Product Spotlight: Fruit
What's New for Fall
This fruit of the cactus plant, they are a tropical fruit that are magenta and brilliant green on the outside with the inner edible flesh ranging from white to hot pink! Dragon Fruit are very juicy with tiny, edible black seeds (like the ones found in Kiwi), and taste like a cross between watermelon, cactus pear and kiwi. They are absolutely delicious and look very unique.
Dragon Fruit are perfect for drinks, garnishes, or when eaten out of hand. They are low calorie and thirst quenching. Store them in the refrigerator and eat them chilled for best flavor.
Tai Nung Papayas
These beautiful yellow-spotted green papayas are full-flavored with a delicious juicy flesh. Papayas are high in vitamin C and are a delicious and nutritious snack. Great for a quick breakfast, or cut and cube for fresh fruit salads. Try them blended into smoothies or use as a garnish.
Green Dragon™ Apples
In Chinese culture, the dragon is a symbol for royalty; hence the name of this apple. Green Dragon™ Apples are highly prized and sought after and have become the ‘dragon’ of apples. Green Dragon™ Apples look like a green Golden Delicious with white crisp-textured flesh encased in a skin that resists bruising. It is an Orin variety mixed with Mutsu and Shizuka apples from Japan. Green Dragon™ Apples are a sweet apple with low acidity and numerous fruit esters in the aroma.
Eat these apples out of hand or use them in baking. Perfect for holiday platters with caramel dip or cheese. Enjoy these apples throughout the month of December as the season will wind down as the month winds down.
Apples are delicious as a snack, chopped and tossed into salads or made into desserts. They are low calorie, contain no fat or cholesterol and are high in fiber and vitamin C.
Meyer lemons are also referred to as a cooking lemon. They should not be confused with conventional lemons, as Meyer Lemons are rounder in shape, have thinner skin and often have an orange blush. Meyer Lemons are thought to be a cross between a lemon and an orange. They are a sweet tasting lemon which can be eaten whole including the skin and seeds. They have a nice tartness that gives a kick in everything you may use them in and are well suited for desserts because of their sweet flavor.
Exclusively available from Melissa’s, Green Muscatos™ table grapes are grown in the central valley, where there is an ideal Mediterranean-like climate which helps produce our superb, delectable grapes. In this heavenly valley, our Muscatos™ grow, ripen and are picked at the optimal time to ensure unparalleled flavor.
Green Muscatos™ are perfect for back-to-school lunches and snacks. Great for fruit salads, parfaits or just eating out of hand. Their season is July – September.
Winter Crunch® Grapes
This late season red grape is crisp and juicy. Grown exclusively for Melissa’s, they are perfect for cheese plates, snacking or garnishes.
Grown in California, Winter Crunch® grapes have a taste like none other. Don’t miss them!
Buddha Hands “Freaky Fruits”
Also known as fo-shou in China and bushukan in Japan, the impressive Buddha’s hand is a symbol of happiness, longevity, and good fortune. It gets its name from the long finger-like tendrils, which are all zest. This traditional temple offering and New Year’s gift is closely related to the lemon.
Buddha’s hand is often used as a decoration but also often used for its zest, which can be used in any recipe that calls for lemon zest. The fruit inside is not bitter and can be candied, dried and coated in chocolate. They are available October through February.
California Asian Pears
Asian Pears taste very similar to a pear, but resemble an apple, which is where the name “apple pear” was derived. There are a large variety of these 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. Asian pears are great on fruit platters, in salads, in pies, or desserts, or where ever you would 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 and Korean 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.
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.
Sweet Young Coconuts are available year around with a shelf life of about 2 weeks refrigerated.
Sweet Young Coconut Punch Tool
Melissa’s now offers an exclusive Coconut Punch Tool for easy access to the coconut water. Follow the simple instructions on the package for a convenient, easy-to-use tool for opening your fresh sweet young coconuts.
Melissa’s fresh jackfruit is one of the newest items to the marketplace. Jackfruit is the largest tree fruit grown; one fruit can grow to over 30 pounds! It is commonly grown in Southeast Asia as well as Mexico. Jackfruit has become popular in the vegetarian community for its hearty flesh and unique flavor. It contains several vitamins and minerals, and is a rich source of vitamin B6 and a good source of potassium.
Jackfruit needs special care when opening as it can be very sticky…but well worth the mess. If you choose not to prepare your jackfruit yourself, Melissa’s now offers a prepared tray of jackfruit pods…just the good stuff! Give it a try.
This unusual looking sub-tropical fruit contains a white grape-like fruit with a large seed. Remove the hairy looking shell, take out the seed and enjoy the tutti-frutti flavored flesh. They are a great snack, containing nutrients that are high fiber and said to be helpful as an anti-cancer fruit. They are low-calorie and refreshing to enjoy anytime!
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 ounces, and contain more potassium than a banana. They are also high in Vitamin C.
Persimmons are thought to have Chinese origin, although today they are grown in Japan, China, Korea, Israel and the United States. There are many varieties of persimmons, the most familiar being the FUYU and the HACHIYA. The Fuyu persimmon is flat, and looks similar to a tomato, only orange colored. The Hachiya is also orange, but has a heart shape. The Fuyu is generally eaten like an apple, while it is firm and crunchy and the Hachiya is eaten when it is soft and juicy. Another variety is called the Cinnamon Persimmon. This is a variety of Hachiya persimmon and is available for a limited time in the fall. They get their name because they appear to be speckled with cinnamon. In Israel, there is a variety called Sharon Fruit, which is more like the Hachiya variety, only this variety has large inedible seeds.
Persimmons have almost no fat (less than 1 gram) and only 70 calories per 3 oz. fruit. They are a good source of vitamin A and also contain Vitamin C, potassium, and copper. Persimmons should be purchased with no bruises and generally firm. Store at room temperature until ripe and refrigerated once ripened. They are great dried, pureed into sauces for desserts, seafood or poultry. They are great for holiday meals and decorations, too.
Pomegranates probably originated around Persia. The word Pomegranate is Latin for “apple of numerous seeds”. They have been cultivated worldwide for thousands of years. There is even record of pomegranates being buried in Egyptian tombs, dating back thousands of years. Pomegranates are a Greek symbol of fertility. These beautiful red fruits were used medicinally and for dying fabric. Today, they are eaten as a sweet and delicious treat whenever they are in season.
Pomegranates are generally chosen for size; the larger the fruit, the sweeter it will be. They are best when eaten at room temperature, but can be refrigerated to prolong the shelf life. Pomegranate juice and seeds can be frozen for later use. Use pomegranate seeds in fruit salads, as a garnish on plates, in sorbets or desserts, or in juices. They are low calorie, with about 20 calories per ounce. They are a good source of potassium, low sodium and also a source of vitamins C and B.
Starfruit originated in Southeast Asia or India, thousand of years ago and has been gaining popularity since. Most of the starfruit in the United States is grown in Florida, but Taiwan is also a huge exporter. Melissa’s imports starfruit from Taiwan because of its superior quality and size. Most US grown starfruit are about 4-6 inches in length, while starfruit from Taiwan are about 6-8 inches in length.
Starfruit, also known as Carambola, gets its name from its shape, when cut cross-wise. It has a waxy appearance and once the small seeds are removed, is completely edible. Most starfruit have a sweet-tart flavor. Starfruit is a tropical fruit with many uses; it is great sliced in salads, as a garnish for drinks or platters, served on meats, made into chutneys, and more. Always look for starfruit with no bruises, however, a slight browning on the edges of the ribs is normal (some say this is sugar!), and means the fruit is ripe. Starfruit will ripen at room temperature, from a lime green to a golden yellow (with brown edges). Eat immediately when ripe, to enjoy the crispness of the fruit.
Starfruit is very low calorie and a good source of vitamin A and C. About 4 1/2 ounces of starfruit is only 42 calories.
Also called Custard Apple or Custard Fruit, this delicious heart-shaped fruit is a delicacy in the exotic fruit group. 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 contain about 94 calories per 3 1/2 oz. serving. They are also a source of vitamin B and fiber.