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Florida's Funky Fruit

Jennifer Pfaff

Sapodilla - tree-born fruit - tastes like a pear - Rare Fruit Council InternationalSapodilla

What it is: A fruit high in fiber and iron (which is unusual for fruit) with potato-like skin and sap that was used in original chewing gum.
Where it’s found: On a noninvasive, low-maintenance tree that can grow to 80 feet tall (but recommended pruning to 12-15 feet).
Flavor profile: Like a pear steeped in brown sugar.
How to eat it: Fresh, with the skin on (scrub before consuming), picked from the tree before it gets soft. It’s also delicious in smoothies and ice cream.

 

Peanut Butter Fruit - Palm Beach Chapter of the Rare Fruit Council InternationalPeanut Butter Fruit

What it is: A cold-sensitive red berry.
Where it’s found: On a large shrub.
Flavor profile: Has an essence of peanut butter—which makes it perfect for anyone allergic to the actual spread.
How to eat it: Fresh. There’s not a lot of meat on the seed, so pop a few in your mouth and enjoy.

 

Black Sapote - chocolate flavored fruit -  Rare Fruit Council InternationalBlack Sapote

What it is: A nutritious fruit with soft black flesh.
Where it’s found: On an evergreen tree.
Flavor profile: Although it’s no Godiva, it’s certainly reminiscent of chocolate.
How to eat it: Use it in smoothies, brownies or pies, or mix one with a tub of Cool Whip for instant chocolate mousse.

 

Cecropia - fig like fruit -  Rare Fruit Council InternationalCecropia

What it is: A cylindrical hanging fruit that almost looks like chicken feet.
Where it’s found: On a tree known for its beautiful, showy leaves.
Flavor profile: Mild, similar to a fig.
How to eat it: Fresh, like a carrot.

 

Jaboticaba - Brazilian tree - Rare Fruit Council InternationalJaboticaba

What it is: A black-skinned fruit reminiscent of a large grape with—rumor has it—higher antioxidant levels than the acai berry.
Where it’s found: On the bark and branches of a slow-growing Brazilian tree.
Flavor profile: Tangy.
How to eat it: Bite through the tough skin and enjoy raw, or use it to make wine and jams.

 

 

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