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weird winter fruit

Although exotic fruits have long been seen in specialty supermarkets and health food stores, a growing number of mainstream markets are now offering an array of unfamiliar produce. Here is a look at three “new” and unusual fruits that are now becoming more widely available.

Cherimoya. Native to Ecuador and Colombia, the cherimoya (pronounced chair-uh-MOY-uh) is a green, roundish fruit with a rough skin. Also called “custard apple” or “sherbet fruit,” it has a tropical taste that blends elements of pineapple, banana and berries. The scalelike skin may look strong, but cherimoya actually bruises easily, which is why it is often sold unripe and encased in a protective mesh cover. The fruit will ripen if left at room temperature for a day or two; once ripe, wrap in paper towels and refrigerate. Use within 2 days, since it will quickly lose flavor.

Horned Melon. Also known as “kiwano melon,” this
oblong specimen is bright
orange and yellow and encased in a shell that is studded with pointed, sharp horns. Native to New Zealand, the fruit has a lime green, gelatinous pulp with small, edible seeds similar to that of a cucumber. Unlike most melons, the horned melon is not very sweet even when ripe and instead has a more grassy, almost lemony taste. Select horned melons that have no bruises and are vividly orange on the exterior, which indicates ripeness. Store the fruit at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.

Uniq Fruit. Originally grown only in Jamaica, this kooky citrus fruit has a thick, spotted, yellowish-green skin that almost looks wrinkly, hence its “unique” name. The juicy flesh inside tastes like a cross between a grapefruit and a mandarin orange, but without the acidity or bitter aftertaste of the former. Sold ripe, the best fruit is heavy for its size. Store at room temperature for up to 5 days, or refrigerate in the crisper for up to 2 weeks.


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