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Your Fav Unusual Fruits, and Boston Vendors of Them?

opinionatedchef Dec 3, 2011 04:42 PM

Through my Lifetime Continuing Ed class at CH, i have been learning about some more unusual fruits, and that they are actually available in Boston sometimes. Rambutan, Korean Pears, Satsuma Oranges, Durian, some special kind of mango?,...........
Others you love? CHs have mentioned Russo's, H Mart,China International and WF as some local vendors.
Thnx much.

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Russo's
560 Pleasant St, Watertown, MA 02472

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  1. Dave MP Dec 3, 2011 09:34 PM

    I was at Phu Cuong Market on Dorchester Avenue the other day and they were selling some nice looking jackfruit. They had entire jackfruits available to buy, and they also had slices wrapped in saran wrap which were a more manageable size. I don't remember the price per lb.

    Not fruits, but they also had fresh galangal and fresh turmeric. I hadn't been to this market in a long time, and I was impressed overall with their produce selection - I was there to buy mint and basil, and they had these and many other fresh herbs. They also have a fresh fish counter.

    This is the store that is directly across the street from Ba Le Ban Mi, at 1051 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester....near intersection with Pearl St.

    Dave MP

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      ArlHound Dec 4, 2011 06:27 AM

      My favorite is fresh passionfruit, but they are so hard to find around here. Sometimes last spring/early summer I found them at Market Basket for a decent price, and I once think I saw them at Russo's. Does anyone know of other places where fresh passionfruit can be found (preferably purple variety)?

      2 Replies
      1. re: ArlHound
        tazia Dec 4, 2011 07:52 AM

        I've definitely purchased them at Russo's a couple of years ago around Feb.

        1. re: ArlHound
          opinionatedchef Dec 4, 2011 11:09 AM

          isn't is fascinating how different the flavors are in the purple, yellow and orange ones? i also prefer the purple. i discovered this in the 80's when i brought eliz schneider colchie to boston to do a program on her Unusual Fruits and Vegetables book for The Women's Culinary Guild of New England. we got to taste so many neat things :-}

        2. kobuta Dec 4, 2011 11:16 AM

          My favorite of this season is persimmon, and I just bought a box from C-Mart yesterday. I hvaen't tried them yet to see if they're sweet, but when they're good I love the crunch, the melony flavor, and the sweetness. I only eat the fuyu kind (the boxy, squarish, firm to the touch), and don't care for the hachiya variety (pointier, oblongish).

          2 Replies
          1. re: kobuta
            opinionatedchef Dec 4, 2011 12:27 PM

            you eat them raw?(can you tell, i've only had them cooked, and loved them) do you let them ripen or eat them firm?

            1. re: opinionatedchef
              kobuta Dec 4, 2011 12:40 PM

              Yes, raw like other fruit. You should peel the skin and remove the green
              cap' before eating. They are wonderfully sweet. You do want them to ripen somewhat but I like a balance between crunch and sweetness. I prefer no give to the flesh when you squeeze it, and the skin should be a little reddish rather than the dull yellow-orange shade. Some prefer there is a little give to the flesh to guarantee ripeness.

              The hachiya ones you have to eat ripen, as they have lots of tannin and are astringent if eaten unripened. They are often eaten when the texture becomes ripe and mushy.

          2. lipoff Dec 4, 2011 12:27 PM

            Definitely Russo's for general variety. Miso Market sometimes has fresh yuzu, and other Japanese fruit. H-Mart has some great persimmons and pears, and the Allston Super 88/Hong Kong Market usually has durian (whole, but frozen, which is normally how they are sold to reduce the odor).

            Some of the South American fruits can be really good. I recently saw cherimoya at Wegman's, and I belive Frio Rico usually has some Peruvian/Ecuadorian fruits too. The Chelsea Market Basket also has a nice variety of South American fruits.

            I don't know if kumquats count as unusual anymore, but I love them, and Whole Foods often has good ones!

            1 Reply
            1. re: lipoff
              kobuta Dec 4, 2011 12:42 PM

              My mom used to have a little kumquat tree in the house that she picked up in Chinatown decades ago, and she would pluck and preserve the fruit for use. I miss that little tree.

            2. Bob Dobalina Dec 5, 2011 05:07 AM

              Favorite oddity is the Monstera fruit - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monstera...
              Have only seen them at Russo's and just a couple of times a year.

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