Avocado is the berry produced by American Persea, a small tree native to Central America, grown to produce the fruit also in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Perennial trees produce numerous pear-shaped fruits, depending on the variety of the plant these fruits may have green, brown, or even purple skin, smooth or covered with wrinkles and stones. The fruit’s ripeness is felt when the pulp is slightly yielding; an excessively hard fruit is not yet ripe, but if our avocado is soft to the touch, we can also throw it away.
It is eaten raw, in small pieces, or beaten; it is usually a fruit that is consumed with the addition of salt, as a base for sauces such as guacamole, or in salads. The pulp, greenish or yellowish in color, is creamy and contains a lot of oil. To eat an avocado it is necessary to cut it on the sides and, taking it with both hands, divide it in two, revealing the large central seed; at this point, if the fruit is very ripe, we can dig with a spoon and use the mixed pulp; if it is less ripe, we can peel it with a small knife and cut it into slices for a salad. The pulp of the avocado tends to oxidize quickly if left in the air, so it is usually used with citrus juice, which prevents oxidation.
Mango is the fruit of Mangifera indica, an evergreen tree native to Asia, now also grown in Africa and South America.
The fruit looks like a big olive; there are dozens of mango varieties, so there are fruits of various colors and sizes; generally, those sold in Europe are the size of an apple and vary in color, from green to yellow, from orange to red, even purple. The mango fruits are ripe when they are slightly soft to the touch; in this case, too, a very soft fruit, or with bruises, is excessively ripe. The peel of the mango is thick and fibrous and often difficult to remove, so divide the fruit in half, remove the seed and cut the pulp into squares: at this point go to the side of the peel to obtain a kind of porcupine from the which is easier to remove the pieces of pola. If you wish, we can also remove the peel and cut the mango into small pieces. This fruit is eaten raw, or even in jams or jams. In Indian cuisine, it is also used in the salted version, mixed with spicy meat dishes.
Papaya is the fruit of a plant called Carica papaya; these plants grow naturally in Central and South America, where they produce large fruits, weighing up to 6 to 7 kg. Papayas are grown in America, Asia, and Africa, although dwarf species are often grown, producing fruits that weigh less than a pound.
It has firm and fragrant pulp, which contains a particular enzyme, papain; this enzyme has the ability to soften meat and, in fact, often the sap of the plant, the juice of the fruit or even pieces of the fruit were traditionally used by Central American populations for this purpose. Papayas are eaten when they are a beautiful golden yellow color. , and are eaten raw, or compote, after removing the peel and the numerous seeds contained in the center of the fruit. Green papayas are used cooked, often in tasty dishes. Papaya seeds are edible and have an intense and spicy flavor; dried and roasted can be used as pepper.
Kumquat is a small citrus fruit, oval in shape, originally from Japan, also grown in Italy. It has the particularity of having a sour pulp and a thin and aromatic peel, so it is consumed whole. Kumquats are citrus fruits quite common in Italy and are eaten raw, but they are also widely used in syrups or candied fruits: this treatment enhances its bittersweet aroma at the same time.
The lychee Chinensis plant produces numerous small red fruits, the size of a ping-pong ball, gathered in large clusters. It is a plant of Chinese origin, also cultivated in South Asia, Israel, and Italy. The fruits are particular: they have a thin and rigid skin, which breaks easily with the nails, and have a whitish, translucent and very aromatic pulp. Within the fruit is a large seed.
Lychees are acquired when they are well turgid, bright red, free from depressions and delicately scented, avoid buying fruits with traces of mold that, even if superficial, spoil the flavor of the whole fruit. Lychees have a delicate, sweet and juicy pulp, which is eaten raw, but is also used to prepare creams, ice cream and sorbets. In China, syrups are generally used, but it does not appear that this product has attracted Italian consumers much. Closely related to the lychee is Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum), the fruits, in shape and pulp very similar to lychee, have numerous soft hooks on the skin, which make them vaguely similar to the hedgehog of a horse chestnut; rambutans are also eaten fresh, after removing the thin red or orange peel. Although litchis are easy to find in the market, rambutans are less common in the Italian market.
Passion fruit is the fruit of some varieties of passion fruit, it is also called passion fruit; There are two varieties, one yellow, the size of a small orange, and one purple, the size of a tangerine. They are plants of South American origin, now spread for centuries in cultivation also in Asia, New Zealand and in most tropical areas of the world, where they sometimes become weeds.
Passion fruit is consumed when the peel begins to lose turgor and the pulp becomes soft, as is the case with loquat or persimmon. At this point, the thin skin is cut with a knife and the seeds and pulp are extracted with a spoon, which are consumed together. The flavor is very aromatic, passion fruit is used raw, but it can also be used to make jams, fruit juices, jams, ice creams, creams.
Large fruit of acellow sellowiana, similar to large green plums. Native to Central and South America, this plant is also grown in Europe, Asia and Africa.
The fruits have a hard and resistant peel, which is cut with a knife to divide the fruit in half; inside the pulp it is yellow, fragrant, slightly sweet, aromatic, it is raw food.
Fruit of Psidium guajava, native to South America, also widely cultivated in Asia. Guava resembles quince apple and ripens when it reaches yellow color and the texture is very soft to the touch, but not excessively. They are usually eaten raw, but are also used to produce sweets, creams, jams.
Garcinia mangostana is an evergreen tree widely distributed in Southeast Asia; it produces fruits similar to small, green, hard, and compact apples, which are harvested keeping the bowl of flowers and the stalk that connected the fruit to the branch attached to the fruit. When the green peel becomes purplish and slightly soft, the fruit is ripe, ready to be consumed. If the cup and stalk appear dry or damaged and the pulp is depressed, our mangosteen must be thrown away.
The outer skin must be incised with a knife to divide the fruit in half: inside a thick, non-edible and fibrous pulp, we find an aryl divided into white slices, it is the edible part of the fruit. The flavor of the mangosteen is intense and aromatic, and the slices have a creamy consistency; they are eaten raw.
Pitaya is the fruit of a cactus, called Hylocereus undatus, native to South America, cultivated to produce fruits also in Asia; the fruit resembles a soft pear, yellow or pink in color, as soon as it is harvested it is covered by numerous thorns, which are generally not present in common fruits on the market, such as prickly pears.
The fruit is eaten by cutting it in half and consuming the soft pulp with a spoon; pitaya fruits are full of small dark seeds, immersed in a gelatinous white pulp, with a delicate and fragrant flavor. This fruit is usually eaten raw, fresh, but it can also be used to make juices, creams, jellies.