Category Archives: Fruits

Longons

Longons
LONGONS

Longons (euphoria langana) are fruits that are related to the lychee and the rambutan.  They are native to South East Asia as well as Southern China.  Their flesh is juicy and translucent white in color.  Their flavor is reminiscent of honeydew and gardenia.  It is sometimes referred to as “pinyin” in Cantonese, meaning dragon’s eye.
Longons are approximately 1 inch in diameter.  They are round, and enclose in a thin brown, leathery shell which gets darker as it ages.  Longons grow in clusters. In the center of their flesh is a large black seed.  The flesh has a texture similar to a peeled grape.
Longons are in season from mid-July to August.  They grow on a majestic tree up to 130 feet high.
Dried longons look lick tawny raisins.  They have a deep smoky flavor.  Sometimes they are used in traditional Chinese medicine. In ancient Vietnamese culture, it is said the flesh of the fruit will relieve snake bite venom.
LONGONS, DRIED
Longons contain vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and copper.  They have high saponin content.  It is said to improve your immune system, a supposed antidepressant, can increase iron absorption in the body, and improve oral health.

© 2014 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger       All rights reserved

Please contact me for permission to use or reference this work.

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Kantola

Kantola

Kantola  (Momordica dioica, or M. cochinchinensis) is a curious little gourd, commonly found in Indian in Southern Asian cuisines.  Sometimes it is called the spiny gourd or teasle gourd.

This little fruit is covered in little spines, but they aren’t sharp.  When the fruit is ripe- it changes from dark green to light green.  When it turns to yellow- it gets bitter.  Most commonly, this fruit is sliced and used in curries.  They are also pickled, or stuffed and steamed.  The out layer of skin should be removed before eating.

Kantola is related to the bitter melon, but does not resemble it in taste.  There are many health benefits that are purported.  They are full of phytonutrients and antioxidants, especially vitamin C.  They are high in folate, and may possibly reduce the blood sugar level.  It is also said to help with kidney stones when pulverized with water and drank every day.

Kantolas come to market around “monsoon” season- and are cultivated in the mountain regions of India.

© 2014 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger       All rights reserved

Please contact me for permission to use or reference this work.

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Star Apple

Star Apple

The Star Apple (chrysophyllum cainito), is a  member of the family sapotaceae.  Sometimes it is referred to as caimito, or the fruit of the Golden Leaf tree.

STAR APPLE

                The star apple originates from Central America.  It grows today in areas such as the Caribbean, South and Central America.  It prefers warm weather.  The star apple comes into season in late winter, or early summer.

The star  apple is a round or oval fruit, 2 to 4 inches in diameter with either red purple, dark purple, or pale green skin.  The fruit looks and feels like a rubber ball.  When cut in half, the fruit has a soft, white, milky sweet pulp.  There are 6 to 11 gelatinous, somewhat rubbery see pods.  Inside each seed pod, there may be a hard, black seed.  The skin and rind of the star apple is inedible.  It is best to scoop the flesh out.

The star apple fruit grows on a tall, 25 to 100 feet, tree that is nearly evergreen.  The trunk is about 3 feet in diameter.  The leaves of the tree are dark green, and the underside is brown and velvety.  Latex can be made from the sap of the bark.

When ripe, the fruit will not fall off the tree, nor will the fruit ripen after picked.  Star fruit is best enjoyed chilled.  The flesh of the fruit has a mucilaginous character.  Sometimes it is eaten to soothe the inflammation of laryngitis and pneumonia.  In Jamaica, a drink called Matrimony is sometimes made.  It is a combination of star apple, sour orange.  Another drink made is called Strawberries and cream.  It consists of sugar, nutmeg, orange juice, and star apple.

Star Apple Whip

4 Star apples

1/4 cup of sugar

3 oranges

1 cup of whipped cream

Scoop the pulp out of the Star Apple and the Oranges and remove the seeds. Mix with sugar in a blender. Add the cream and lightly mix. Serve in parfait glasses.

© 2014 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger All rights reserved
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Gamboge

Gamboge

The gamboge fruit, (garcinia xanthochymus), is also known as a false mangosteen.  It is from the Malaysian peninsula.  It is approximately 6 to 7 centimeters in diameter.  When ripe, it is bright yellow in color.  The pulp surrounds two seeds and is juicy and acidic.

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            Gamboge is commonly used for jam making.  It can also be a substitute for tamarind.  It is also used in curries.

The gamboge tree is a medium sized tree with large leaves.  The sap from the tree is commonly used for a resin.  Gamboge is in season from March to May.

© 2014 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger All rights reserved
Please contact me for permission to use or reference this work.

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Sapodilla

Sapodilla

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The sapodilla, (manikara zapota) is a Central American fruit.  It is from areas such as Mexico, Belize, and north-east Guatemala.  It is also known as chico, chico sapote, zapotillo, chicla, sapodilla plum, and naseberry.  The sapodilla is related to sapotes, and is in the sapotaceae family.  It got its name from the Aztecs:  tzapotle. The Spanish then named it sapodilla.

The sapodilla was spread throughout the world by the Spanish. Its first stop was the Philippines.  The sapodilla tree is an evergreen tree.  It grows very tall, about 100 feet.  It is a slow growing tree that lives a long time.  The tree secrets white latex called chicle.  Chicle is what is used to make chewing gum.  The sapodilla tree produces about 2000- 3000 fruit a year.  The wood of the tree is also used to make incense.

The sapodilla fruit is egg shaped and size. It is approximately 2 to 3 inches in diameter.  It has grayish/ brown skin.  The flesh is a translucent brownish yellow or reddish yellow.  The flesh is slightly granular, similar to a pear’s flesh.  It is very juicy and very fragrant.

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                Sapodillas taste like honey, apricots, crunchy brown sugar, or pears.  In side there are 2 to 10 flat, rectangular seeds that are shiny black.  Sometimes they are seedless.  The sapodilla should be eaten when it is very ripe, if not, it is high in tannic acid.

Sapodillas like areas that are sunny and warm that does not frost.  They are okay with a salt spray and high winds.  They are in season from February to June.  The sapodilla is very perishable, and does not ship well.  Sapodillas contain fiber, potassium, vitamin C, sodium, and iron.

Sapodilla Pie

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cloves

3 eggs

1 1/2 cup mashed ripe sapodilla

1 cup milk

1 cup yogurt

3 Tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla

1 unbaked 9” deep-dish pie shell

Preheat oven to 425°F.  Mix sugar, salt and cloves in small dish. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in sapodilla and sugar/clove mixture. Gradually stir in milk, yogurt, honey and vanilla. Pour into pie shell. Bake 15 minutes; turn temperature down to 350°F and bake 20 to 30 minutes more or until firm. Serve with whipped cream.

Tropical Brandied Sapodilla Sherbet

1/2 cup milk

1 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp brandy

1/2 cup sapodilla flesh

4 cups ice

Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth.   Serves 1.

© 2014 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger All rights reserved
Please contact me for permission to use or reference this work.

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Calabash

Calabash

The calabash is a large fruit native to Asia or Africa.  The calabash, (crescentia cujeta), grows to be very large, though it’s size and shape varies a lot.  The color starts out shiny green, and then as it ripens, it turns a pale brown.  When the fruit is dried, it is used as a vessel.  Calabash is similar in structure to a pumpkin.

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The calabash tree is an evergreen tree, and produces white flowers, however, the tree is very cold sensitive.  The fruit grow off the trunk.   The pulp from the calabash fruit is usually the only part eaten.  The pulp is scooped out, the shell is discarded, or dried.  The flesh contains numerous triangular shaped seeds.  They are inedible.  The flesh directly surrounding the seeds should be removed as well.  It is a purgative.

Calabash are in season from August to September.

© 2014 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger       All rights reserved

Please contact me for permission to use or reference this work.

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Sweet Sop

Sweet Sop

The Sweet Sop, (Annona Squamosa), is a member of the Annona family.  Other members of the Annona family include the soursop, cherimoya, atemoya, and the custard apple.  Sometimes the sweet sop is called a sugar apple.

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         Sweet sops grow on a tree that ranges from 10-20 feet in height.  Originally form South America, it is now found in many tropical areas.   The tree has thin, oblong leaves, with greenish-yellow flowers.  The bark and leaves contain annonaime- and alkaloid.

Sweet sops range in shape from heart shaped, round, ovate, and conical.  They are usually 2 to 4 inches in diameter.  The flesh of a sweet sop is almost custard like, arranged in loosely cohering segments, and white to creamy white in color.  The flesh is sweet and juicy and sticky.   It is never cooked.  When eaten, it is usually eaten as is, and the seeds are then spit out.  It is important that the seeds are spit out, as they are acidic and poisonous.  The skin is thick and yellowish-green in color.  The riper it gets, the blacker the rind gets.  The skin gets crispy and crunch with the sugar content, and can also be eaten.

Sweet sops, have a long shelf life, sometimes up to 3 to 4 years.   They come into season in during mid summer, and are in season to mid fall.

 

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© 2014 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger       All rights reserved

Please contact me for permission to use or reference this work.