Time to Give Thanks!
Jackfruit is native to the rainforests of India. It is also found in Southeast Asia, the East Indies, the Philippines and is grown in central and eastern Africa, as well as Brazil. Jackfruit is a tree fruit that can grow up to 80 pounds! It can be eaten raw, once properly prepared (skin, seeds and fiber removed), or prepared in a dish. When still green, it is often used as a vegetarian substitute for meat as it has a texture similar to shredded meat.
Jackfruit is relatively low calorie with about 95 calories in 3 ounces. It is a moderate source of vitamin C and potassium. Jackfruit does contain natural sugars making it deliciously sweet. Check out our prep instructions for jackfruit.
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 around 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…
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 are 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.
Organic Ambrosia Apples (WA)
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.
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 generally available year-round with a few gaps in growing regions.
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.
This delicious fruit from California is also known as the Guayaba. Guavas are ripe when soft, and a firm and crisp texture with an edible rind and small edible seeds. Guavas have a mildly sweet-tart flavor. They are very aromatic and have a delicate floral aroma. Guavas are generally eaten fresh in fruit salads, desserts, preserves, sauces or juice.
Melissa’s Guavas are available all year around. They can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator for a longer shelf life. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and are low calorie with on 30 calories per fruit.
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 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, stuffings, 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.
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.
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. 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 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.
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 3 days. Strawberry papayas are low calorie and high in vitamin C. They have about 39 calories per 3 1/2 oz. 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 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.