Fall Fruit Fresh
Dragon fruit comes from 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 is perfect for drinks as garnishes, added to smoothies, or eaten out-of-hand. They are low calorie and thirst-quenching. Store in the refrigerator and eat 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 offer an enticing aroma.
Eat these apples out-of-hand or use in baking — perfect for holiday platters with caramel dip or cheese! Enjoy throughout December, as the season will wind down as we get towards the end of the month.
Meyer lemons are also referred to as a cooking lemon; they should not be confused with conventional lemons. Meyer Lemons are rounder in shape, have thinner skins, 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 that can be eaten whole, including the skin and seeds! This citrus has 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 that 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 Fruit®”
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. This citrus 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 from October - 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 is a large variety of these pears available today, making them available just about all year long. They are delicious eaten out-of-hand and are firm and crunchy with plenty of sweet juice. Asian pears are great on fruit platters, in salads, pies, or desserts, or wherever you would use an apple.
Most Asian pears will last about 30 to 60 days when refrigerated, but it is always best to eat as soon as possible. Store them in the refrigerator and wrapped carefully so they will not bruise. Most apple pears are hand-picked and individually wrapped to prevent any bruising during shipping. Asian and Korean pears are both good sources 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 offers 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 punch the hole, insert a straw, then enjoy the delicious coconut water as a refreshing drink.
Sweet Young Coconuts are available year-round with a shelf-life of about two weeks when 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 in 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 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 like fiber, and some even believe them 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 fascinating 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 3 1/2 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 also grown in Japan, Korea, Israel, and the United States. There are many varieties of persimmons, with the most familiar being the Fuyu and the Hachiya. The Fuyu persimmon is flat and looks similar to an orange tomato. 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 and is available for a limited time in the fall. They get their name because they appear to be speckled with cinnamon. In Spain, 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. Purchase persimmons 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 also great for holiday meals and decorations, too.
The word pomegranate is Latin for “apple of numerous seeds.” Pomegranates probably originated around Persia and have been cultivated worldwide for thousands of years. There are even records of pomegranates being buried in Egyptian tombs, dating back thousands of years. Did you know that pomegranates are a Greek symbol of fertility? These beautiful red fruits have also been used for medicinal purposes and 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 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 thousands of years ago and has been gaining popularity ever since. Most of the starfruit in the United States are 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 is about 4 to 6 inches in length, while starfruit from Taiwan is about 6 to 8 inches in length.
Starfruit, also known as Carambola, gets its name from its shape when cut widthwise. It has a waxy appearance, and once the small seeds are removed, it is entirely edible. Most starfruit has 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, 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 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 vitamins 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.