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Dec 22, 2008 08:53 AM

fresno fruit?

im doing a project for my cullinary arts program and i need to find some exotic fruits that you dont eat all the time, but im having a hard time finding places to shop. can anyone please give me some tips of places to go in the fresno area?

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  1. I don't have any specific suggestions for places or fruits...but just to get the ball rolling....

    I would be inclined to try ethnic grocery stores around Fresno. Fiesta Foods & Vallarta grocery stores might give you some Latin American fruits. The Asian grocery stores that my wife & I sometimes go to (many of them south of the 180 freeway & east of the 40 freeway) might give you some Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, etc. fruits.

    I've read about Hmong farmers that grow fruits & vegetables west & northwest of Fresno who grow some of their native produce as well as more typical American produce. But I have no idea whether you can buy their produce anywhere other than at the farmer's markets.

    Speaking of which, a local farmer's market might turnip something--I mean, turn up something--too.

    And I'm sure there are others, as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: alanstotle

      ya, ive been trying to find some actually addresses for places i can go. i havent had much luck though because at most of the farmer's markets ive looked at its just the generic fruits and veggies. i wanted something a little more out there then apples and oranges if you get my drift :P

    2. It would help to have some specific examples of what you mean by exotic fruit.

      I'm pretty much a fan of working with seasonality, so December, exotic, local and Fresno don't bring a lot of options to mind.

      I haven't been in Fresno recently, but the first place that did come to mind was to check with the Whole Foods on Shaw (assuming it's still there).

      Are the Fresno State and Clovis farmers markets year-round? Although since we're in the winter season, I'm not sure what exotic fruits local farmers would be harvesting. Unless by exotic you mean something like varieties of citrus that are commonly available?

      Here's a list I found with a quick google, FWIW:

      I'll be interested to read what you find.

      3 Replies
      1. re: souvenir

        i mean, it doesnt have to be grown here in fresno. but it has to be available to get at some place in the fresno area. i dont want something that you can get anywhere, i dont know exactly what i want but not regular fresno fruit something thats imported if possible i just dont know of any places in fresno that sell imported fruits and stuff.

        1. re: StartingChef

          how about varieties that you can't find just anywhere and are locally grown; so that you have some hope of the fruit actually being intensely flavorful? meyer lemons, central valley navel oranges, satsuma mandarins, pomelos (mentioned below).

          when you mention trying to find imported rather than local fruit, my reaction is that you will more likely than not find a variety that was grown because it ships well, is picked before ever approaching ripeness, and while it might be called exotic, it actually has little flavor.

          this is my own bias and your experience may be different. i continue to look forward to reading about what you do.

          1. re: souvenir

            Your post got me thinking of another possibility that some might consider "exotic".

            Kirkpatrick Farms near Lindcove/Exeter is the only place in the US growing kosher etrog citrons.

            They usually harvest in the summer, just in time to be used for Succot.

            But I don't know where you could buy some locally.

      2. The Hmong markets will sell fruits and vegetables that are not well known to many Americans like bitter melon, Thai eggplant, Chinese eggplant, etc.

        You might try calling someone like Cherta Farms, they grow in Del Rey but wholesale out of the old Hobbs Parsons building in Fresno near Grizzlies Stadium. They buy from a lot of the Hmong and Laotian growers and could tell you where to buy some exotic items.

        Also, call the specialty crop people at the UC Cooperative Extension in Fresno. They work with the small farmers like the Hmong and Laotians. Probably can tell you where they instruct the growers to market their products.

        Not fruit, but here is a guide to Asian vegetables in the Central Valley.

        1. Any Asian store should be able to produce a pomelo this time of year. And even some Safeway and Raley's should have them for new years. (They have to be at the bottom of the stack of fruit for Chinese New Year) I don't know all the rules. I was in an Asian market yesterday in Antioch (to far for you, I know) but I found some bottled Durian that I did not know existed.

          1 Reply
          1. re: The Old Gal

            Golden Bowl on first and olive has frozen durian, they even have fresh lychees sometimes