5 Days of Fruit: Tropical Fruits

We're kicking off the month of August with our new series: 5 Days of ..., starting off with 5 Days of Fruit. You'll get fun facts, tips, and recipes for the theme of the day. So dive right in to today's theme, Tropical Fruit, and be sure to check back the rest of the week for more on fruit!


  • Selection: Pineapples stay ripe for 4-6 weeks, so when shopping you'll probably only encounter fresh pineapples. However, if you want to test it, flick the side with your finger; if it has a dull, solid sound it's ripe.

  • Storage: Pineapples should not be stored in the fridge, unless you are trying to avoid ripening. Pineapples tend to take quite some time to ripen, then once ripened become overripe in 1-2 days. Therefore, if you're not sure of the timing you might opt for canned pineapples. If you're flexible, go for the fresh fruit!

  • Slicing: Chop off the top and bottom, then stand up the pineapple and cut the sides off in a downward motion. Remove any remaining bits of skin with the tip of a vegetable peeler. Lay on its side and cut in slices. Then cut the core out of each slice by cutting around it and popping it out.

  • Fun Fact: Pineapples are actually several fruits pushed together - the fruits of several flowers on the same plant grow in such a way that they form "one" piece of fruit.

  • Fun Fact: One of the enzymes in pineapples breaks down protein, which makes it great for marinades and tenderizing meats.

  • Bizarre Risk: Apparently, raw pineapples should not be consumed by people with hemophilia or kidney or liver disease since it can thin the blood.

  • Selection: If a mango has an orange-yellow or reddish peel, then it is ripe and will be juicy. Also be sure it has a tropical, fruity aroma. Unripe mangoes will have green peels and have no scent.

  • Storage: Store at room temperature for up to 1 week. If you need them to ripen sooner, place them in a paper bag. If your mango is already ripe, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

  • Slicing: The most popular (and attractive) way to cut a mango is the "hedgehog" style. Slice the mango lengthwise along the pit, then remove the pit. Take each half and cut a grid - slice several rows down and several rows across but don't cut all the way through. Then gently push the fruit up by pressing on the peel side and turning the fruit inside out. You can serve like that or cut the cubes off and serve.

  • Fun Fact: Some mango trees live and continue to produce fruit for over 300 years.

  • Fun Fact: Nearly half the world's mangoes are cultivated in India.

  • Bizarre Risk: If you're susceptible to poison oak or poison ivy, you might be susceptible to irritation from a mango peel as well.

  • Selection: The kiwi should smell tropical and fruity and feel plump.

  • Storage: Store in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. If you need to ripen them quickly, place them in a brown paper bag or place them near other fruit.

  • Slicing: Surprisingly, you can rub the fuzz off and eat the skin, which increase the fiber content of the fruit by 3 times! But if you'd like to remove it, (admittedly, it's much prettier in recipes without the skin), start by slicing the ends off, then stick a spoon in between the skin and the fruit, and, while cupping the kiwi in your hand, rotate the spoon around the fruit to completely loosen the skin. Slip off the skin in one piece, then slice the kiwi.

  • Fun Fact: Kiwis are technically berries and are grown in temperate climates, but are used in cuisine more similarly to how you would use tropical fruits, so that's why we grouped them here.

  • Fun Fact: Kiwis have gone by many names in the past (Chinese gooseberry, melonette) but were changed to kiwifruit in the 1950's for marketing reasons. They are commonly called kiwis throughout the world.

  • Fun Fact: Italy is the largest producer of kiwis, with New Zealand and Chile next.

  • Bizarre Risk: People allergic to latex, papayas or pineapples are likely to be allergic to kiwis as well.

Miss a post? Catch up for the week:
Monday: Tropical Fruit (above)
Tuesday: Orchard Fruit
Wednesday: Berries
Thursday: Citrus Fruit
Friday: Melons

Facebook Twitter Delicious Stumble Digg


© 2011. FunnySpoon: Sassy Cooking Shortcuts is proudly powered by Blogger.
Blogger Template