Monday, October 28, 2013
Mangoes, Persimmons and Grapefruits
Mangoes, Grapefruits, and persimmons appear to be in season here in Northern California if I based it on the sale prices at the grocery stores. Yesterday I purchased the above three fruits in a store named Sprouts. The store specialized in fresh produce (fruits and vegetables) supposed to be grown locally. I say supposed because some of their offerings are navel oranges from Australia and of course the mangoes were imported from Mexico. The store carried two varieties of mangoes yesterday. The small yellow mangoes were selling for 0.99c each and the medium size red mangoes were on sale for 4 for $5. Regularly the red mangoes are listed in this store at $1.59 each and $2 at regular store here in Northern California such as Safeway and Raleys. I also buy mangoes from Food Max, a discount grocery store specializing in Latino products. Food Max has good supply of fresh fruits as well as vegetables. Food Max is the store that carries taro roots and other oriental vegetables besides the Chinese and Filipino store stores in our area. Speaking of Filipino stores, there are times of the year when you can purchase imported mangoes from the Philippines. Philippine mangoes are better and much more delicious than the Mexican mangoes if you are willing to pay for the higher prices.
Persimmons are only in season around the month of October. I purchased the Hachiya variety at 4 for $5 also yesterday. Most of these are grown locally and a lot of Northern California residents have persimmon trees in their backyard. I used to have two varieties of persimmons in my back yard when we were still residing in Pinole, California in the mid 1980's. I have both the Fuyu and Hachiya varieties.
Fuyu persimmons are distinguished by their "flat" bottoms and squat shape. Fuyus should be more orange then yellow and are at their best when just barely a teensy bit soft. They will ripen after picked, so buying rock-hard fuyus and allowing them to ripen at home can be a good strategy. Fuyus are commonly eaten raw, often sliced and peeled and salads. They can also be roasted to great effect. They have a mild, pumpkin-like flavor.
Hachiya persimmons are mouth-puckeringly tart unless absolutely, supremely ripe. Ripe hachiyas are unbelievably soft - and are often almost liquified into a silky smooth pulp inside. They are elongated and oval shaped. They will ripen once picked, so you can let them soften on the kitchen counter until ready to use. Hachiyas are thought of as "baking" persimmons and are commonly peeled and pureed into a pulp to add to baked goods. They add stable moisture and a mild, pumpkin-like flavor to cakes, puddings, and other treats. I am planning to make pancakes with persimmons sometime next week instead of my standard pancakes with blueberries, banana or strawberries.
The third fruit that I purchased yesterday was the grape fruit. I paid only 0.48c for a medium size fruit. Normally this size of fruit will cost you $1. When I open the fruit this morning for breakfast I was not disappointed. It was juicy, sweet with a hint of tartness and was worth more for the price I paid when it comes to its nutritional value. Grapefruits are not common in the Philippines and also are in season here in Northern California. The grapefruit (Citrus × paradisi) is a subtropical citrus tree known for its sour to semi-sweet fruit, an 18th-century hybrid first bred in Barbados. When found, it was named the "forbidden fruit"; and it has also been misidentified with the pomelo or shaddock (C. maxima), one of the parents of this hybrid, the other being sweet orange (C. × sinensis)
One of my philisopies in life is to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables to drive the doctor away!!