A tropical fruit, oval in shape, which has a very juicy, sweet flavored, orange flesh. The skin of the mango is yellowish with an orange tinge when ripe. To check for ripeness, press the fruit lightly with a fingertip, fruit should yield slightly to the pressure. To ripen firm mangoes, place fruit in an open plastic or paper bag and let them set at room temperature. Ripening may take up to a week. Once ripened, store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Mangos are available fresh (ripe, green, as a nectar, puree, or pulp), dried (pieces, strips and chunks of green mango), or ground into a powder. Fresh green mangos are often used in Asian, Indian and Mexican food dishes that may include meat where the fruit becomes a tenderizer or lentils where it enhances the dish with a somewhat spicy or tart flavor. Dried green mango, which needs to be rehydrated in warm water for several hours before using, is commonly used as a seasoning in India recipes where it is known as Amchur or various other similar names such as Amchoor or Amchor.
To cut fresh mango, cut lengthwise along the side of the mango pit, cutting off its flesh from one side. Repeat the same process on the other side and then cut the ends of the pit. Cut the remaining flesh from the pit. Using a small sharp knife peel the skin from the flesh. If you are going to dice or cube the slices, cut the slices, diced or cubed, before removing the skin but do not cut through it. Then turn skin inside out and slice the pieces away from the skin.
A tropical fruit that has a yellow flesh and a prickly peel that has a diamond shaped pattern to it. When the Pineapple is ripe, it has a very distinct sweet aroma and its flesh is very juicy with a sweet, mildly acidic flavor. A Pineapple can weigh as much as 20 pounds but most market Pineapples weigh 3 to 9 pounds. They are available fresh, canned or dried. Dried Pineapple is available in rings or chunks and is coated with sugar at times.
To peel a Pineapple, cut off the crown and the base, set upright and then with a sharp knife trim off the skin in strips, cutting from top to bottom. Remove any remaining brown eyes by cutting out with a knife. To cut Pineapple in half, use a sharp knife and cut from the top down to the bottom, through the middle. To quarter, cut each half in the same manner. Remove the core from each section and cut crosswise to slice into pieces. For round slices, cut the peeled Pineapple crosswise into slices and then remove the fibrous center core by cutting it out with a knife.
In addition to the larger, more traditional Pineapple, a smaller version is grown that only reaches a height of 5 to 6 inches when mature. Known as a mini or baby pineapple, this fruit is grown for use as smaller version that provides the same sweet flavor of the standard Pineapple but with an edible core, unlike the the larger version.
The most common variety of banana used in baking, fruit salads, fruit compotes, and to complement foods. The outer skin is green when sold in food markets and turns yellow when it ripens. When overripe, the skin will turn black and the flesh becomes mushy. Bananas ripen naturally without being refrigerated, however by placing them in a refrigerator, the skin darkens quicker but they are kept from becoming soft and mushy for a longer period of time.
An orange-fleshed tropical fruit that is pear-shaped with a thin skin that is greenish to yellowish in color, depending on its ripeness. Its flesh has a melon-like texture with a mildly sweet taste. Smaller papayas are generally five to six inches long and weigh approximately one pound, while the larger varieties can be grown up to 10 pounds or more. Dried papaya is available in slices and makes a sweet snack. The dried slices are generally treated with sulfur dioxide to help retain their color. Fresh papaya is generally cut in half, seeds removed, peeled and then sliced. Unpeeled halves are sometimes eaten with a spoon, filled with sherbet or ice cream, or filled with salad. The seeds are also edible.
A round to pear-shaped fruit with a dark green skin harvested from trees that are grown in semi-tropical regions, such as Africa, Australia, Caribbean, Indonesia, Israel, Peru, Spain, South America, and the U.S. Containing up to 30 grams of fat that is high in monounsaturates, the flesh of the avocado provides a rich buttery flavor when eaten fresh or added as an ingredient to a variety of foods. Generally pale yellow to green in color, the flesh color varies with the variety of the avocado, ranging from yellowish green to purple or black in color. Once opened fully, the avocado flesh exposes a large round pit that is easily removed from the center of this fruit.Tropical Fruit