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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Try this: jackfruit and other exotic fruits

If your New Year's resolutions include eating more fruit and veggies and trying new things, hit both of them with jackfruit, a prehistoric looking, thorny fruit that can grow as big as a linebacker's torso. The yellow flesh inside resembles giant corn kernels, with the similar crispness of corn while tasting of banana and mango. While in season, you can get jackfruit at the Paradise Fruit and Vegetables stand Tuesdays at Fort Street Mall market and Saturdays at Ala Moana Farmers Market, except for the last Saturday, when it sets up at KCC Farmers' market.

Been there and done that? The fruit stand also offers other fruit you may have never tried: sapodilla or chico (like a brown sugar infused pear), canto (purple skinned fruit similar to persimmon), abiu (perfectly round, smooth yellow fruit tasting of caramel and honeydew), canistel (a rich textured fruit tasting of baked sweet potato) and more.

Jenny Bickel, who runs the stand, used to buy fruits from Frankie's Nursery and other farms all over the island to sell. Eventually, Frank asked her to come help out at the nursery. These days, she lives and works at Frankie's. So in addition to selling at markets, she's a grafting pro who can tell you the cultivar origins of every local fruit she sells, as well as how it tastes and what she loves about it.

Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 in Permalink

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About This Column

From five-star restaurants to hidden holes-in-the-wall, Biting Commentary will let you know what’s hot and what’s not. Find out the latest restaurant news—who’s opening, who’s closing, which chef is moving on, where the great special dinners are. Discover the best menu items, fabulous wines, stunning cocktails, hand-crafted beers. Be the first to hear about upcoming food events and festivals.

Food editor Martha Cheng graduated from Wellesley College with degrees in Computer Science and English. She's a former line cook, food truck owner, Peace Corps volunteer and Google techie. Follow her on Twitter @marthacheng.


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