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.
dragon fruit, strawberry pear, pitahaya
dragon fruit
This comes from a cactus native to Central and South America, and has a mild flavor. To eat it, either peel it or cut it in half and scoop out the white, polka-dotted pulp with a spoon. Select dragon fruit by pressing it gently. It should give just a little.
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dried apple
dried apple
These are popular additions to trail mixes. They're often treated with sulfur to improve their color and shelf life.
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dried apricot
dried apricot
Turkish dried apricots are lighter in color and milder in flavor than other varieties. They're often treated with sulfur to improve their color and shelf life.
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dried apricot paste, ameerdine, qamar el-deen
dried apricot paste
People in the Middle East usually make a drink out of this fruit leather by putting it into boiling water. During Ramadan, it's often served before and after the day-long fast. Look for it in Middle Eastern markets.
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dried banana, dried banana
dried banana
These usually come in two forms: long spears, which are very sweet and best for cooking, and chips, which are fried in oil, crunchy, and best suited for trail mixes.
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dried cantaloupe
dried cantaloupe
These are very sweet and have an intense cantaloupe flavor.
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dried carrots, dried grated carrots
dried carrots
These are used to make muffins and cakes.
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dried cherry
dried cherry
These are large and sweet, and they can serve as a refreshing alternative to raisins in many recipes.
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dried citrus peel, dried fruit peel
dried citrus peel
Begin with orange, lemon, tangerine, or grapefruit peels, scrape off and discard as much of the bitter white pith as possible, and dry what's left in the sun until hard
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dried cranberries, Craisins®
dried cranberries
With their flashy color and tangy flavor, dried cranberries are a good alternative to raisins in many recipes. Craisins is a well-known brand.
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dried eggplant
dried eggplant
Look for these in Middle Eastern markets.
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dried fig, black mission fig, Calimyrna fig, green fig
dried fig
These are a great source of fiber and calcium. Varieties include the Black Mission fig, which is a good choice for eating out of hand, and the Calimyrna = Turkish = Smyrna fig, which is best for cooking. If your figs become too dry, you can rehydrate them with water. Don't eat the stems.
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Dried Fruit
Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is a terrific snack, but cooks also use it in everything from muffins to stews. Drying has the obvious advantage of letting us enjoy our favorite fruit when it's out of season, but it also serves to concentrate the fruit's flavor and sugar. Since high concentrations of sugar ward off bacteria, dried fruit can last up to a year without refrigeration. If you live in a hot, dry climate, you can dry fruit just by leaving it out in the sun for a few days. If not, you can use an oven or dehydrator. Sulfur dioxide is sometimes added to the fruit to improve its shelf life and color. If you're allergic to it, you can usually find unsulfured dried fruit at health food stores. In a pinch, you can remove some of the sulfur by boiling treated dried fruit for a minute or so, then draining off the liquid.
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dried mango
dried mango
These are sometimes coated with sugar.
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dried mulberries, toot
dried mulberries
These are the size of large raisins, and they taste like very dry figs. Look for them in Middle Eastern markets.
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dried nectarines
dried nectarines
These are similar to dried peaches, but often a bit more expensive. They're often treated with sulfur.
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dried papaya
dried papaya
These are sometimes coated with sugar.
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dried peach
dried peach
These are similar to dried apricots, only larger and milder. They're often treated with sulfur.
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dried pear
dried pear
These don't have the cloying sweetness of some dried fruits. They're often gassed with sulfur dioxide in the drying process in order to improve their color and shelf life.
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dried persimmon
dried persimmon
These often have a white, sugary residue, which is edible.
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dried pineapple
dried pineapple
These are sometimes coated with sugar.
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dried strawberries
dried strawberries
These are sweet and chewy, and they're great in trail mixes or granola.
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durian, stinky fruit
durian
The weird and smelly durian has attracted a cult-like following. It's called the King of Fruits by aficionados in Southeast Asia, but Westerners usually don't care much for its mild oniony flavor. Once cut open, the durian eventually gives off such a strong and foul odor that it's banned on Singaporean subways. Look for it in Asian markets. The boiled seeds of the durian are called betons.
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Eggplants, aubergine, berenjena, brinjal, egg apple, garden egg, Guinea squash
Eggplants
This is a spongy, mild-tasting vegetable that's meaty yet low in calories. It's never eaten raw, but it can be baked, grilled, or sautéed. The best eggplants are shiny, firm (but not too hard), and heavy for their size, with bright green stems and unbroken skin. Smaller eggplants tend to have fewer bitter seeds, as do "male" ones with round scars at their blossom (non-stem) end. (The scars on "female" eggplants look like dashes.) Freshness is important, so don't store eggplants for very long.
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elderberry
elderberry
These are too tart for most people to eat out of hand, but they make terrific preserves and wine.
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Elstar apple
Elstar apple
This firm apple is especially good for making applesauce.
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empeltre olive
empeltre olives
These Spanish black olives are soaked in sherry.
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Empire apple
Empire apple
This is a Red Delicious-McIntosh cross that's great for baking or eating out of hand.
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English cucumber, burpless cucumber, English cucumber, European cucumber
English cucumber
This foot-long slicing cucumber is pricier and less flavorful than other varieties, but it has less conspicuous seeds, a thinner skin, and a plastic wrapper--instead of a wax coating--to improve shelf life. All of this saves preparation time, since there's no need to peel or seed the cucumber before slicing it. This is a good variety if you focused on looks--you can cut it into round, green trimmed slices.
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feijoa, feijoda, pineapple guava
feijoa
To eat feijoas, just cut them in half and scoop out the pulp with a spoon. They also make terrific preserves and syrups. Look for them in large supermarkets. If they're hard when you buy them, allow them to ripen at room temperature until they give a bit when you squeeze them, then store them in the refrigerator.
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fig, black Mission fig, Calimyrna, Kadota, Mission fig, Smyrna
fig
Varieties include Calimyrna = Smyrna and Kadota, both with green skin and pinkish-white flesh, and the most popular variety, and the Mission fig = black Mission fig, with dark purple skin and pink flesh. Dried figs are not good substitutes for fresh.
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flame seedless grapes
flame seedless grapes
These are common and popular red seedless grapes.
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fraises des bois, alpine strawberries, Carpathian strawberries
fraises des bois
These small, wild strawberries are either white or red, and have a very intense flavor.
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Fresno pepper, Fresno chile pepper, Fresno chili pepper
Fresno pepper
These are similar to jalapeno peppers, but with thinner walls. They're great in salsas. Green Fresnos are available in the summer. the hotter red ones come out in the fall.
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Fuerte avocado, Florida avocado
Fuerte avocado
This is in season from late fall through spring. It's not quite as buttery as the Hass avocado, but its flavor is excellent.
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Fuji apple
Fuji apple
This variety is good for eating out of hand, or for making applesauce or pies.
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fuzzy melon, Chi qua, fuzzy gourd, hairy cucumber, hairy melon, moqua, wax gourd
fuzzy melon
This sweet and mild squash has a fuzzy feel to it.
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Gaeta olive, Gyeta olive
Gaeta olives
These are small, purple Italian olives are either dry-cured (making them black and wrinkled) or brine-cured (making them dark purple and smooth-skinned).
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Gala apple
Gala apple
This apple is outstanding for eating out of hand or for baking or making applesauce.
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Galia melon, sarda
Galia melon
This sweet, juicy melon is a honeydew-cantaloupe cross. Its biggest drawback is its relatively high price.
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garden cucumber, field-grown cucumbers, market cucumber, outdoor cucumber
garden cucumber
You can find these throughout the year at all but the most poorly stocked markets. The ones you find in supermarkets are usually waxed to hold in moisture and improve shelf-life--these should be peeled or at least scrubbed well before serving. Unwaxed cucumbers don't need to be peeled, but better cooks often do so since the peels tend to be thick and bitter. It's also a good idea to remove the seeds from these kinds of cucumbers; just cut them in half lengthwise and scrape them out. Select cukes that are firm, dark green, and rounded at the tips.
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garden eggs
garden eggs
These are tiny eggplants, the size of an egg or smaller. Their color ranges from white to greenish-yellow.
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gherkin cucumber
gherkin cucumber
These small, bumpy greed cucumbers are used to make Gherkin pickles or, if pickled while still small, cornichon pickles.
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ginger jam
ginger jam
Look for this in Asian grocery stores.
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glace cherries, glacé cherries
glace cherries
red, green and yellow versions.
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globe squash, Ronde de Nice
globe squash
You can stuff these and bake them, or slice and sauté them.
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