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Strange fruit?

mellybean Mar 31, 2010 07:30 AM

Tonight I want to initiate my Cubs into the wonderful world of exotic fruit.

I managed to find passion fruit and mangosteens and ramboutans but I know there's more out there. I was tempted to pick up some durian but that might turn them off fruit forever.

Have you seen anything cool lately? Any suggestions for a good place to shop?


  1. m
    mellybean Apr 8, 2010 09:31 PM

    Thank you everyone!

    I ended up with a LOT of neat things, the first meeting I shopped mainly near Victoria and Sherbrooke as well as the IGA in St. Henri and ended up with: blood oranges, passion fruit, grenadillo (the hit of the night), carambola, ramboutan (another hit), mangousteen (awful quality, an $8 waste from IGA), cactus pear, kumquats, pomelo and many other things I can't remember.

    This week I went to Jean Talon market and hit paydirt: longan, kiwi berries, aloe (ICK!!!), kiwano, pitiyaha, dragon fruit, guaybana, baby bananas, cheymoya (the hit of the night), sugar cane, sweet and meyer lemons, a mango from Haiti that was amazing and something I still don't know the name of and so much more.

    My Cubs tried everything and had a BLAST. Thank you all so much for your advice.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mellybean
      TheSnowpea Apr 10, 2010 11:10 AM

      I was really curious to find how the whole "dégustation exotique" had gone down. Thanks for the followup!

    2. hala Apr 1, 2010 08:01 PM

      My post got deleted, but that's ok since most of the stuff i was suggesting was mentioned by others.

      The one thing in my post that was not there was a suggestion that if your Cubs like the fruit concept that you try it with exotic veggies/nuts sometime in the future.

      I would suggest green (undried, uncooked) chickpeas (available now at JTM), raw pistachios (again uncooked), raw almonds -pod can be eaten before the almond has formed and later in the season, you eat the acual almond, raw walnuts, chestnuts, etc..... all wonderful tasting things that i have eaten here in montreal at one point or another...

      2 Replies
      1. re: hala
        The Chowhound Team Apr 2, 2010 07:09 AM

        FYI - no posts have been removed in this thread. Perhaps there was a technical problem when you posted it, but the moderators have not deleted anything here to date.

        1. re: The Chowhound Team
          hala Apr 2, 2010 08:12 AM

          Sorry, i did not meam you had deleted it. THere was nothing remotely offensive in it. It just got lost in cyberspace.

      2. j
        jay_81k Mar 31, 2010 09:59 PM

        I really like Passion Fruit. I found really nice ones at the atwater market the other day, they were really big compared to ones you would see at iga..
        Sour sop Ive had in Jamaica and it has a great flavor but the texture is literally like wet toilet paper.

        1. j
          JadeMyst Mar 31, 2010 06:54 PM

          Soon, there'll be Alphonso and Kesar mangoes at the Indian markets, later this summer there'll be Korean melons at the Korean markets, you missed the Hami melons, fresh Jackfruit is hard to find but the canned jackfruit can be interesting as part of a fruit salad, you still might find some blood oranges around but I think they're all gone too, and ripe sapodillas and persimmons would be good to try on them but beware of unripe ones as the astringent pucker would put them off the fruit.

          1. carswell Mar 31, 2010 02:02 PM

            Just back from a whirlwind tour of the Jean Talon Market. Checked Chez Nino and Chez Louis while there; the latter has a slightly larger selection of exotic fruits. Among the fruits I saw were cherimoya (custard apple), dragon fruit, logan, tamarillo, pomegranate, carambola (star fruit), kumquat, melano (horned melon), citron, finger lime (caviar lime), red currant, Sicilian blood orange and, I think, sugar apple (sweet sop). There were a few others that I'm forgetting. Sorry. Didn't have time to compile a list.

            1. e
              Evilbanana11 Mar 31, 2010 12:23 PM

              Let them try custard apples. Flavor is not too foreign so I think they'll like it.

              1. w
                wattacetti Mar 31, 2010 12:05 PM

                Cherimoya and cactus pears are two others. Guavas (they'll never forget the smell). Rose apples would be an amazing find.

                JTM, Atwater, Marché Hawaii, Kim Phat (the big ones), Chinatown

                1. SourberryLily Mar 31, 2010 09:14 AM

                  Durian can smell quite strong, but can be very tasty. Instead of buying the fruit try buying durian icecream or sweets at your local Asian market.

                  Alternatively, here are some fresh fruit to try:

                  -asian pears (found almost anywhere) are shaped like an apple, yellow and have a light, slightly nutty flavour. Everybody likes them! It's an easy one to adopt

                  -Lychee, these are again easy enough to find. Sami fruit is a good place to find fresh ones. The shell is prickly but fun to peel. Very sweet taste

                  -Dragon Fruit aka pitaya Ok this is VERY exotic indeed, and not so easy to find. I discovered them in Hong Kong and went crazy for them. Recently i've seen them at IGA and Metro but i would stay far away from these. Instead go for an asian market, Marche Orientale near Jean-Talon, Marche Hawaii or perhaps KimPhat has these. They are a pink and green peel fruit while the interior must be white with black dots. Texture is close to a melon. Choose one that is "fat" and round over a longish one.

                  PS: if you want exotic fruit, just wander around Jean-Talon market, foreign groceries or go to Sami Fruit (various locations). These are excellent places to discover new things and decent price.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: SourberryLily
                    vorpal May 15, 2010 02:55 AM

                    Is it just me, or does dragonfruit have virtually no taste? Gorgeous fruit, but boring and not worth the cost.

                    1. re: vorpal
                      FullPalate Jun 26, 2010 08:50 AM

                      Yes, that is the case :p

                      Its a cactus-fruit and it has a decent yield. It should probably be cheaper but the shipping/ low demand makes it expensive to sell outside of asia.

                      In response to the thread, I really enjoyed picking apart a pomegranate in the yard when I was a kid. This should be done in clothes you don't fear staining....or as I experienced, in swim trunks on the grass.

                      1. re: FullPalate
                        SourberryLily Jul 22, 2010 02:15 PM

                        It has really nice taste... where it's originated. Here it tastes too much like water. To get tasty ones, the trick is to choose "fat" small ROUND ones over long oblong ones. Also, they must be bring pink and firm to the touch.

                  2. NickMontreal Mar 31, 2010 07:59 AM

                    You should try and get your hands on some soursop/guanabana. One of my favorite exotic fruits. When I was growing up in Latin countries my father used to tell me it tasted like every fruit in the world. I'm not sure I would go so far as to say that, but it does have an incredible flavour and very distinctive texture. I've seen it in Montreal only once - I just can't remember where! Anyone?

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