Considering our obsession with berries, it's hard to believe that there are still quite a few out there that I've never tried. This week, I had my first encounter with a gooseberry: a fruit smaller than a blueberry with a round-meets-oblong shape (similar to that of a green grape) and a fuzzy, veiny, green apple-colored exterior. I couldn't ignore my intrigue and impulsively picked up a carton to experiment with at home. My initial observations of the fruit, when you keep reading.
A type of prickly pear . . .
One of the many perks of Summer travel season is the opportunity to discover new, unknown foods — and often included in that category are undiscovered fruits and vegetables. Sadly, it's not in my budget to be headed anywhere abroad this year, but I've still had a chance to sample plenty of exotic fruits stateside. After I couldn't stop raving about its feijoas, specialty produce purveyor Frieda's overzealously sent over what seemed like an entire crate of rambutans. I'd only seen pictures of them before, and staring the prickly, dark-pink creatures in the face sent chills down my spine. How did I tackle my initial fear? To find out, read on.
When Frieda's got wind of how much I loved their feijoas, they sent me a giant box of rambutans. I'm very quick to embrace exotic new fruit, but I'm not going to lie: I'd never tried rambutans before or even seen them in the flesh, and they looked kind of scary.
After mustering up the courage to tackle one, I realized they're a lot like lychees, only covered with a layer of spiky red hair. Break them open and you're privy to an opalescent jewel of a fruit, the same milkiness and size of a lychee, with a woody pit on the inside. I love lychee martinis so much that I couldn't resist making the same merry with rambutans.
Inspired by last week's Scarlet Harlot, I used the same muddling method to bring out the fresh juice in these redheaded berries. Do the same when you read on.
I love discovering lesser-known fruits — my recent finds include white sapotes and tayberries — so I couldn't say no when specialty produce company Frieda's offered to send me an exotic fruit called the feijoa. Pronounced "fe-ho-a," feijoas (also known as pineapple guavas or guavasteens) originated in South America and are related to — you guessed it — the guava. Learn more about them when you keep reading.
On a trip to the extensive Berkeley Bowl supermarket, I came across a variety of fruit I'd never seen before, white sapote. A store grocer stocking produce nearby was so convinced I'd love this mystery fruit that he cut one open on the spot for me to try. After I commented that it was remarkably sweet, he told me that the fruit I'd sampled wasn't even fully ripe yet. At $4 a pop, it was definitely pricey, but he was right: I loved it so much that I wound up bringing some home with me. To learn more about this fruit and how it tastes, read more