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Strange fruit?

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?

Thanks!

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  1. 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?

    1. 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

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

        1. re: vorpal

          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

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

          1. 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. 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. 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. 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

                    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

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

                  2. 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

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