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A-Z list of fruits

Here is an alphabetical list of fruits and some related facts about each one.

Apple - a global favourite fruit and a good source of vitamin C

Apricot - soft, sweet and juicy orange coloured fruit packed with beta-carotene.

Avocado - Fatty soft flesh and a large stone in a thin outer casing. These trees produce hundreds of fruits which taste buttery and rich.

Breadfruit- a single Malayan tree produces up to 200 or more grapefruit sized fruits each season. Breadfruit flesh can be roasted, baked or fried and the taste is like bread (hence the name).

Banana - yellow curved tropical fruit beloved the world over. In terms of global sales this tops the list of fruits. Originally from tropical Southeast Asia bananas grow pointing upward on the worlds largest herbaceous flowering plant. Most people mistake the plant for a tree, but once the fruits are ripe the main stem (which may have grown to 25ft tall) dies off and a new one starts growing. Although the common yellow banana is a sweet tasting fruit the starchier common plantain is also popular, but often makes an appearance in savory dishes, particularly in the West Indies.

Blackberry - The fruit of the bramble bush which is a very common european wild bush, blackberries are also cultivated and blackberry jam is a british favourite. Picking blackberries is enjoyable, but the bush has sharp spines. Blackberries find their way into wines and liqueurs, but apart from jam, their most common use is in blackberry and apple pies.

Blackcurrant - A european native currant also popular for jams.

Blueberry - A north American fruit high in antioxidants. The small bushes grow in acidic soils, producing hundreds of small blue fruits in early summer.

Cherimoya- or custard apple. A delicious south american fruit with a white flesh which does indeed taste of apples and custard. The seeds and skin are toxic, but the flesh is utterly delicious.

Cherry - Related to both plums and apricots, the cherry tree produces small red fruits with a distinctive taste. Sweet and fragrant, cherries are a midsummer treat.

Clementine - A sweet orange citrus fruit from the mandarin family. Clementines are much easier to peel than oranges.

Coconut - Should this even be in a list of fruits? The fruit of the coconut palm is harvested throughout the tropical world for food, oil and Coir (the brown fibrous husk of the coconut).

Cranberry - American bog berry, high in vitamin C. An astringent taste makes it a great breakfast fruit.

Custard Apple - see Cherimoya

Durian - A thorn-covered outer layer reveals a strong smelling fruit that is most definitely an acquired taste.

Fig - The fruit we know of as the fig is actually the flower of the fig tree. Sweet and delicious

Grapefruit - A breakfast favourite, The large sharp but succulent grapefruit has a yellow skin and is about three times the size of an average orange. Much more sour than an orange and with a bitter tang too, the grapefruit needs to be fully ripe or alternatively a little sugar can be added.

Grape - Clusters of green, yellow or red fruits grow on vines in many parts of the world. Eaten fresh or turned into wine, grapes are a very popular fruit.

Guava - Round or oval fruits between 4 and 12 cm long. The taste is slightly perfumed and sweet and Guavas are packed with vitamins A and C.

Jackfruit - Related to Guava but much bigger fruits that can grow to 80 lbs in weight. the taste is unique and many westerners find they cannot enjoy them, but in Asia jackfruits are hugely popular.

Kiwi - Green to brown skinned fruit with a hairy surface. Inside is a sharp but sweet flesh that goes equally well in a traditional sweet fruit salad as it does in a tomato salad. Try slicing kiwi and tomato and layering them alternately in a dish. A sprinkle of salt is all you need to complete this surprisingly good salad.

Lemon - The king of citrus fruits and essential in Mediterranean cookery. Southern Italy is particularly famous for cooking with lemons.

Lime - Green relative of the lemon. Vitamin C rich limes were given to british sailors to ward off scurvy, which kept them healthy but led to the nickname 'Limey' being used as an insulting term for a british person.

Loganberry - A cross between raspberries and blackberries and like both parents is high vitamin C.

Mandarin - Relative of the satsuma

Mango - Tropical fruit

Mangosteen -

Melon - In Italy the melon sellers walk the beaches selling slices of cool watermelon to sunbathers. The massive heavy round green fruits are cut open to reveal a deep red watery sweet flesh that seems to dissolve in the mouth. One of the worlds great summer pleasures is spitting the inedible watermelon seeds out as far as possible.

Nectarine - A hairless form of peach that grows in slightly more northern latitudes than its more tender cousin. Delicious to eat freshly picked from the tree. Nectarines have a sweet orange coloured flesh full of juice.

Orange - Popular citrus with many varieties. The navel orange is so called because the depression at the end looks like a bellybutton.

Papaya - Large central american fruits generally eaten raw.

Peach - The fine experience of picking and eating a fully ripe peach from a tree and eating it there and then has little competition for unalloyed pleasure. A thin downy skin parts to reveal rich succulent flesh that is sweet and delicious.

Pear - A northern european native, the pear is a wonderful fruit although not as popular as apples these days, largely due to shorter shelf life.

Persimmon - see Sharon Fruit

Pineapple - Very popular in the 17th Century when first imported into europe. Sir Christopher Wren wanted to replace the ancient Gargoyles on the roof of St Georges Chapel in Windsor with a row of stone pineapples, but thankfully, wiser heads prevailed.

Plum - Plums are small stone fruits that taste wonderfully sweet when very ripe, but quite tart while ripening. The can be found in many colours including yellow, white, green or red, but most commonly they are a deep purple shade (often with a white waxy bloom on the outside).

Pomegranate - These fruits have been popular in tropical regions for thousands of years. The juice is now sold as having health giving high antioxidant levels.

Quince- The quince is related to apples and oranges, but unlike its relatives quinces are too hard to eat raw and taste pretty poor too. They need to be 'bletted' (softened by frost and then a little decay) before being eaten. They are generally used to make jams and jellies which have a certain 'christmassy' scent that sets them apart from other fruits.

Satsuma - A citrus fruit smaller than an orange, which is both seedless and easy to peel.

Sharon Fruit (Persimmon) -

Strawberry - So easy to grow and so delicious to eat. For the british, strawberries and cream are the ultimate taste of summer. At the Wimbledon tennis championships 28,000 kilogrammes of strawberries are eaten by spectators. The only problems with strawberries is that the sweetest varieties only last a short time once harvested, so supermarkets often have varieties which may look nice, but taste of practically nothing.

Tamarillo -

Ugli Fruit - It is very ugly. A huge great lump of a citrus fruit that is apparently a hybrid cross of grapefruit, orange and tangerine. Jamaican tangelo is the kinder, but less memorable name.

Watermelon - A large melon with sweet and extremely watery flesh. Very refreshing and sold on beaches to sunbathers throughout europe.

 


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