There are few fruits that come in such a panorama of colors as the juicy sweet tasting plum. The plum season extends from May through October with the Japanese varieties first on the market from May and peaking in August followed by the European varieties in the fall.
Plums belong to the Prunus genus of plants and are relatives of the peach, nectarine and almond. They are all considered “drupes,” fruits that have a hard stone pit surrounding their seeds. When plums are dried, they are known as prunes.
The traditional English Plum Pudding never contained plums, only currents and raisins.
California French is the most common plum variety used for prunes.
The pomegranate is tough and wrinkled, but when cut open it glistens with ruby-like seeds. In the Greek myth of Persephone, the pomegranate is called the fruit of the underworld, yet in the Muslim Quran it is called the fruit of paradise.
Pomegranates are available September through December. Pomegranates contain many seeds surrounded by red pulp, which are both edible. The sponge like membrane is bitter and usually not eaten. Pomegranate juice is used to make grenadine syrup. Excellent source of potassium.
The inner beauty of the pomegranate has inspired design since Biblical times, and there are some who believe it may be the fruit on the tree of life.
Ugli fruit is a close relative of oranges and grapefruit. Ugli fruit has a yellowish, pebbly skin with green blotches that turn orange when the fruit is ripe. Ugli Fruit makes excellent eating and is high in vitamin C, but does look ugli!
Ugli fruit come in different sizes varying in diameter from 4 inches to 6 inches and many varieties of color from green to greenish-yellow, to yellow, and some even orange! They are only harvested and sent to market after they have ripened on the tree, so what is found in the store is always ripe fruit even though the skin may be green. Inside, the flesh is always orange to deep orange, and although the early season fruit in December and January is slightly more tangy than the later season fruit, they are all sweet and juicy!
The fresh flavor of Ugli fruit is delicious in many recipes, adding a subtle tang to both sweet and savoury combinations. Being easy to peel, with generous sized segments, the fruit lends itself to many dishes. It is exceedingly juicy, and has a flavor that does not need added sugar unless you have a very sweet tooth. The simplest way to serve is to cut them in half, loosen the segments, and eat with a spoon — this is a delicious breakfast dish. For lunch or dinner, try sprinkling with sherry or Kirsch, and serving as a first course, or offer as a fruit course for dessert. Ugli fruit are easily peeled and may be eaten like a tangerine, or cut in half and eaten like a grapefruit. The pegs and juice may be used to make many sumptuous sweet and savory recipes.
Native to Africa, the watermelon is one of two broad categories of melon, the other being muskmelon. It’s considered the less sophisticated of the two because it lacks flavor complexity and has a watery texture. But many of us wouldn’t trade a slice of watermelon on a hot summer day for anything.
The ground based side of a perfect watermelon is yellow. The rest of the rind is smooth, waxy, green and with or without stripes. If cut, pick bright, crisp, even colored flesh. Whole melons can stay unrefrigerated for a few days. Once they are cut, they must be kept covered and cold.
To test for ripeness in watermelon, snap your thumb and third finger against the melon. If it gives off a high, shrill tone, the melon is not ripe. If it gives off a deep, low tone, the melon is ready to eat.
Watermelon contains a fair amount of vitamins A and C.
By weight, watermelon is the most-consumed melon in the U.S., followed by cantaloupe and honeydew melon.
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