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.
red currant
red currant
With their brilliant coloring, red currants make terrific garnishes. They're also pleasantly tart, and often used to make jellies, syrups, and wine. Fresh ones are available in some markets during the summer, but frozen currants are acceptable substitutes for fresh in many recipes.
Learn more
red currant jelly
red currant jelly
Red currant jelly is tart and often served with lamb and venison.
Learn more
red delicious apple
red delicious apple
These sweet, soft apples are good for eating out of hand, but don't bake them or use them in pies. Avoid buying them in the summer; they sometimes get mushy.
Learn more
red globe grapes
red globe grapes
These are large red seeded grapes.
Learn more
Reed avocado
Reed avocado
This large, roundish avocado slips easily from the peel, and has excellent flavor and texture. It will stay firm even when ripe, so it's not a good choice if you're making guacamole.
Learn more
Rhode Island Greening
Rhode Island greening
These are especially good for baking.
Learn more
rocotillo pepper
This is a small, sweet, mild pepper that looks like someone stepped on it. It's fruity-tasting like a habanero, only not nearly as hot.
Learn more
rocoto chili, rocoto chile
rocoto chili
These very hot chiles look like tiny bell peppers and have black seeds. They have an interesting fruity flavor.
Learn more
Rome apple, Gillett's seedling, red rome, Rome Beauty apple
Rome apple
These are best used for baking and for making applesauce. They don't work well in pies.
Learn more
Rosa Bianca eggplant
Rosa Bianca eggplant
This Italian heirloom eggplant has sweet, mild flesh and a creamy texture. They're hard to find, but knowing cooks scoop them up whenever they're in season.
Learn more
rose apple
rose apple
These rose or green fruits are pear-shaped and are said to taste like rose water. The seeds are poisonous.
Learn more
rosella
rosella
This is grown in Africa.
Learn more
royal olive, Greek royal olive, Royal Victoria olive, Victoria olive
royal olives
This is large brown Greek olive is brine-cured.
Learn more
salak
salak
These are about the size of a plum and are covered with brown scales.
Learn more
Santa Claus melon, Christmas melon, Piel de Sapo
Santa Claus melon
This is distinguished mostly by its long shelf life--you can store an uncut Santa Claus melon for several months. They have thick rinds, so don't bother smelling them for ripeness--they don't give off much of an aroma.
Learn more
sapodilla, naseberry
sapodilla
This fruit looks like a bald, brown kiwi fruit.
Learn more
sapote, black sapote, Mexican custard apple, sapota
sapote
This is a family of sweet, tropical fruits. Varieties include the black sapote = chocolate pudding fruit, the brown-skinned, pink-fleshed mamey sapote = mammee = mamey, and the white sapote = zapote blanco.
Learn more
sauce tomato, Italian plum tomato, Italian tomato, paste tomato, plum tomato
sauce tomato
This tomato isn't as juicy as other tomatoes, which gives it a more concentrated flavor that works well in sauces and stews. These are also the best tomatoes for drying. You may want to remove the bitter seeds before cooking these tomatoes, but save the gel that surrounds the seeds--it's rich in flavor. Varieties include the roma tomato = Italian tomato = Italian plum tomato and saladette tomato. Sauce tomatoes are most flavorful in the summer. During the rest of the year, many cooks prefer canned tomatoes over the bland and mealy fresh tomatoes they usually find in markets.
Learn more
scallopini
scallopini
This is like a pattypan squash, only it's greener and rounder.
Learn more
Scotch bonnet chili, Scotch bonnet chile
Scotch bonnet chili
This extremely hot pepper is almost indistinguishable from the habanero, except that it's a bit smaller and has a fruitier flavor. It's popular in the Caribbean.
Learn more
Seckel pear, sugar pear
Seckel pear
These are small pears with red and green skins. They're very sweet and juicy and they'd be absolutely perfect if only the skins weren't a bit too thick.
Learn more
Serrano pepper
Serrano pepper
These have thin walls, so they don't need to be charred, steamed, and peeled before using. They are moderately hot. When dried, this is called a chile seco.
Learn more
Sevillano olive, Queen olive
Sevillano olive
This is a large, green, brine-cured olive.
Learn more
Seville orange, bigarade orange, bitter orange, marmalade orange, sour orange
Seville orange
These are too bitter to eat out of hand, but they make a wonderful orange marmalade and the sour juice is perfect for certain mixed drinks.
Learn more
Sharlyn melon, ananas melon, pineapple melon
Sharlyn melon
When ripe, this has an orange background with green netting. It's very perishable, so don't wait more than two days after getting it home to eat it.
Learn more
shishito chili, shishito chile
shishito chili
This Japanese chile is very sweet and mild with a grassy flavor. It's about two inches long.
Learn more
Sicilian eggplants, Sicilian zebra eggplant
Sicilian eggplants
These are large with purple stripes. They have thin skins and a subtle flavor.
Learn more
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.
Learn more
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.
Learn more
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.
Learn more
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.
Learn more
sour prunes
sour prunes
Look for these in Middle Eastern markets.
Learn more
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.
Learn more
Southern rose apple
Southern rose apple
This is a good apple for eating out of hand.
Learn more
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.
Learn more
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.
Learn more
Spartan apple
Spartan apple
This is a cross between the McIntosh and Pippin apples. It's a good all-purpose apple.
Learn more
star apple, caimito
star apple
These are similar to star fruit, only with purple skins.
Learn more
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.
Learn more
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.
Learn more
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.
Learn more
sukkary date, royal dates, kurma sukari
sukkary dates
Sukkary dates are golden yellow, dry, soft and sweet. They are commonly grown in Saudi Arabia.
Learn more
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.
Learn more
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.
Learn more