Not Your Mama's Fruit PlateJanuary 20, 2013
One of the best places to get fresh fruit is Flushing, Queens. This Asia-away-from-Asia has some of the most exotic fruit I've seen in the United States. And in recent years, the produce quality just keeps getting better and better.
This time, I picked a few things to make myself a proper fruit plate.
Clockwise from the top: korean pear, starfruit, dragon fruit, and guava.For people who have never seen or eaten these fruits before, do not be afraid! These guys are not at all hard to enjoy.
With the exception of the dragon fruit, all the specimens above simply need to be washed before you can take a big bite out of them (slicing is actually pretty optional). But as for that scaly, pink football, it should be dispatched like a melon - remove both ends to cut into slices or peel the skin and scoop out the inside.
All sliced up.One of the biggest reasons I picked these particular fruits is because they are so distinct from one another. With attributes like sour, mushy, crunchy, sweet and spongy all floating around on the same plate, the differences from one bite to the next can be very interesting and quite fun. Here's what you can expect:
Guavas (small, with beige seeds) are extremely fragrant. When ripe, this small fruit can fill an entire room with its flowery perfume. You have to eat around the hard, small seeds but the texture is quite pleasant - like a cross between a soft pear and a banana.
The Korean pear (brown skin, thin slices) can be best described as refreshing. Each bite fills your mouth with sweet, crisp juice. It's best to stick it in the fridge and save it as a dessert for a rich meal.
Although the starfruit (the fruit that looks like stars!) is most often purchased and eaten because it looks really awesome, it's actually quite tasty. The tangy, grape-flesh provides an interesting contrast to the waxy outer skin.
A dragon fruit's flesh (pink rind - not edible) is very mild and almost a little savory. Though most often eaten raw, some people like to stir-fry it with vegetables and meat. Personally, I like the tiny black seeds. Like in kiwis, they add an extra, unexpected crunch.
At the end of the day, these fruits are just a few of the many hundreds of different delicacies to be had. Depending on the season you can find many more interesting fruits in Flushing or at your local international market.
I recommend buying a bunch and sampling them with friends. You might be surprised by what you discover and even find some new favorites!
How to pick a ripe: