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A Month of Remembering and Giving Thanks!

Sweet Young Coconut
Melissa’s delicious Sweet Young Coconuts are a fun way to enjoy the tropical flavor of coconut! These young coconuts don’t have the hard husk of a mature coconut so they are perfect for snacking and cooking. The refreshing water in the coconut is often used in exotic drinks, curry dishes or even by itself for a delicious treat. The inner flesh of a sweet young coconut can be easily scooped out to eat as a snack or to use in recipes. It is wonderful in salads, soups or desserts.

Sweet Young Coconuts are very perishable, so it is important to keep them refrigerated. They are available year-round and should last about two weeks in the refrigerator.

Melissa’s has introduced a coconut opener for our Sweet Young Coconuts. Simple to use, it will make opening your coconut as easy as drinking the water! These are great gifts for the person who has everything…

Organic Ambrosia Apples

Organic Ambrosia Apples
In the early 1980’s, the Mennell family of the Similkameen Valley in British Columbia discovered a tree in one of their orchards bearing unusually large apples. The apples had the general conical shape of the Jonagold and Golden Delicious nearby, but everything about them was different. They tried them, loved them, and decided to start growing them. Today, this variety has been patented, tested for disease resistance, fruit consistency and tree vigor. All indications are that Ambrosias are a very good producer and an excellent choice for farmers and consumers alike. They are generally available through February.

Apples are a great snack anytime or anywhere. The old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” has some truth to it. Apples are a fat-free fruit and have zero cholesterol. They are rich in dietary fiber, which makes them so beneficial to your body. Apples are also a good source of vitamins C and B, too.

Kiwano Horned Melons

Kiwano Melons
Also known as the African horned melon, this very interesting piece of fruit contains a lime green, jelly-like inside 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 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. 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.

Korean Chestnuts

Korean Chestnuts
Korean 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. They are fantastic in soups, stuffing, sautés and side dishes as well.

Chestnuts can be microwaved or roasted. They are a good source of B vitamins and iron, and they are low in sodium.

Peeled & Steamed Chestnuts

Steamed and Peeled Italian Chestnuts - Ready-to-Eat!
These ready-to-eat chestnuts are perfect for cooking and baking. They are already steamed and peeled making them easy 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.

Strawberry Papaya

Strawberry Papayas
Strawberry papayas are the most delicious papaya 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 or in fruit salads, 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.

When you purchase a strawberry papaya, choose one that is soft to the touch; it should have a slight blush of yellow as opposed to solid green. You can ripen the fruit at room temperature in a paper bag in about three days. Strawberry papayas are low calorie and high in vitamin C. They have about 39 calories per 3 1/2 oz. serving.

Winter Crunch Grapes

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. Try them as part of your holiday hors d’oeuvres platters or charcuterie boards. One cup of Winter Crunch® Grapes contains about 62 calories making them a healthy choice anytime.

Grown in California, Winter Crunch® grapes have a taste like none other. Don’t miss them!

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 is very low calorie with about 18 calories per medium fruit and contains vitamins A and C.


Also called custard apple or custard fruit, this delicious heart-shaped fruit is a delicacy in the exotic fruit world. 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 3½ oz. serving. They are also a source of vitamin B and fiber.

Green Dragon Apples

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.

Cinnamon Persimmons

Cinnamon Persimmons
Also known as Sharon Fruit, Cinnamon Persimmons get their name from the brown speckles in their flesh. They are perfect for winter salads and have a sweet, crisp, juicy flavor. Persimmons are great eaten out-of-hand when ripe.

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.

Red Walnuts

Red Walnuts
Larger and sweeter than the familiar brown walnut, red walnuts have a dark cherry red skin with a light inner flesh. Use them in fresh salads, for baking and even on charcuterie boards. Walnuts are rich in antioxidants and are said to decrease inflammation.
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