Tropical fruit tasting

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Photo by Candy Suiso

“Wine tastings are old school,” said Makaha Mangoes’ Mark Suiso, at Friday’s Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers Conference at the University of Hawaii. “If you want to do something really special at your party, have a tropical fruit tasting.”

The fruits we’re all used to were there — papayas, pineapples, lychees and tangerines, but there were others that appeared to have been pulled from Darwin’s grab bag, like the red- and yellow-fleshed dragon fruit.

Even the mangoes were a sight to behold, including varieties like the voluptuous Rapoza, which literally grows to the size of your head, or the equally salacious Gouveia mango, which can be easily identified by it’s nipples. Other unique fruits included rambutans, jack fruit, sapodilla, canistel (also known as egg fruit) and durian.

The purpose of the tasting was to educate. Hawaii has all but two micro-climates (those missing are arctic and sub-arctic). This means that Hawaii’s farmers can grow virtually any plant on the planet. Yet, people here don’t know what to do with them. It’s the hope that by exposing people to different fruits, they’ll eventually create a greater demand for different varieties of locally grown fruits.

Here are some of our favorites from the tasting:

Fruit tasting

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Green tea mochi rice in orange jack fruit and mango mochi rice in yellow jack fruit.

9 comments
Bill Tobin
Bill Tobin

Mahalo Ed (and Melissa).  Sounds like we missed a good time.

nonstopmari
nonstopmari moderator

i wish i cd have made it. looks like the markets of southeast asia, where i'd buy mangosteen by the kilo and have them score the durian for me.

ed, that chico sapote may be what keeps falling off a tree in my backyard. i'll take a pic and send it to u. they're bigger than softballs and have a slightly scratchy skin and a deep orange flesh. we just keep throwing them away, nobody knows what to do w/ them.

turkfontaine
turkfontaine

the more delicate the blossom, the tastier the fruit....just sayin'

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

I just want you all to know that I had a pretty girl hold up the plate of jackfruit....and Ed shot a close up of the jack fruit. Just sayin.

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

 @Bill Tobin There are more ag conferences coming up....next week is a big one at the Convention Center! Hope to see you there.

edmorita
edmorita moderator

 @nonstopmari That's one of the reasons why Mark wants to push for more education so that people learn what to do with the fruit in they find.

edmorita
edmorita moderator

 @Melissa808 Did you not notice that I managed to use the words "voluptuous" and "salacious" into this blog post? It's all about the food porn baby!

Melissa808
Melissa808 moderator

 @edmorita It was like a scene out of Revenge of the (Food) Nerds.

edmorita
edmorita moderator

 @Melissa808 If it were Revenge of the Nerds, I would have been taking pictures of the... um... mangoes.