Fall Has Just Begun…
Kiwi Berries are the cousin to the regular sized kiwi. They are small berries about the size of a grape. Their skin does not have the stiff ‘fuzz’ that larger kiwi fruit has, making the whole fruit completely edible. Kiwi berries can be eaten as you would eat grapes, as a snack, or tossed into fresh fruit salad. They are high in vitamin C making them even more appealing! Kiwi berries are expected to be available the entire month of October, but sometimes Mother Nature changes her mind and they are only available for the first few weeks, so make sure you don’t miss out!
This fruit of the cactus plant is only available a few months each year. They are a tropical fruit that are magenta 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 when uncut.
Dragon Fruit are perfect for drinks, garnishes, or when eaten as is. They are low calorie and thirst quenching. Store them in the refrigerator and at them chilled for best flavor.
Green Muscato™ Grapes
Exclusively available from Melissa’s, Green Muscato™ grapes look similar to common varieties; however they are hybrid crossings of super sweet table grapes. Muscato™'s 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 Muscato™ Grapes grow, ripen and are picked at the optimal time to ensure unparalleled flavor. Green Muscato™’s are perfect for back-to-school lunches and snacks. Great for fruit salads, parfaits or just out of hand. Their season is July – September.
California Asian Pears and Korean Pears
Asian Pears and Korean Pears are thought to be a cross between an apple and a pear, when actually they are closely related to a pear. They taste very similar to a pear, but resemble an apple, which is where the name derived. There are hundreds of varieties 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 quenching juice. Asian and Korean pears are great on fruit platters, in salads, in pies, or desserts, or where ever you may use an apple.
Most Asian and Korean 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
Sweet Young Coconut’s are traditionally used and noted for the large amount of water they contain. The water is sweet and delicious right out of the shell. The sweet pudding-like flesh is also wonderful fresh from the shell as well as in fruit salads and custards.
Many athletes are drinking fresh coconut water due to the natural electrolytes found in the coconut water. You can use the water in recipes to add mild coconut flavor, or in other drinks to give them a natural tropical flavor.
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 coconut.
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. Currently, they are coming from growing areas in California. 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 the flesh 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.
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 teardrop 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 Fuyu 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 for fabric dye and medicinally years ago. 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. The seeds in the pomegranate are completely edible, although many choose not to eat them. 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, once cut cross-wise. It has a waxy appearance and once the small seeds are removed, is completely edible. Most starfruit are sour tasting, but 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 & C. About 4½ 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 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 31/2 oz. serving. They are also a source of vitamin B and fiber.
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 3½ ounce serving.
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 the fruit and scoop out 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.