Like a Taste of the Exotic

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Exotic Fruit

There is no need to emphasize that the regular consumption of fruits is exceptionally beneficial for human health. In the course of the whole year we can choose from a rich variety of traditional and non-traditional exotic fruit. Many exotic fruits, however, are already commonly consumed, and therefore new items from the distant corners of the world have begun striving to gain favour.

If in past times the wider offer of exotic fruit was connected mainly with Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, today this is now year-round, especially in large cities. But it is still true that the diversity of what’s on offer is most visible at the end of the year.

Exotic fruit is now consumed at various times of the year. This is associated with the fact that Slovaks are travelling more often to exotic countries, where they have the opportunity to try these fruits. Many like them so much that they look for them in retail chains at home or in other countries nearby. Another positive impulse for expanding the offer of exotic fruits is the more intensive penetration of world cuisine (whether through recipes or gastronomic ideas) into our parts. Although this or that is added to the offer from time to time, shop owners all say that the most requested are those that people have become accustomed to over the years and what they’ve most often had to chance to taste somewhere – mango and pomelo – while pomegranates are gaining favour and the taste for avocados or lychee fruits are sought out more often in our parts.

Exotic fruit is always something exceptional and can be a part of infrequent celebration and events or family gatherings.

Important are experience and tasting, as well as the fact that people now have available various possibilities to use these fruits, recipes and inspiration. Exotic fruit is always something exceptional and can be a part of infrequent celebration and events or family gatherings. A person who wants to stand out can surprise a visitor with a feast that will consist of delicacies prepared from exotic fruits. And maybe a lifelong passion will develop from a small tasting! Again, not only does this fruit taste great (although at first glance it may not seems appealing), but it has a whole range of health benefits. We bring you here several tips for fruity treats that you probably have not yet had the pleasure of knowing.

More Colourful Bananas

Red bananas are a little smaller than classic yellow bananas and are also more delicate and more easily damaged. However, they are much more delicious, too. Their flesh has a creamy colour, and their taste is similar to raspberries or strawberries. These bananas are also noticeably sweeter. Their peel is quite interesting – when they are fully ripe it is red to purple. They are eaten fresh, sliced, in deserts and in fruit salads. They can also be used for preparing mixed drinks, like a daiquiri.

red banana
Red banana

Editor’s Tips:

Spear the red bananas on a skewer and wrap them in a polyethylene food wrap. Put them in the freezer, freeze them and then remove the wrap. Dip them in chocolate and sprinkle on finely sliced nuts.

Grill whole bananas in the peel. Then slice them and pour over a creamy sauce with brown sugar.

Sautee the sliced red bananas on almonds. You can serve them as a desert or an untraditional garnish to a chicken dish.

Malodorous Delicacy

The peel of the fruit named durian is rough, yellow-green to brown and covered with strong prickly nodules. A ripe durian is known by its characteristic odour and that it splits open lengthwise. When the fruits are in this state, an acute odour emerges, recalling the smell of spoiled onions. Although the smell of the fruit is disgusting, the taste is singular. It is fruity-spicy, gently similar to almonds, vanilla or even onions. The flesh has a pudding-like consistency. The durian is used for flavouring sweet foods, to ice cream, cocktails and to flavoured coffees. The unique taste experience can be used in homemade durian ice cream with fresh vanilla, durian sorbet, durian cheesecake, muffins with chocolate or a milkshake. Consumption can also take non-traditional forms – with salt, vinegar and onion. It is necessary to eat the durian immediately after opening, and those not put off by the more significant odour can taste the fruit before it is fully ripe. The flesh is crunchier then.

durian
Durian

The Taste of Wild Strawberries

The green oval or egg-shaped fruits are covered with a thin waxy layer with a fine fuzz, which can also be eaten without fear. This fruit is most often eaten peeled. The flesh has a creamy colour, is soft and has a gelatine-like consistency and is gently granular. The centre of the fruit is full of seeds, which are soft and edible. After ripening, the fejchoa further has a dark-green colour and a sweet aroma. The taste of the flesh is sourish, recalling the taste of wild strawberries, kiwi and pineapple. The fruits are sensitive to pressure and need to be kept cool. They are consumed fresh, in desserts and in fruit salads or beverages, such as smoothies. They can also be added to yoghurts, ice creams or chutneys. After slicing it’s necessary to drip lemon juice over the flesh to prevent it turning brown.

fejchoa
Fejchoa

The Exotic Granadilla

The fruit has a beautiful yellow-orange with gently patterned smooth and shiny hard peel. They can be round or egg-shaped. Elongation in the upper part to the stem is typical for this fruit. Inside are black seeds in a cottony lining surrounded by the gelatinous greyish flesh. The taste of this fruit is lightly aromatic and sweet, recalling gooseberries. The flesh is best consumed after scooping it out with a spoon. It is applied in the preparation of juices, flavouring beverages,  is excellent in fruit salads, deserts, cocktails and ice creams, and marmalade made from these fruits is also very good. An uncooked torte is also delicious or roasted duck with granadilla sauce.

granadilla
Granadilla

Snake Fruit

And with such a terrifying name as salak. The fruits are oblong, oval and shaped similarly to large figs with a tapered end. The peel is shell-like, thin and fragile. Small spurs on the surface, similar to thorns, are typical. That’s why it is recommended to feel the fruit while wearing gloves. The surface of the fruit is dark brown, shiny and recalls a snake skin. The flesh may be coloured from milky white up to a dark orange colour. It is soft and firm, with a crunchy consistency recalling the flesh of an apple. The taste of these fruits is particular, similar to a pineapple, strawberries or bananas. The flesh is strongly aromatic and contains black inedible seeds. Peeling the fruit is easy. First the top is twisted, and the fruits is then better peeled whole. This fruit taste best fresh, but it can also be used in various other ways.

salak
Salak

Did You Know?

Salak was, thanks to its endurance, a favourite fruit among pilgrims, who carried it with them on their pilgrimage to Mecca.

Editor’s Tip:

The fruit can be served partially in the peel for its interesting snake-like appearance.

A gourmet experience is fruit salad from salak, papaya and mango or salsa from salak, lime juice, fresh chillies and coriander.

An untraditional treat is also a shake from salak, pineapple and milk. You can also try cake with salak and vanilla or salak with a chocolate coating and mint.

A “Potatoˮ with the Taste of Pears and Caramel

The fruits of the exotic sapodilla are flattened and elliptical to egg-shaped. They remind many people of a potato. The unripe sapodilla is hard and rubbery, and thanks to the high content of tannins, it is very bitter; the fruits are covered with a light brown peel. Ripe sapodillas are smooth on the surface. The colour of the flesh is yellow to dark brown, the taste reminiscent of a mix of pear and caramel. The fruits contain seeds of brown to black colour – but they cannot be consumed! The fruits are eaten fresh and raw, removed of the peeling or the flesh is simply scooped out with a spoon and eaten. The flesh is added to desserts, fruit salads and cups and to pancake batter. The interesting taste surprises in a dessert sauce made from the peeled fruits of sapodilla with orange juice added and decorated with whipping cream. The flesh is delicious sautéed with lime juice and ginger. The fried fruits of this exotic plant are an untraditional delicacy.

sapodilla
Sapodilla

Dragon Fruit

The pitahaya attracts on first look. Few know that this is a cactus fruit. The peel has a beautiful full pink to red colour, with characteristic protuberances, some of which are reminiscent of flames. The inside of the fruit is white or red flesh with black granules. The taste of the flesh recalls the kiwi. Its taste is more notable if you drip a little lime or lemon juice. The ripe pitahaya is soft to the touch, and it should always be stored dry in the dark. The fruit is best to cut in half and the juicy content eaten with a spoon or cut into half-moons. The flesh can be added to beverages, ice cream and lemonades.

pitahaya
Pitahaya

Royal Fruit

The mangostan is notable for its sweet and sour taste and is considered to be one of the best exotic fruits. This is a round and relatively large berry with a shiny red to purplish-brown peel. The white to rosy red flesh is similar in consistency to a mandarin orange and is divided into several parts, each with seeds. These can even be eaten after roasting. To some the taste of this fruit recalls grape wine, pineapple, grapefruit and peaches with a light caramel to buttery aroma. Many unique curative effects are even ascribed to the fruits. The flesh of this fruit smells very untraditional – like roses and geraniums. It is delicious, and when pressed it turns brown. It is eaten fresh and can also be frozen.

mangostan
Mangostan

Did You Know:

The mangostan is called the royal fruit in South-east Asia. English Queen Victoria allegedly offered a high reward to someone would bring her a mangostan.

4 Tips for an Untraditional Fruit Detox:

Kiwano

This yellow-orange fruit from South Africa (also called the horned melon) recalls at first glance a spiky cucumber. The taste is a combination banana and lime. The fruit contains a great amount of water and is therefore ideal not only for an untraditional snack or a splendid treat, but also for various purgative cures and overall hydration of the organism. It contains a lot of potassium and magnesium, which positively influence blood circulation and the nervous system.

kiwano
Kiwano

Tamarillo

This fruit comes from the Peruvian Andes and is interesting in that it has a minimum number of calories. It is therefore well-suited for those who want to shed a few kilos. It contains a great many vitamins, minerals and dissolved fibre, which helps to reduce the level of harmful cholesterol. Regular consumption of the tamarillo helps to strengthen the bones, reinforce the hair, and contributes to normal mental activities and reduces blood pressure.

tamarillo
Tamarillo

Rambutan

Thanks to the high content of vitamin C rambutan strengthens immunity and helps in detoxification of the organism. Consumption of the fruits is effective for reducing blood pressure and reduces the risk of cancer while helping with digestive problems. The fruit is rich in iron and copper and support blood-cell production and overall vitality of the organism. The phosphorous contained in these fruits helps with cleansing the kidneys.

rambutan
Rambutan

Cherimoya

This fruit stands out with a high content of essential oils. It is also unique with a high percentage of acetogenins, in which scientific research has confirmed a strong anti-cancer effects. The fruits are rich in tannins and flavonoids. They support digestion and the detoxification processes, calm the stomach, help with nervous tension and irritation, depression, fevers and lowering high blood pressure.

cherimoya
Cherimoya

Try It With Us!

Som Tum Salad With Green Papaya from Head Chef Sofia Smith

This is one of the most well-known Thai salads. If you can’t get hold of a green papaya, you can replace it with kohlrabi. Carrots and bean sprouts are likewise not a part of some original recipes. You can therefore leave them our or use long beans.

recipe final
Som Tum salad with green papaya from Head Chef Sofia Smith

Ingredients:

1 – 2 limes or lemons, about 2 pcs of Bird’s eye red chillies (according to taste), 2 pressed garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon of fish sauce, a half-teaspoon of brown sugar, 1 tomato or 6 cherry tomatoes, ½ ripe papaya, 1 carrot, a handful of bean sprouts, 1 teaspoon of chopped dried shrimp, 2 teaspoons of coarsely chopped roasted peanuts, ¼ cucumber

Method:

Squeeze the juice from the limes or lemons into a bowl. Lightly chop the chilli peppers. If the dish is to be less spicy, then remove the seeds. Add the chopped chillies, garlic, fish sauce and sugar to the lime or lemon juice. Mix everything together until the sugar has dissolved. Taste the mix and add seasoning if necessary. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and add them to the bowl. Peel the papaya and cut the carrots into long strips and add them together with the bean sprouts to the bowl and mix. Then sprinkle on the shrimp and nuts and season as necessary. Finally, add in the sliced cucumbers. (picture: recipe)

Prepared by: Daniel Košťál, source and photo: author, Titbit, shopping chain