Tropical fruits and vegetable have always fascinated
Europeans when they first saw them in the Americas and
brought to Spain or Italy for further study. Some have been
successfully grown, and proliferated. Others succumbed to the
harsh winters even in the northern Mediterranean shores
famous for their mild winter seasons.
Most tropical fruits and vegetables tend to be delicate,
therefore taste best when picked ripe and consumed
shortly thereafter. Tropical fruits available in North
America are by and large picked “green” and force-
ripened in transit, and/or in specially designed
warehouses. Beside their interesting look, their taste
and texture represent only a shadow of their true taste.
Mangoes are juicy stone fruit
(drupe) from numerous species
of tropical trees belonging to the
flowering plant genus
Mangifera, cultivated mostly for
their edible fruit.
The babaco is a hybrid cultivar in the
genus Vasconcellea from Ecuador.
It is a hybrid between Vasconcellea
cundinamarcensis and Vasconcellea
A banana is an edible fruit produced by several
kinds of large herbaceous flowering plants in
the genus Musa.
In some countries, bananas used for cooking
may be called "plantains", distinguishing them
from dessert bananas.
The fruit is variable in size, color, and firmness,
but is usually elongated and curved, with soft
flesh rich in starch covered with a rind, which
may be green, yellow, red, purple, or brown
Goji, goji berry, or wolfberry, is the fruit of either Lycium barbarum or
Lycium chinense, two closely related species of boxthorn in the
nightshade family, Solanaceae.
Both species are native to Asia, and have been long used in traditional
Asian cuisine. The fruits are similar but can be distinguished by small
but significant differences in taste, sugar content, and content of the
aminoacid betaine.The fruit has also been an ingredient in traditional
Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Japanese medicine.
The blood orange is a variety of orange with
crimson, almost blood-colored flesh.
The distinctive dark flesh color is due to the
presence of anthocyanins, a family of antioxidant
pigments common to many flowers and fruit, but
uncommon in citrus fruits. Chrysanthemin is the main
compound found in red oranges.
The papaya, papaw or pawpaw is the plant Carica papaya, one of the 22
accepted species in the genus Carica of the family Caricaceae.
Its origin is in the tropics of the Americas, perhaps from southern Mexico
and neighboring Central America.
The papaya is a small, sparsely branched tree, usually
with a single stem growing from 5 to 10 m tall, with
spirally arranged leaves confined to the top of the trunk.
Kiwi fruit or Chinese gooseberry, is the edible berry of several species
of woody vines in the genus Actinidia.
The most common cultivar group of kiwifruit is oval, about the size of
a large hen's egg in length and 4.5–5.5 cm .
It has a fibrous, dull greenish-brown skin and bright green or golden
flesh with rows of tiny, black, edible seeds.
The fruit has a soft texture with a sweet and unique flavour.
China produced 56% of the world total of kiwifruit in 2016.
A pitaya or pitahaya is the fruit of several different
cactus species indigenous to the Americas,
Pitaya usually refers to fruit of the genus Stenocereus,
while pitahaya or dragon fruit refers to fruit of the
genus Hylocereus, both in the Cactaceae family.
The dragon fruit is cultivated in Southeast Asia,
Florida, the Caribbean, Australia, and throughout
tropical and subtropical world regions.
Akee, the “gratis food” of Jamaica,
tastes akin to scrambled eggs, and is
almost always served with salted cod.
Canned akee is available in West Indian
grocery stores in large North American
cities. The fruit is too perishable for
distribution in distant markets.
Asparagus, or garden asparagus, folk name sparrow grass, scientific name
Asparagus officinalis, is a perennial flowering plant species in the genus
Asparagus. Its young shoots are used as a spring vegetable.
It was once classified in the lily family, like the related Allium species, onions
and garlic, but the Liliaceae have been split and the onion-like plants are now in
the family Amaryllidaceae and asparagus in the Asparagaceae. Sources differ as
to the native range of Asparagus officinalis, but generally include most of Europe
and western temperate Asia.