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Best fruit in winter?

The Dairy Queen Feb 4, 2011 08:11 AM

OK, I know this is probably a ridiculous question because there is no "local" fruit available right now, except for what people have canned, frozen, or put in their apple cellars, and, therefore, anything "fresh" must be coming in from elsewhere. But, nevertheless, I miss fruit in winter. I was living on a steady diet of clemintines for awhile, available at Lunds/Byerly's and Whole Foods, but those are pretty much done.

Anyone have a good source of winter fruit that doesn't take like wood?

Or, do I have to resort to frozen now?


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  1. f
    foreverhungry RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 4, 2011 08:37 AM

    I'm assuming you don't mean local. My two favorites this time of year are blood oranges and Central American mangoes.

    The blood oranges started showing up a few weeks ago, but should be done soon. And the mangoes from Central America should be starting to hit the stands soon, if they haven't already.

    To be honest, I think of the spring as the worst time for good fruit, because by then late-season harvest apples are done, most good quality citrus is done, and it's a few months yet to the first fresh local fruits - berries.

    21 Replies
    1. re: foreverhungry
      SmartCookie RE: foreverhungry Feb 4, 2011 08:40 AM

      This is kind of a nice little link to winter fruits and includes a few recipes:


      1. re: SmartCookie
        The Dairy Queen RE: SmartCookie Feb 4, 2011 08:46 AM

        Thanks, SmartCookie. Do you know of any grocery stores/markets that do an especially good job of bringing in some of the winter fruits featured in that link?


      2. re: foreverhungry
        The Dairy Queen RE: foreverhungry Feb 4, 2011 08:44 AM

        Yes, thank you, this is exactly the kind of answer I was looking for. I'm giving up on "fresh" local fruit for now and willling to go exotic.

        Do you have any favorite grocers or markets for blood oranges and mangoes?


        1. re: The Dairy Queen
          semanticantics RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 4, 2011 09:41 AM

          I bought Blood Oranges at Whole Foods last night. I got some Longans at the Hmong Village last week. Weird, lychee-kind of thing. They also had fresh Guava, which I don't think I'd ever seen before.

          1. re: semanticantics
            The Dairy Queen RE: semanticantics Feb 4, 2011 12:08 PM

            Huh. I'm realizing I'm not sure I've ever purchased fresh guava. Guava and passionfruit are the same thing in my mind, but a little googling proves they aren't the same at all. Good reason to get over to Hmong Village! The new one, right? Thanks!


          2. re: The Dairy Queen
            foreverhungry RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 4, 2011 11:01 AM

            Whole Foods and Lunds have been my go-to to blood oranges. All the ones I've had so far this year form both sources have been excellent.

            I haven't been on the lookout for mangos yet this year. Wait - I had a very good one I purchased from the grocer at Midtown Global Market, about 2 weeks ago. Probably a Mexican mango, but can't sure. Already very close to ripeness, it had excellent flavor. If you're at MGM, you should get a decent mango there.

            Midtown Global Market
            920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

            1. re: foreverhungry
              The Dairy Queen RE: foreverhungry Feb 4, 2011 11:10 AM

              I never get to the Produce Exchange in MidGloMa often enough, but you're right, they do get excellent exotic produce. I should make a point of getting there more often in winter.

              Lunds and WF's tend to be my winter fruit haunts, too. Hmong Village as semanticantics points out above is a good rec, too!


              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                faith RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 4, 2011 11:24 AM

                tdq, don't ignore the co-ops, like Wedge and Miss. Mkt. Miss. Mkt often has samples out of whatever fruit is good.....the Rio Star red grapefruit (I only get organic btw) is excellent right now, Satsuma mandarins are still good, had some excellent organic green grapes from the Wedge recently, not cheap but they are big and juicy and have a lovely floral note. I was out east for a couple of weeks and had excellent orlando tangelos and royal mandarins, hopefully they will be making their way here. Pears are great now too, esp bartlett. enjoy..

                1. re: faith
                  The Dairy Queen RE: faith Feb 4, 2011 11:36 AM

                  Good call on the red grapefruit. That's at Miss Market?

                  And, I do love grapes and the only ones I've seen lately have been lousy and expensive. So, thank you for the heads up on the Wedge. I don't mind paying more if they are delicious!


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                    rp1760 RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 6, 2011 08:18 AM

                    Grapefruit is ripe and very juicy right now. I've picked up a couple the last two weeks. I cut off top and bottom, slice off remaining peel, then section it out, add some avocado slices, julienned jalapeno, and a lime, grapefruit juice (from the cutting), and olive oil dressing. Very refreshing. And lite.... If I remember to get cilantro I add a bit of that, too.

                  2. re: faith
                    soupkitten RE: faith Feb 4, 2011 11:43 AM

                    agreed! there are excellent blood oranges in the co-ops currently, and small grapefruits that can be eaten out of hand. also, kiwi fruit is "seasonal" now and they have been excellent. we may be at the end of the really good ones, they were awesome for a few weeks there, though. there are nice pears right now, i like the organic scarlet pears and the tiny little ones. what's theirname. duh i'll have to look it up. they are like, 5/lb and they have a natural cinnamon/spice, sweet finish. lately i have been into dates-- not "fresh," i know, but very delicious during the winter months, and i've been throwing dates in w frozen berries to make smoothies. mangoes and passionfruit as well-- i was just at seward and they had a ton of mangoes. i bought nice plump medjool dates there as well. did i mention i'm totally hung up on dates currently? :)

                    1. re: soupkitten
                      The Dairy Queen RE: soupkitten Feb 4, 2011 11:51 AM

                      That is hilarious! I'm on a date kick, too after, seriously, years of ignoring them! I heard Bill's Imported Foods has good dates. Have you tried theirs?

                      Oh you all have given me such a good list of things to be on the lookout for. I fear winter was getting the best of me but this is all very encouraging.

                      Have you tried this date shake? http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/rec...

                      Or, more decadently, this one?


                      Bill's Imported Foods
                      721 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                        soupkitten RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 4, 2011 11:56 AM

                        oh great. . . i just drooled all over my keyboard. must have date shake! :-P

                        1. re: soupkitten
                          cayjohan RE: soupkitten Feb 4, 2011 12:37 PM

                          soupkitten, there's a recipe for date-pear chutney on this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/761410 that sounds mouthwateringly good if'n you've got the date jones. I do, and I've got to follow up and get some of those pears you mentioned. Like, now.

                          1. re: cayjohan
                            soupkitten RE: cayjohan Feb 4, 2011 01:35 PM

                            thanks for that link, Cay!

                            btw i now have a yogurt-maple-date-blueberry-banana smoothie in hand, and all is well :)

                        2. re: The Dairy Queen
                          bob s RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 4, 2011 12:09 PM

                          I had a couple of date shakes when I was out in the Coachella Valley last year (which is the center of U.S. date production and the purported home of the date shake). They were fine but nothing special. (I would have said they were no great shakes, but that would be a little rich.)

                          Perhaps those recipes would be better.

                          To keep this post local, I'd suggest looking to the co-ops for dates as well. The Wedge usually has good ones around. I'll have to try Bill's sometime.

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                            goatgolfer RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 4, 2011 02:13 PM

                            Great recipes.

                      2. re: The Dairy Queen
                        Ms. Fennelbulb RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 4, 2011 11:41 AM

                        A few days ago, I saw "Aurora" apples for the first time at the Produce Exchange. They are medium-size, yellow apples shaped like Delicious apples. I bought a couple, and they were sweet and crisp.

                        Two years ago around November, PE carried "Orin" apples from Canada for a short period of time. They were green, fragrant and sweet - almost pear-like. Last year, Whole Foods in SP had them, again, for a short period. Even though I spoke to the staff at both places about bringing them back, I have not seen them anywhere since.

                        1. re: Ms. Fennelbulb
                          The Dairy Queen RE: Ms. Fennelbulb Feb 4, 2011 11:43 AM

                          I've never heard of these varieties of apples. I've been shunning apples lately, but I shall be on the lookout for these now.


                      3. re: foreverhungry
                        SmartCookie RE: foreverhungry Feb 4, 2011 11:26 AM

                        I like to get the Artulfo mangoes at the market in Plaza Verde on Lake/Bloomington (and off the subject, but they carry the best Mexican limes)...haven't checked for blood oranges yet.

                        1. re: SmartCookie
                          The Dairy Queen RE: SmartCookie Feb 4, 2011 11:37 AM

                          Huh. I drive by that place all the time and have never stopped in. Good mangos and limes, eh! Great tip, thank you!


                  3. Foureyes137 RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 4, 2011 11:35 AM

                    Grapefruit is my favorite this time of year, by a longshot.

                    I've found good examples both at the coop and Lund's...though Lund's on University has stopped carrying yellow grapefruit, which sucks.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Foureyes137
                      The Dairy Queen RE: Foureyes137 Feb 4, 2011 11:40 AM

                      That must be your years in Texas speaking! I don't know why I don't think of grapefruit more often.

                      Strange that the University Lunds has stopped carrying yellow grapefruit, but thankfully I seldom go to that one. I guess the stock varies by location?


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                        Foureyes137 RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 4, 2011 11:50 AM

                        It certainly is! My birthday is in winter, and my birthday breakfast growing up was a local ruby grapefruit with a candle in the middle.

                        And they must. They have Texas Ruby and Florida Pink, but they'd had yellow last year, and it was top notch. *sigh*

                    2. cayjohan RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 4, 2011 12:14 PM

                      I've been having truly fantastic luck with pineapples lately - at the big-boxes, the Hispanic markets, my co-op...we've been on a pineapple bender around here lately as a result! And I haven't found one that disappointed, oddly enough. (Can't say the same for mangoes...might have to give Midtown Global Market a try.)

                      Warm climate fruit in Minnesota winter makes everything more bearable, doesn't it?!

                      Midtown Global Market
                      920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: cayjohan
                        The Dairy Queen RE: cayjohan Feb 4, 2011 12:20 PM

                        It's true. Just talking about this wonderful fruit has brightened my afternoon. I like pineapples, too. Maybe I'll see if that Plaza Verde recommended above has them and make the trip there doubly rewarding.

                        I was making notes of all of the great fruits and where they are on the back of my business card. I'm going to have to re-do it, though, because there have been so many ideas tossed around!


                      2. cayjohan RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 4, 2011 02:37 PM

                        This fruit talk has got me thinking about where to get decent avocados in the TCs these days. My luck has been abysmal lately, and it seems from a thread on the General Topics board that this isn't just localized. I'm making a fruit run this weekend, and I'm really craving some even solid B-minus avocados. Anyone have a bead on that?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: cayjohan
                          soupkitten RE: cayjohan Feb 4, 2011 02:42 PM

                          i felt up the avocados at seward today. they were big & pretty but not soft. i changed my plan. got some good ones at eastside co-op last week, actually-- but that might not be the freshest trail to follow.

                        2. s
                          Sharoneonta RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 4, 2011 02:50 PM

                          It's getting late for them but I discovered persimmons this year, or as I like to call them "honey tomatoes".

                          Red grapes also tend to be good this time of year.

                          1. g
                            getgot211 RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 4, 2011 03:51 PM

                            the 'pixie' tangerines that the Wedge sells are awesome, I like their navels too. pears are still decent. they just got kiwis in, picked some up but haven't eaten one yet.

                            1. The Dairy Queen RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 5, 2011 10:42 AM

                              Thank you, everyone, for these fantastic suggestions. It really pulled me out of my rut. I went to Seward Co-op, where I hadn't been in awhile (the parking situation is bad enough in summer, but with all this snow it's somewhat impossible except at off-peak times.). Anyway, lovely selection of dates. Picked up some kumquats and something I'd never seen before mandarinequats. Red Ruby Grapefruit. Mangoes (haven't tried them yet). Pears, those red ones. Cara cara oranges and blood oranges. Hmmm...can't remember what else. Oh! Some kiwis. I spent about $40 on fruit alone. They must have thought I was a lunatic.

                              I didn't see the apples that were recommended, but I'm on the lookout.

                              Thanks to all! I'm sure I'll be employing your other recommendations over the next several weeks!


                              1. s
                                shoo bee doo RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 5, 2011 10:45 AM

                                I guess it's too late, but Alvin from the Traditional Food Warehouse is in the process of ordering some organic, nutrient-dense special citrus from Texas. The citrus is being picked at this moment. Here's the number at Alvin's farm. 320.250.6462. If interested, order today or tomorrow.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: shoo bee doo
                                  The Dairy Queen RE: shoo bee doo Feb 5, 2011 02:47 PM

                                  shoo bee doo, yeah, I'm afraid it's probably too late.

                                  Is Traditional Food Warehouse a place one can shop at or is it all special order? Is it similar to one of the co-ops except that it is strictly for members?



                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                    faith RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 5, 2011 10:01 PM

                                    normally Trad. Foods Warehouse is member only, but it is possible there may be something different about this citrus order mentioned above...

                                    there is white and red grapefruit at the coops, but I like red better if I have a choice, maybe it's just some psychology of color....and find the Texas reds better than the Florida reds...

                                    was back at Miss. Mkt on Selby/Dale yesterday and they had a great price on excellent small Satsuma mandarins, easy to peel and pop into your mouth!

                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                      shoo bee doo RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 6, 2011 08:16 AM

                                      TDQ, the state placed the Traditional Foods Warehouse under embargo last June or July. They are no longer under that embargo since last month, but they are going through the growing pains of restructuring. We, the members, hope they open soon again. Meanwhile, some things are going on outside the structure, such as Alvin special ordering produce from a special farm. In many cases, you do not need to be a member to buy.

                                      I describe it as something between the old style coops and a farmers market. Some of the things I've gotten there that I love and cannot buy anywhere else are homemade kombucha, a variety of fermented vegetables, coconut oil products, Lucky Pig bacon and other pork produces, homemade spaetzle and lefsa from the highest quality ingredients, Her Majesty's Shortbread, homemade sprouted crackers, etc.

                                      Contact me if you would like more detail.

                                  2. ibew292 RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 6, 2011 05:41 AM

                                    There are some tasty organic Sugar Plum Grape Tomatoes at the markets right now....

                                    1. a
                                      alpa chino RE: The Dairy Queen Feb 6, 2011 09:44 AM

                                      In a perfect world, we'd be able to eat fresh tropical fruit in the dead of winter, all the way in MN. But sadly, with the exception of the occasional guava, we just can't get the passion fruit, jack fruit, or the ever so delicious wax jambu.

                                      But in the meantime, the grapefruit will do. Or the tiny banana---You've probably seen them around. They're a great alternative to the regular ones.

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