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.
candied ginger
candied ginger
Candied ginger is ginger that is stored in a sugary syrup, but the name is also sometimes used for crystallized ginger, which is ginger that's been cooked in syrup, then dried out and rolled in sugar. The two are often used interchangeably.
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canistel, egg fruit, eggfruit, xiantao
canistel
This is a very sweet fruit, roughly the size of an egg, with a shell the color of an egg yolk.
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cantaloupe, muskmelon, netted melon, nutmeg melon, rockmelon
cantaloupe
These are popular because they're easy to select and very sweet. Ripe cantaloupes have dull yellow backgrounds with raised netting. Avoid those with protruding stems, or tears in the rind at the stem end--it's a tell-tale sign that the melon was picked too soon. When ripe melons are picked, the stem falls off easily, leaving a small, clean depression. After checking the stem end, flip the melon over and check the blossom end. It should be fragrant and yield a bit when pressed. Cantaloupes are cheapest in the summer.
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Cape gooseberry, alkekengi, Chinese lantern, golden berry, golden gooseberry
Cape gooseberry
Like its relative the tomatillo, the Cape gooseberry is covered with a papery husk. The fruit inside looks a bit like a yellow cherry, and tastes like a sweet tomato. You can eat Cape gooseberries whole, minus the husk, or use them to make very tasty preserves. They're hard to find in the United States; your best bet is a specialty produce market in the spring.
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carissa, natal plum
carissa
You won't find these in markets, but these tart plums are great for making preserves.
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casaba melon
casaba melon
These aren't as flavorful as other melons, but they have a fairly long shelf life. Since they have thick rinds, it's useless to smell them as a test for ripeness. Look instead at the color (it should be bright yellow), and then check to see if the blossom end yields to gentle pressure.
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cascabel pepper - dried, bola chile, chile bola, rattle chile, cascabel chile
cascabel pepper - dried
These are nicknamed rattle chiles because the seeds rattle when you shake them. They're a rich brown color and moderately hot.
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cashew apple, caju, cajueiro, cashew fruit, marañon, merey
cashew apple
This Brazilian fruit looks like a squishy apple with an odd-looking stem growing out of it. According to botanists, though, the grayish "stem" is actually the fruit, and it encloses the kidney-shaped cashew nut that we're familiar with. The cashew apple is the yellowish-orange part that's attached to the fruit. This fruit is juicy but somewhat astringent due to a high concentration of tannin. Be careful of the grayish substance that encloses the nut. It contains toxic oils.
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Catarina chili dried, Catarina pepper, chile cora, ladybug chile
Catarina chili dried
This medium-hot Mexican chili is used to make tamales, marinades, stews and soups. It's got a fruity flavor with just a hint of tobacco.
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cayenne pepper - fresh, bird pepper, finger chili, ginnie pepper
cayenne pepper - fresh
These are often used in Cajun recipes. Green cayennes appear in the summer, while hotter red cayennes come out in the fall. They are very hot.
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cayenne pepper dried, Ginnie pepper
cayenne pepper dried
These are very hot, bright red chilies. Recipes that call for cayenne pepper are likely referring to a ground powder that goes by the same name, or possibly to the fresh version of the pepper.
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Cerignola olive, Bella di Cerignola
Cerignola olives
These sweet Italian olives are large enough to stuff. Black Cerignolas are softer than green Cerignolas.
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Charantais melon, French Charantais melon
Charantais melon
This is reputed to be one of the best melon varieties of all.
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chayote, chocho, cho-cho, choko, christophene, christophine, chuchu
chayote
This mild-flavored squash looks like a wrinkled, pale green pear. It needs to be cooked before serving, and for a longer time than other summer squash. You should peel a chayote before cooking it, but don't take the seed out--it's edible and tasty. Cooked chayotes make good low-fat substitutes for avocados.
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cherimoya, chirimoya, custard apple, pawpaw
cherimoya
This South American tropical fruit is shaped like a pine cone and has a gray-green, scaly skin. The soft white pulp inside has large black (inedible) seeds and tastes like a creamy blend of tropical flavors. Hard cherimoyas should be stored at room temperature until they give a little when squeezed, then they should be refrigerated until they're ready to serve.
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cherry
cherry
There are three main categories of cherries: sweet cherries, which are for eating out of hand, sour cherries, which are best suited for making pies, preserves, and sauces, and tart chokecherries.
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cherry pepper, cherry bell pepper, bird cherry pepper, Creole cherry pepper
cherry pepper
Along with pepperoncini, this is a good pickling pepper. They are moderately hot, and range in color from orange to bright red.
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cherry tomato
cherry tomato
These are less than an inch in diameter, perfect for adding to salads or crudité platters, or grilling on skewers. There are both red and yellow varieties.
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chilaca pepper, chile chilaca
chilaca pepper
When dried, a chilaca pepper is called a pasilla chile. They are mild.
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Chilcostle chili, chile chilcosle
Chilcostle chili
This hard-to-find and moderately hot Mexican chili is used in soups, stews, tamales, and mole sauces. It imparts a yellowish color to dishes.
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chile de árbol dried, arbol chile, red chile, rat's tail chili
chile de árbol dried
Unlike many chilies, these remain bright red even after drying, so they're a favorite for making chili wreaths. They're very hot and somewhat acidic. Don't confuse the dried version with the fresh or powdered versions, which go by the same name.
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Chilhuacle negro chile
Chilhuacle negro chile
This excellent Mexican chili is loaded with flavor but hard to find. It's used to make mole negro and bean dishes. It is moderately hot.
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Chinese date (dried), Chinese jujube (dried), Chinese red date, jujube (dried)
Chinese dates (dried)
When fresh, these fruits are crisp like apples and have a mild, sweet flavor. In the United States, they're most often available dried. Chinese are different than middle eastern palm dates.
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Chinese date (fresh), jujube
Chinese dates (fresh)
These are usually dried, but you can sometimes find fresh dates in late summer and fall. When you get them home, let them ripen on the counter for awhile until they become soft and sweet. Chinese are different than middle eastern palm dates.
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Chinese eggplant, qiézi
Chinese eggplant
Compared to the familiar American eggplant, Chinese eggplants have thinner skins, a more delicate flavor, and not as many of the seeds that tend to make eggplants bitter.
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chipotle negro chile, red-black chipotle, mora, chipotle mora, black chipotle
chipotle negro chile
These are darker, milder versions of the chipotle chile.
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chipotle pepper , chile seco, jalapeno pepper dried, smoked jalapeno pepper
chipotle pepper
These dried and smoked jalapeño peppers lend a wonderful, complex flavor to sauces. They're usually rehydrated and canned in adobo sauce, but you can also buy them dried in cellophane bags. They are medium hot.
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chokecherry, bitter-berry, Virginia bird cherry
chokecherry
These are too tart for most people to eat out of hand, but they make delicious preserves.
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citron, cedro, yuzu
citron
This resembles a large, bumpy lemon. Its thick rind is used to make marmalade, and its zest is a close substitute to lemon zest.
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cloudberry, averin, bakeapple, knotberry, low-bush salmonberry, nordic berry
cloudberry
Both the color and flavor of these Scandinavian berries pale in comparison to the raspberry.
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cloudberry preserves
cloudberry preserves
These preserves are sweet and somewhat mild. Look for them in Scandinavian markets.
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