Food | How exotic is your holiday fruit?
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Instead of relying on the pomegranate,why not usher in the new year with one of these new, uber-exotic natural delicacies? That is, if you can find them!
The ackee is native to tropical West Africa and was imported to Jamaica in 1778, where it now holds the rank of national fruit. A relative of the lychee, the ackee has soft white fruit that grows around three large, dark seeds. Ackees are generally cooked and canned before being sold, with good reason: Eating an unripe ackee can cause the bluntly named Jamaican vomiting sickness.
Kiwano, also known as the horned melon, hedged gourd, blowfish fruit, or the African horned cucumber, is native to Africa but now also grows in California, Chile and New Zealand. Its flesh is bright green and jelly-like, and tastes like a cucumber with a hint of citrus. The peel can also be eaten and is rich in Vitamin C and fiber. Kiwanos can be eaten raw, cooked or juiced and mixed into lemonade.
The jabuticaba tree is striking, its fruit growing in clusters up and down its trunk. It is native to southeastern Brazil, and is a cultural icon there. The fruit is usually eaten fresh, but because it starts to ferment soon after being picked, is also widely used in jams, wines and liqueurs. The jabuticaba gained scant popularity outside Brazil, as its very brief shelf life makes it nearly impossible to export. So, good luck finding one outside Sao Paolo.
Squared watermelon: Not only do they exist, you can grow them in your backyard. But they may not count as a new fruit, because they are really just regular watermelons grown in square-shaped glass boxes. An enterprising Japanese farmer developed them about 20 years ago to make the melons easier to store. Today, they are fashionable among the elite of Tokyo and Osaka, costing about 10,000 yen (about $83), which would buy about 16 round watermelons. — jns.org
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