Fruit Category

Fruit
Includes berries, citrus fruit, melons, tropical fruit, and tomatoes
Fruits are the matured ovaries of plants, containing the seeds for the next generation of plants. Many plants cunningly make their fruits sweet, the better to attract animals like us to eat them and disperse the seeds. Fruits are often delicious enough to eat out of hand, but they can also be made into tarts, compotes, shakes, juices, preserves, liqueurs, and many other things.
shishito chili, shishito chile
shishito chili
This Japanese chile is very sweet and mild with a grassy flavor. It's about two inches long.
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Sicilian eggplants, Sicilian zebra eggplant
Sicilian eggplants
These are large with purple stripes. They have thin skins and a subtle flavor.
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Sicilian olive
Sicilian olive
These are large, green, sour olives that are usually marinated with herbs. They sometimes pitted and stuffed with pimento, garlic, or jalapeño pepper.
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Sierra Beauty apple
Sierra Beauty apple
This is a juicy, crisp and somewhat tart apple. It doesn't hold its shape well when cooked, but it's great for eating out of hand.
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slicing tomato, beefstake tomato, globe tomato, oxheart tomato
slicing tomato
These large tomatoes are best for sandwiches and grilling. Varieties include the beefstake tomato and oxheart tomato. The red varieties tend to be more acidic than the yellow.
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soncoya
Soncoya is a somewhat obscure tropical fruit in the Annona genus. It is similar to the soursop and ilama.
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sour cherry, pie cherry, red cherry, tart cherry
sour cherry
While sweet cherries are best for eating out of hand, knowing cooks turn to sour cherries for pie fillings, sauces, soups, and jams. Popular varieties include the Montmorency, Morello, and Early Richmond. Sour cherries don't transport well, so they're difficult to find fresh. Canned sour cherries, though, are almost as good. If you want, boost their flavor a bit by adding one tablespoon of Kirschwasser per cup.
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sour prunes
sour prunes
Look for these in Middle Eastern markets.
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soursop
soursop
This large, dark green fruit is covered with soft prickles. The pulp has a slightly acidic, tropical flavor. Don't eat the seeds or peel.
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Southern rose apple
Southern rose apple
This is a good apple for eating out of hand.
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spaghetti squash, calabash, vegetable spaghetti
spaghetti squash
After it's cooked, you can dig a fork into the flesh of a spaghetti squash and pull out long yellow strands that resemble spaghetti. Though they taste like squash, the "noodles" can serve as a low-calorie substitute for pasta.
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Spanish melon, melon Piel de Sapo, Elche honeydew, Green Tendral melon
Spanish melon
These are delicious melons, but it's hard to know when they're fully ripe. Unlike most other melons, a ripe Spanish melon will have a green rind and be firm at the blossom end.
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Spartan apple
Spartan apple
This is a cross between the McIntosh and Pippin apples. It's a good all-purpose apple.
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star apple, caimito
star apple
These are similar to star fruit, only with purple skins.
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star fruit, carambola, Chinese star fruit, five corners, five-angled fruit
star fruit
Star fruit have a clean, crisp texture, and they make terrific star-shaped garnishes when sliced. They're also easy to use, since they don't need to be peeled or seeded, and they're slow to discolor. Some varieties are sweet, some are sour. Try to avoid ones that have brown spots or streaks.
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Stone Fruit, drupes, summer fruit
Stone Fruit
The family of stone fruits includes cherries, plums, apricots, nectarines, and peaches. They all arrive in the summer, though you can sometimes find pricey imports during the off-season. Stone fruits don't become sweeter after they're picked, but growers often harvest them while they're still a bit underripe so that they won't bruise during transit. At the market, select specimens that have the color, if not the softness, of fully ripened fruit, then take them home and let them soften at room temperature for a few days.
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strawberry
strawberry
Strawberries aren't as fragile as other berries, so they don't need the special handling that makes most berries so expensive. The best time to buy them is in the spring, but you can find them throughout the year, though the price might be higher and the quality lower. Select berries that have fully ripened to a dark red.
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sukkary date, royal dates, kurma sukari
sukkary dates
Sukkary dates are golden yellow, dry, soft and sweet. They are commonly grown in Saudi Arabia.
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summer squash
summer squash
Unlike winter squash, summer squash can be eaten rind, seeds, and all. The different varieties vary in size, shape, and color, but they can be used interchangeably in recipes. Select summer squash that are small and firm.
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sun-dried tomatoes, dried tomatoes
sun-dried tomatoes
Dried tomatoes have a richer, more concentrated flavor than ordinary tomatoes. They're great for snacking, or tossing in salads or sauces or on pizzas. Dried tomatoes usually come either dry or packed in oil. If they're hard and dry, steep them in boiling water for about five minutes before using them.
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Sundowner apple
Sundowner apple
Like the Pink Lady apple, this is a a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Lady Williams. It's very good for eating out of hand.
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sweet cherry, Bing cherries
sweet cherry
These appear in the summer, with the popular and exquisite Bing cherries arriving in June and July. Other varieties have the virtue of arriving before or after the Bings, but they're often not nearly as tasty. Select cherries that are large, deeply colored, and firm.
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sweet dumpling squash
sweet dumpling squash
Sweet dumpling squash are fairly small, so you can cut them in half, bake them, and serve each half as an individual portion. The flesh is sweeter and drier than that of other winter squash, and the peel is soft enough to be eaten.
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sweet gooseberry
sweet gooseberry
These are similar to gooseberries, but they have a red blush and are much sweeter.
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sweetsop, sugar apple
sweetsop
This sweet tropical fruit looks a bit like a small cherimoya. It's great for eating of hand or for making shakes. It's available in the fall, but it's hard to find outside of Florida.
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tamarillo, tomate de árbol, tree tomato
tamarillo
This fruit is notable more for its ravishing beauty than its flavor. It's about the size of a oblong plum, with a smooth peel that can be purple, red, orange, or yellow, with the yellow variety tending to be a bit sweeter. Slicing it in half reveals black or orange flesh (the darker the peel, the darker the flesh) surrounding a nest of seeds. It's more acidic than sweet, and tastes a bit like a tomato. It's best if it's peeled and cooked before eating.
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tamarind, asam jawa, Indian date
tamarind
The pulp from the tamarind pod is used as a souring agent in Latin America, India, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. To extract the pulp, shell the pods, put them in a saucepan, then add enough water to completely cover the pulp. Simmer for about half an hour, then strain out and discard the seeds. It's a nuisance to do this, so many cooks simply buy the extracted pulp in bricks, jars, cans, powders, or bottles. There's also a sweet tamarind, which looks like the sour variety and is used primarily to make drinks.
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tangelo
tangelo
There are several different varieties of tangelos, each a cross between a tangerine and another citrus fruit. The Mineola, a tangerine-grapefruit cross, is especially popular. Look for them in markets from late fall through winter.
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tapereba
tapereba
Tapereba is the yellow fruit of the mombin tree. The fruit is eaten fresh or made into juice.
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tatume squash, tatuma squash
tatume squash
This Mexican variety looks like a pale zucchini, but it's a tad sweeter.
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teardrop tomato, pear tomato, poire-joli
teardrop tomato
Like cherry tomatoes, these are great in salads and on crudité platters.
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tepin dried, bird’s eye, chiltecpin, chiltepin, chiltpin, Indian pepper, tepín
tepin dried
These look a bit like large dried cranberries. They're also sold fresh. They are very hot.
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Thai chili pepper - fresh, Thai chile pepper, bird pepper, prik chi fa
Thai chili pepper - fresh
These are extremely hot.
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