Rose Apple

Posted on October 15th, 2012 by Fruit Maven

So the other day I’m at the new San Diego Public Market and I see a few fruits I’ve never even heard of before with clearly marked signs: “Jelly Date” and “Rose Apple”. Cool! So the farmer offers me a taste of a jelly date and it has a faintly tropical flavor. “Ohh – is this a type of guava?” I ask. He politely replies with a chuckle, “Um. NO. It’s a date. A jelly date.” Right. So I buy a basket full. Then he asks if I’d like to try a rose apple. Not having learned from the experience oh…10 seconds earlier I blurt out, “Is THIS a guava???” No chuckle this time but still very polite, “No miss. It is a rose apple.” (He points to the sign.)

rose-apples

So apparently I had a hankering for guavas or I was confused by the look or smell or something (they smell nothing like guava for the record). So the first thing you should know is that these are not guavas. Not at all. They are super fun though! They taste like roses!!!! For realzzzz. I’ve only had one other fruit that was floral like this, the Xinjiang Fragrant Pear and it just smelled like roses periodically. Nothing even close to this level of spectacular floral representation.

slice-rose-apples

Rose Apple

APPEARANCE Rating: ★★★☆☆

Yellow oblong fruit with a pronounced stem and a single brown seed.

AROMA Rating: ★★★★★

Extremely floral and strong.

TEXTURE Rating: ★★★★☆

Delightfully firm and crunchy! Moist but not juicy. The seed rattles around inside like a baby toy. This indicates it is ripe.

TASTE Rating: ★★★★☆

Mellow sweetness with a spicy floral bite and a hint of mint.

OVERALL Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

I adore this fruit and yet I can’t imagine eating one as a snack. I suppose I would grab one pretty regularly if I had a tree in my yard though as the crunch is super satisfying. I also just saw a neat cooking idea on the California Rare Fruit Growers site to cut them in half, fill with a meat/rice mixture, cover with tomato sauce and bake. YUM. Or you can distill them down a few times to get a rose water. I feel a funky cocktail coming on…

NOTES

There appear to be a number of different fruit that can be called a rose apple. One also goes by the name love apple. That might be my new favorite fruit name of all time. “Can you hand me another love apple please?” (None of them are actual apples.)

FRUIT
Rose Apple
PEAK
Unclear
Purchased
Farmer’s Market
VARIETY
GROWN
California

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Keitt Mango

Posted on September 4th, 2012 by Fruit Maven

I have had three grandmothers in my life and they couldn’t be more different. One I barely knew as she had dementia and lived in a nursing home most of my life. One is still alive and is extraordinarily prim and proper. The last time I ate breakfast at her home, she removed the jam from four different jars and put them in special bowls each with its own particular jam spoon. I ate at her home seven different times on that trip and we never used the same dishes. I can’t imagine how long it would take for her to have to repeat a dinner plate pattern. I loved it!

And the third one, who was also my favorite (shhh – don’t tell anyone) was the kind that would buy a flocked white Christmas tree and cover it in miniature Chinese lanterns and glitter red apples for no particular reason. She also taught me how to cut school and play Uno and she introduced me to grilled cheese sandwiches and bagels. Ok – so maybe we didn’t cut school – I mean I was only five when she lived with us, but in my memory everything we did felt like an adventure, a scandal, a romance of the ideal kind. So when she came over one day with a big green football looking fruit, I was anxious to give it a try. It smelled weird and looked weird and she wouldn’t let me eat any of the slices. I waited until the she got down to the very pit and she handed me the slimiest, slipperiest piece of fruit and told me to grab some napkins and eat it like corn on the cob. The task was impossible. Fruit got everywhere except my mouth. The dripping juice went up my nose as I tried to wrestle with it. At one point we were laughing so hard that the seed slipped out of my hand and flew across the floor like a penguin diving across ice on its belly. I’m pretty sure that I have been deeply in love with fruit ever since.


sliced keitt mango

I’ve had many excellent mangoes in my life since that day. And while this Keitt Mango isn’t my most favorite, it is certainly the best I’ve had any time recently. The texture is absolutely luscious and these days, that’s worth a lot.

Keitt Mango

APPEARANCE Rating: ★★★½☆

Mostly grassy green skin with slight yellow blushing on the ends. Sunflower yellow/orange flesh and a single large seed.

AROMA Rating: ★★★★☆

Uncut they have no discernible scent. Once cut they have a slightly tangy and pleasantly fermented scent. Faintly tropical.

TEXTURE Rating: ★★★★★

Juicy and dense. The absolutely ideal mango texture. NO stringiness. Woot woot!

TASTE Rating: ★★★★☆

Sweet and straightforward, mellow mango flavor. Little acidity.

OVERALL Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

All four of the Keitt mangoes I received had perfect texture — even the one I left on the table a little too long. Just fantastic. The taste is mellow and excellent, though I prefer a mango with a bit more assertiveness. I would reach for one of these any time since I’m guessing they are very consistent.

FRUIT
Mango
PEAK
Summer
PROVIDED BY
Melissa’s
VARIETY
Keitt
GROWN
California

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Frog Hollow Farms Peaches

Posted on August 20th, 2012 by Fruit Maven

Ohhhhh. Today’s post is a woozy doozy. I’m giving away a box of sweet, succulent peaches to one of you! Well… I’m not actually giving them away — Frog Hollow Farms is doing it, but I’m taking all the credit. Because I can. They don’t get to look at this post first – haha!

o-henry-peaches

But first let me tell you about them. Two weeks ago I received a box of six gorgeous peaches in the mail. Ohhhhh! How exciting. I opened it and saw the name O’Henry Peaches. Bee-boop. Big let down. I’ve had them before. (You can read a more detailed review here). There is something strong in me that is driven by seeking out and trying only new things even if I liked the old things. So they sat around my house uneaten for a few days and then when they seemed like they couldn’t go one more day, I stuck them still uneaten in the refrigerator. (At this point you should be questioning my actual love of fruit – because this is silly behavior by any measure.)

box-of-peaches

Fast forward a week and I received ANOTHER box of gorgeous peaches. This time they were Cal-Red Peaches and were noted as Frog Hollow Farm’s signature peach. Well hello! I got out both boxes that very hour and started eating. Hilariously the O’Henry peaches were my favorite of the two and were even better than the last time I’d had them. They were a little more assertive and acidic and completely won me over (the flavor was far more complex and exciting than last time), where the Cal-Reds had a deep sweetness that hung around my mouth with little acidity. While they didn’t end up being the winner in my personal taste test, I can see why they would be a signature.

I liked them so much that I asked Frog Hollow Farms if they would be willing to send a box to one of my readers. They replied with a super quick YES. So now you can have your very own box of six Frog Hollow peaches delivered right to your door. Just leave a comment and tell me about the best peach you’ve ever had! I’ll do a random drawing on Wednesday, August 21, at 12:00pm PT. I’ll contact you by email and work out the details. Enjoy!

cal-red-peach

Cal-Red Peaches

APPEARANCE Rating: ★★★★☆

Dusty, fuzzy skin with a mix of reds and browns and hints of yellow. Bright sunny yellow flesh and deep red center.

AROMA Rating: ★★★★★

Strong, floral and sweet peach fragrance once cut.

TEXTURE Rating: ★★★★☆

The flesh is absolutely perfect. Exactly what you want a peach to be – dense and soft with so much juice that you are slurping and cooing the whole time. The skin was noticeable and I ended up cutting it off. Not bad in any way, just a little distracting with a dry mouth-feel.

TASTE Rating: ★★★★★

Layers and layers of sweet peachy-ness.

OVERALL Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Fantastic peach if you prefer the low-acid type. You can also learn a little more about peach types in this goofy video I did on peaches over here and see one that is shaped like a heart, the Desert Gold. But don’t forget to leave a comment here first so you can win!

FRUIT
Peach
PEAK
Summer
PROVIDED BY
Frog Hollow Farms
VARIETY
Cal-Red
GROWN
Frog Hollow Farms
California

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