There is a TON of different fruit in the world – most of which we’ve never tasted. I think that’s the biggest takeaway for me this month.
This week it has been so busy for me at work that I had four bananas just to get my fruit intake in, but did manage to eat three new fruits too.
The gold nugget orange wasn’t super sweet or interesting, but I bought it because I’d never had it and the outside was really interesting. Very rough and misshapen. The women at the check out actually didn’t even know what it was. I also had a Pazazz apple, which I really loved. Turns out it’s a descendant of my favorite apple, the Honeycrisp. Apparently most if not all of these are grown in Canada at the moment, so that’s a little odd but I liked it. Finally, I had a Chile Chili Plum. This was pretty hard and very peachy. The inside looked a little off and the taste wasn’t much to write home about. Not my favorite.
My least favorite fruit I had this month was the disgusting vegetable cucumber pepper tasting Pepino Purple Melon. Never again. My favorite was Passion Fruit. Don’t let the barf look and texture phase you – it’s delicious. Nature’s sour patch kid.
I don’t know if I”m going to go out and be a crazy Fruit Hunter or anything, but I am much more open now to trying new and exotic fruit. The truth is fruit has become predictable for us, when in reality it’s anything but. If you have a chance to go beyond your supermarket, do it. Go to the farmers market – hit up the Asian market. There are so many different kinds of fruit just waiting to be devoured: dukus, rambutans, soursops, mangosteens and durans.
I’ll be back on Wednesday to fill you all in on my May challenge, which I’m excited about. Did you try any new fruit this month? Any good suggestions for interesting fruit to try? Let me know.
I was desperate to try Guava again this week, and I found a tiny version for a reasonable price at a local market. It was way less expensive than the one I bought at the Japanese market, but I was wary because it was so small and soft. It was definitely ripe though, and was the first thing I tried this week.
I cut open the little guava and found that it’s white inside. I was a little bummed because I’m looking for that pink inside guava, the one the internet says taste like a combination between a pear and a strawberry. The two guavas I’ve had so far (the mini pictured here, and the green giant from last week) taste like grass. I can’t think of another way to describe it besides maybe mushy grass. I know the big one wasn’t ripe yet, but this one was and it tasted the same. Also this mini is packed with seeds that I’m told you can eat, but will probably break your teeth if you try. Not a fan, but not giving up on guava until I get my pink guava. Any tips on where to find this pink variety would be helpful.
Next I had a sweet lime. It looked like a mini lemon, but was very lime like when cut open. The inside was a white yellow. I expected it to be sweet because of the name, but it honestly just tasted like water. Meh.
I was excited about the citrus though so I left my sweet lime in the garbage where it belongs and went right into a citrus kick the rest of the week. I was so bummed about the guava and mini lemon water (can that be its new name?) that I was desperate for something good to eat. I had always wanted to try blood orange and never had (I know, why not Holly?) and it did not disappoint. The inside was just as dark red as I imagined, and I loved that the outside had bits of burnt red on it too. The inside was delicious. Super juicy and good, but stained everything. So clean up real quick and try not to get it everywhere if you’re enjoying one in your home.
I tried a Cara Cara orange next. I might have had this variety before at some point, but I’m honestly not sure and I was super curious about the inside because the sticker said ‘I’m pink’ on it, which it was. I enjoyed this one a lot, but the flavor didn’t differ to me too much from a standard orange. I’d get it again though.
The last citrus of the week was a Honeygold Grapefruit. So this one was labeled as Honeygold, but when I Googled Honeygold grapefruit Google informed me that it’s just another name for a Melogold grapefruit. Melogold, on the outside, looks just like the Honeygold I grabbed at the store. Yellow skin, freckled a bit. However, I was expecting yellow flesh, as the internet had informed me that the inside of a Melogold is yellow, and instead got a light pink – just like with a standard ruby red grapefruit. So in the end I’m not sure what I ate. It also tasted like a ruby red, but smaller and it had more sections which made it harder to eat, but I feel like it was a little sweeter. Overall I liked it, but not sure it differed much from a ruby red to deserve the extra price tag.
Here are some other grapefruit varieties I’ll have to try someday. Let me know if you’ve had any of these:
Lavender Gem Grapefruit
Marsh Seedless Grapefruit
Oro Blanco Grapefruit
Star Ruby Grapefruit
Finally after our hike this morning I enjoyed a ‘Juicy’ apple. I told you last week that there were more than 20,000 named varieties of apples. This one was just labeled a Juicy Apple. I thought maybe it was a type I’d never heard of before so I bought it. Then when I tried to do research on it I found it nearly impossible because if I google a form of ‘juicy apple’ or ‘juicy apple variety’ the internet just wants to tell me all about what types of apples are the juiciest. So I’m not sure if I ate a new type of apple or not honestly. It didn’t taste like one I’ve had before. It was like a mix between a Fuji and a Honeycrisp. Not sure, but if you know, please let ME know. I rather enjoyed it.
Overall, an interesting fruit week.
I’m wrapping up my book on the banana and the fruit hunter people. I’m going to watch the fruit hunter documentary next week and I’ll let you all know what fun facts come out of that one.
I’ll leave you with this picture from our hike today out at Cape Lookout in Tillamook, Oregon.
There are more than twenty thousand named varieties of apples. – not including all the countless wild weirdos that never merited a moniker. So many apples exist that we can’t even count them all. Forget an apple a day – you could eat a different apple every day for the rest of your life, or at least for the next fifty-five years.
Sunday we went to the Japanese market in town and I picked up some fruits I’ve never tried raw before. I walked out with four new fruits and 50 less dollars (exotic fruit is expensive).
From that haul I first tried the Pepino Purple Melon AKA the worst thing I’ve ever tasted. I would like to formally submit that this ‘fruit’ be called a vegetable because it was essentially a foreign tasting cucumber that was not good at all. It made my hands smell like peppers for hours as well and besides the shape – it really was nothing like a melon. Regretted this one 100%.
Next up was Passion Fruit. Now I’d had passion fruit flavored items before and even smoothie mixes with the real thing, but those are NOTHING compared to whole goodness of a passion fruit. I’d like to take a moment to warn you that Passion Fruit looks like vomit. If you’re hesitant to dig into your gloop vomit after scooping it out, having a good sniff of the pukey looking substance helps. It smells amazing. I tastes even better – seeds and all. This tasted like an actual handful of sour patch gummies with a slight crunch (re: seeds) and I loved it. I went back and bought more to try in smoothies and also just eat with a spoon because it’s delicious
I had a guava on Wednesday and I was super bummed because I didn’t realize it wasn’t ripe until I cut into it. The outside of it deceived me because it had brown on it and I was worried it would rot. It was super hard, tasted like grass and was not good. I am not giving up on guava though. I love the scent and flavors of it in other things and I am determined to try again on it. Have you eaten in whole before? Let me know your thoughts.
On Thursday I got to try cherimoya. It was actually super good. This one was a tiny bit overripe and I could tell but after the guava incident I did not want under ripe again. I want to try this again and I bet it’s even better when it’s perfectly ripe. Pro tip: the seeds are poisonous so don’t eat them.
Friday I was running around like crazy all day at work and there were bananas in the kitchen – so I went with a basic cavendish. New fun facts about bananas: Bananas became available in the United states right after the Civil War, but they were a luxury item only. They were sold for a dime – two dollars today – were bought sliced, peeled and wrapped in foil of all things. People would buy them already pre cut and peeled into bite size pieces to avoid offending Victorian sensibilities by eating a ‘suggestive’ shape. We’ve all seen the banana rolled onto the condom bit – cut up foil wrapped bananas it is!
I’ll have a bit more to show next week as I haven’t been to the store yet for the weekly fruit haul.
I ate fruit all the way from Argentina this week. You probably did too, honestly. A lot of our fruit and produce comes from different countries. Apples are the only thing in the U.S. we can usually count on as coming from only a town or two away from us. So why does fruit come to us from so far away? Sometimes it’s just because the fruit can only be grown in a certain region and other times for no reason at all except somehow it’s cheaper (capitalist wise, not environment wise – the environmental cost can be incredibly high as we’ll find out this month).
I didn’t branch out a whole lot this week although I did try two new varieties of a fruit that I’ve had before. In doing my research on this month I have to say: U.S. produce is just not that interesting, fun, or delicious as other countries fruit selection.
“There are mangoes that taste like piña coladas. Orange cloudberries. White blueberries, Blue apricots. Red Lemons. Golden Raspberries. Pink cherimoyas. Willy Wonk’s got nothing on Mother Nature….There are thousand upon thousands of fruits that we never imagined – and that few of us will ever taste, unless we embark on fruit-hunting expeditions.
I didn’t have anything quite as delicious as mentioned above this week. On Monday I had Cantaloupe, one of my faves. This fruit isn’t quite in season yet, and I was running late into the office so I grabbed a precut plastic container of it (I hate myself for this so no need to rub it in). It was packaged in Portland but I’m not sure where this particular one was grown as it did not say. It tasted fine – but not as good as freshly cut and in season cantaloupe.
On Tuesday I had a Banana because there was some in the office and I hadn’t been to the store in a week. This particular banana was from Ecuador and it was good. Almost all bananas in the United States are eaten from Central and South America. I’m reading this really interesting book right now called Banana, and I’m learning some really awesome facts about this commonplace fruit. Americans eat more bananas per year than apples and oranges combined; and in many parts of the world, bananas are what keep hundreds of millions of people alive. What’s interesting about the banana is how it’s evolved. The banana we eat today is of the Cavendish variety. The banana our grandparent’s ate (which doesn’t exist anymore) was called the Gros Michel. The Gros Michel apparently tasted better, was creamier and had a more fruity taste. The reason it doesn’t exist anymore is because of Panama Disease. It’s a fungus that is transmitted through soil and water and can wipe out entire crops of bananas. It made the Gros Michel extinct and is doing its best to wipe out the Cavendish at this very moment. More on that next week.
Wednesday I grabbed a basket of raspberries that were delicious. They were from Washington State. Raspberries go in season here in June, but they’re mostly good year round. I’m going to make a point to go berry picking this summer as there are a ton of wonderful patches in this area and it’s been two years since I last did it.
Thursday I branched out and had a new variety of mango. I’ve seen yellow mangoes before, but never gave them a try. This one was from Mexico – and most of those we get in the U.S. are, they just grow best down there. They are in season right now so this one was delicious, but it was extremely sweet. I’d eat it again, but I don’t expect this variety to become a staple. I’m still not great at CUTTING mango, but I will hopefully get better with time. The pit in the middle is huge, although less so with this variety, and you have to cut the cheeks off lengthwise on the sides first. These mangoes are actually called the Ataúlfo, but they’re also commonly called young, baby, yellow, honey, Adaulfo, Adolfo, or Champagne mangoes.
Friday I had a Barlett pear. I’m sure I’ve had this pear before when I was a kid. My Mom says I used to love pears as a baby and it wasn’t until I was a bit older that I turned on them. My issue was they were too much like apples that weren’t appley enough. My dad used to slice up pears like an apple and then tell us they were apples. Nice try Dad. We always knew though. This came to me from Argentina, but I don’t know why because pears grow really well in Washington and Oregon. I’m sure there is a money reason behind this.
Today I had a different variety of orange. I’m not sure if I’ve had this exact one before – it’s possible – but it was new to me as far as I can actually remember. This was a Minneola tangelo and is a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit. It tasted awesome. This was grown in the U.S. so probably Florida based on nothing but my weak knowledge that Florida is known for making oranges probably.
I’m excited to branch out a bit more this week. I’m going to the Japanese market today to see what kind of fruit they have and pick up something brand new! What fruit did you eat this week? What’s the most interested fruit you’ve eaten? Let me know.
Do you eat a piece of fruit daily? I’m guessing most of you don’t. I know I don’t. I’m good for about two pieces every week. My diet isn’t bad per se. I don’t eat meat, I hardly ever have dessert or sweets, but my fruit intake is abysmal (I also eat a ton of bread, but we aren’t talking about my carb intake this month and you can take away my carbs after I die and not a second sooner). Fruit is a wonderful source of fiber, it’s got all the healthy sugars you crave, and it has very little effect on blood sugar levels when consumed whole. Please rid yourself of the idea that you will get be unhealthy if you eat fruit because it has sugar in it. It’s not like eating a candy bar full of sugar. Far from it.
Most adults don’t get enough fiber and to combat this we’re downing disgusting FiberOne products and hoping a powder that dissolves in water will help with this. The best thing you can do to get more fiber is eat a high fiber diet. So that’s what I’m going to try to do this month and I’m going to do it through fruit. We need 25-30 grams of fiber a day and most of us are only getting around 15. Only 1 in 10 American adults get enough fruit in their daily diet according to the CDC. An adult should consume 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit every day. Are you even close to hitting that mark?
I only had a few different fruits rotated to me growing up because I was terribly picky about what I would and wouldn’t eat. I would eat apples (granny smith only, skin off and cut up was the only way I’d eat them – I was gross), bananas, cantaloupe (sliced not diced, must be refrigerated) and orange slices (peel on, no white stuff – fiber – showing) only at soccer games. If my fruit was brought to me any other way I wouldn’t eat it or even recognize it as a fruit. That was the extent of the fruit I’d eat. I had grapes once at a friends house and hated them. My brother ate Kiwi’s and I was disgusted by the brown fur on them. I wouldn’t eat Watermelon because of a Rugrats episode. The seeds in strawberries repulsed me. The giant seed at the center of peaches grossed me out so I wouldn’t eat them. I mean the list just goes on. So here’s my shameful secret: I’m still grossed out by all of this. All that’s really changed is that I’ll eat watermelon, strawberries, raspberries and mango – sometimes. But not often enough.
My goal this month is to learn to love fruit again. All kinds. I want to eat a piece every day, rediscover my old favorites, try some new ones and really gain an appreciation for whole fruit foods. Every week I’ll update you on what I ate that week and what new fruit I tried. I’m also going to be reading two books and watching one documentary and I’ll fill you in on good tidbits from all three. The documentary is called Fruit Hunters and you can watch it for free on YouTube. The two books are Banana by Dan Koeppel a book on the history of our most consumed fruit and The Fruit Hunters by Adam Gollner – the book based on the documentary.
I think you should join me too. It’s good for you. Unless you are following a ketogenic diet (WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO YOURSELF PLEASE STOP, IT IS SO BAD AND YOU ARE STARVING YOUR BRAIN OF CARBS AND ROBBING YOURSELF OF HAPPINESS) or have some sort of intolerance, there really is no reason to limit the amount of fruit you eat.