This time of year all I really want to do is travel to exotic lands. I want to throw a few tank tops and sun dresses in a weekender bag - slip on my flip flops - stuff my bikini in the side pocket, grab my husband, passport, sunblock, sunglasses and go! Get away.
A sandy beach and a vacant hot pink beach towel is all I need. Give me a direct flight to Maui to ogle the surfers, slurp up pineapple daiquiris and pick fresh guavas and burro bananas from the trees each morning. Yes, that would be quite nice.
But life isn't always as travel-infused as I crave. So here I am scooping out lime-drizzled papaya and creamy white cherimoya flesh. For a few sweet moments - it's quite transporting. Why not sample a slice?...
Tropical fruit is a luxurious fruit bowl treat. The exotic, aromatic and awakening fruit flavors take me to paradise, in a daydream.
Locals Only? Well guess what, if you're a "I buy locally only" kind of person, you can even find some unusual produce at your local Farm Market. Like the Japanese cucumbers I picked up last week here in NYC.
So take a fruit bowl vacation with my exotic fruit photo slideshow and tasting notes below. I hope it will inspire you to taste-test a new exotic food and get away via your taste buds. Cherimoya's, Paw Paw's and Kyuri's, oh my...
Cherimoya. Also called custard apple.
Appearance: Like a giant tennis ball. Green delicate skin similar to a papaya - yet the greenish-yellow-blackish skin looks almost scaled in a mosaic pattern. Beautiful light dragon to dark green colored. Inside it is pale yellow-green-white hued flesh. Creamy. Almond-sized, brownish-black hard seeds are easy to remove.
Taste Test: Sweet, creamy, tart, tangy. It took me a while to figure out where I had tasted the flavor before - but to me, cherimoyas taste exactly like a Firecracker Popsicle! The white colored, white lemon flavor in the popsicle - with a twist of cherry and raspberries mixed in. So strange that this white colored fruit has so much dense and powerful flavor! Eat when ripe for optimal sweetness.
Hawaiian Papaya, also called Paw Paw or Sunrise Papaya.
Appearance: About the size of a large fist with a tear-drop shaped body. Pale green to bright orange colored skin. Skin is delicate and soft. Inside, a star-shaped seed crater is packed with tiny gray seeds - less bitter than the seeds from a Red Papaya. Golden orange flesh. Like a sunrise.
Taste Test: Creamy, scoopable. Melts in your mouth. Golden flesh with a flowering essence. Juicy.
Red Papaya or Mexican Papaya.
Appearance: Large, the size of a smushed out football. Dark green to yellow-green skin tone. Thick to soft skin depending on variety and ripeness. Inside is bright salmon pink to dark red flesh. Brighter color develops as it ripens.
Taste Test: Sweet, soft to slightly firm - like a melon. A ripe papaya will melt in your mouth. Creamy and juicy. Hydrating.
Japanese Cucumber, or Kyuri.
Appearance: Bumpy dark green skin. Almost spiky. Little yellow flower attached to one end. Inside is light greenish-white flesh with very few mini seeds - basically seedless. Less juicy than a traditional cucumber.
Taste Test: Crunchy, almost like celery, but not chewy. Very mild in sweetness. Crisp and refreshing. Flavor is very mild to vacant.
*** View the Cherimoya, Papaya and Kyuri Photo Slideshow here!***
View the Cherimoya, Papaya and Kyuri Photo Slideshow here!