 70 calories per cup. Try freezing them for a real treat!
Lychees are round, beautiful rosy red to dark red colored fruits, encased in a thin, bumpy shell. 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 open a lychee, just crack the shell gently with your thumbnail at the base of the stem and peel away the skin and pop the lychee into your mouth (or serving dish). Be sure to remove the seed. Lychees are delicious as a snack, in fruit salads, in lunch boxes or smoothies. 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.
Saturn peaches get their unique name because of their unusual shape: they are flat and round, looking like the planet Saturn. They have a beautiful blush on the velvety outer skin and a deliciously juicy inner flesh. They are great eaten out of hand for a snack, and are delicious eaten in pies, desserts or fruit salads.
Saturn peaches should be stored the same as other peaches; Keep at room temperature until ripe, then refrigerate a day or two until eaten. They are best when eaten immediately. Peaches are low calorie and have no fat or cholesterol.
Also called Custard Apple or Custard Fruit, this delicious heart-shaped fruit is a delicacy in the exotic fruit aisle. 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 they turn almost black and ready to eat, and can then be stored in the refrigerator for a few days. Cherimoyas contain about 94 calories per 3½ oz. serving. They are also a source of vitamin B and fiber.
Asian pears or apple pears taste very similar to a pear, but resemble an apple, which is where their name is 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 sweet juice. They 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 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 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.