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    Plantains: Kitchen Basics


    Plantains have a mild squash-like or potato-like or sweet potato-like flavor with a faint sweetness reminiscent of a banana. Well, you’ll have to taste the plantain to decide. Exactly what flavor you ascribe to the plantain will, no doubt, have something to do with how it’s been prepared. The plantain is a fruit–a very close […] More

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    Pineapple: Kitchen Basics

    Pineapple plant1

    The flesh of the pineapple is sweet and juicy and is best eaten raw in slices, wedges, or cubes. Cut a fresh pineapple in half lengthwise, leaving on the top leaves. Cut out the core and carefully cut the flesh away from the rind in one piece. Slice the flesh into wedges. Refill the shell. […] More

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    Mango: Kitchen Basics

    Mango sliced1

    Fannie Farmer’s cookbook has been around since 1896. It gets to the essence of mango preparation when it suggests: “Cut in half lengthwise and remove the stone. Eat with a spoon.” That pretty much covers it! The mango—many would say–is the world’s most delicious fruit. Its delicate flavor is a cross between a pear and […] More

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    Guava: Kitchen Basics


    Serve guava slices on pancakes or waffles in the morning. In the evening, pair guava slices with a mild white cheese for dessert. You can even put guava slices in a baggy and send them to school or work in place of a candy bar. The guava has the sweet flavor of a strawberry or […] More

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    Popular Date Varieties

    Dates Medjool1

    The peak season for dates is from mid-autumn through mid-winter, October through January in the northern hemisphere. Select plump, shiny dates. Stay away from dates that are too sticky or covered with crystallized sugar. Most dates will need to be pitted before they can be used for cooking or eating out of hand. When you […] More

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    Cherimoya: Kitchen Basics


    Got cherimoya? Got spoon? You are ready for a tasty pineapple-papaya-banana-pear flavored treat that deserves its aliases “custard apple” and “sherbet fruit”. The cherimoya is nothing less than a tropical dessert on the half shell. The cherimoya’s flesh is juicy and creamy custardy. Its sweet flavors will swirl in your mouth. There are only one […] More

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    Figs: Kitchen Basics


    Serve figs sliced and drizzled with milk or cream, perhaps add a dusting of sugar. For a blend of sweet and savory, wrap fig slices in proscuitto, also thinly sliced. Ripe figs are intensely sweet. Some say the fig is the sweetest of all fruit. That’s probably true. Figs were commonly used as a sweetener […] More

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    Limes: Kitchen Basics

    Lime on tree1

    Limes, lime juice, and lime peels can be used in marmalade, jam, sorbet, chutney, pickles, salad dressing, and desserts. Limes can be important additions in sauces, fish and meat dishes and in punches and cocktails. Lime juice in small amounts accentuates the flavor of other foods. In any recipe that calls for a lemon, a […] More

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    Grapefruit Varieties

    Grapefruit Ruby Red2

    Here’s a quick reference for grapefruit varities: Duncan: lots of seeds, white flesh with great flavor; excellent for juicing; perhaps the oldest variety. Flame: nearly seedless with red flesh and a slight rind blush. Marsh (Marsh Seedless): nearly seedless, white-fleshed, medium-size with smooth yellow skin; it’s very juicy, tender and aromatic. You’ll find a balance […] More

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    Kiwi Fruit: Kitchen Basics

    Kiwi fruit1

    The flavor of a kiwi fruit is all kiwi fruit: sweet-tart with hints of citrus, strawberry, pineapple, and melon. You have probably tasted nothing like the kiwi fruit. Its flavor is unique. The kiwi fruit is a berry. It grows on a climbing, creeping plant that resembles a vine. The fruit is about 3 inches […] More

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    Pineapple Guava: Kitchen Basics

    Pineapple guava1

    A flavor somewhere between pineapple and strawberry: this is how you might describe the pineapple guava, also called feijoa (fay-YOH-ah). This is a high-altitude South American native that has an oval fruit about 3 inches (7 cm) long. It has a granular cream-colored flesh with a jelly-like center filled with tiny seeds. It sometimes is […] More

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    Pomegranates: Kitchen Basics


    If you crave a fruit with a juicy sweet-tart taste and don’t mind working for it, you will surely enjoy the pomegranate. The pomegranate is a native of Iran and is one of just a handful of fruits that warranted a mention in the Old Testament. In fact, Moses told the Israelites as they wandered […] More