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News Story
Updated: 06/18/2014 12:21:57AM

Savor summer’s tropical fruits

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\ARCADIAN PHOTO BY AL SMOKE

Summer is the peak of tropical fruit season. You’ll find a wide variety of tropical fruits in season now. Clockwise from top: tuna cactus, guava, carambola, mango, mamay sapote and papaya.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY AL SMOKE

Some tropical fruits are best just eaten right out of the shell. Mamey has a custard-like consistency and a unique flavor. Tuna cactus has a sweet strawberry-watermelon flavor. Hold tuna cactus with a napkin to avoid the tiny irritating hairs that may remain even after the fruit is washed.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY AL SMOKE

Local produce stands feature a wide selection of tropical fruit now. Ovoid fruits such as mamay, papaya, tuna cactus and avocados should be firm when you purchase them. Let them sit at room temperature until flesh yields slightly when pressed. Use at once, or refrigerate for a day or two. Most tropical fruits don’t store well, but many can be frozen.

ARCADIAN PHOTO BY AL SMOKE

Enjoy Florida’s summer tropical fruits while they are in season. The best way to savor tropical fruit is simply as fresh fruit. Slice and combine 3 or more fruits for a fresh fruit salad. Papaya, mango, guava and carambola make a pretty salad. Why add sugar to something that is naturally sweet?

By Karen Smoke

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Summer is the height of the tropical fruit season. Many tropical fruits are in season for only a short period. Tropical fruits can’t be stored for long periods like temperate fruits such as apples. Many don’t hold up to refrigeration and long transportation periods.

K & J Produce, located just east of Sweetbay at 2228 N.E. State Road 70, has a wide selection of ordinary and unusual and the selection changes daily. Kenny searches for local and Florida-grown produce. He’ll even barter for your fruit — minimum quantity a couple 5-gallon pails. Recently we picked up mamey sapote grown on Pine Island, tuna cactus from a farm down on State Road 31, guavas from Homestead, and carambola from right in Arcadia. A Florida mango and a papaya from Belize added to the ingredients for a tropical fruit salad.

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