14 October 2011

The Best Thing I've Never Eaten - Takes 5 & 6

This week I'm offering a special buy one get one free sale -- which means you get TWO food reviews for the price of ONE. I'm just that awesome. Here we go...

Take 5

Red Tamarillo


I took pics myself, as I've done before but for some reason my phone won't upload them so I'm relying on Google Images for this one.


Tamarillos originate from New Zealand but are produced in the USA in California. Tamarillos are encased in a smooth, inedible skin and are the cousin of the eggplant (their mom and the eggplant's dad are brother and sister). Generally the fruit is eaten raw but can also be cooked. (For once, I did not use Wikipedia...this info comes from http://www.specialtyproduce.com/.)




Yay, my own picture finally worked.


The site mentioned above notes that these fruit taste like a cross between apricots and tomatoes...and if you think that sounds gross then you'd be right. This is quite possibly one of the most acidic fruits I've ever tasted--it is incredibly tart the acid level is off the charts. Sorry bout cha if you have acid reflux. At first the tartness and acidity is all you can taste but once that shock wears off you taste a hint of tomato as an aftertaste. It's not really pleasant and I don't think I'll be consuming this one on purpose again.



Take 6


Tamarindo


Once again, this image comes from Google images (I do love me some Google!).


The tamarind tree is native to Africa and produces these tamarindo pods with edible pulp. The pulp flesh is generally described to be sweet and acidic in flavor and is a good source of B vitamins and calcium. (From Wikipedia...hello old friend)


The hull of the pod should be broken open, revealing a reddish-brown fleshy pulp inside.


(What would I do without Google images?)

There are inedible seeds inside the pulp. The pulp is a rubbery, sticky texture (much like a dried fruit...prunes, apricots, etc.). I was hesitant to taste it and for good reason...because when I did, my face turned inside out. This was the most sour piece of anything I've ever tasted. My jaws locked up, my eyes watered...it was bad. I had to spit it out. Even my hubby, who has a high tolerance for sourness (both in food and in my personality) had trouble. You know the face a baby makes the first time they suck on a lemon? Imagine that times 17 and you have our faces with this. I have no idea how this would or should be used. I can't imagine a possible reasonable culinary use for this product.



See what I mean about the face?

07 October 2011

The Best Thing I've Never Eaten - Take 4

Chayote



Chayote is a squash also known as "vegetable fruit" or "pear squash" and comes from the gourd family, along with melons, cucumbers, and other types of squash. It can be eaten raw or cooked but is most often eaten raw. When cooking, chayote is usually treated like yellow summer squash, lightly cooked to retain crispness. When preparing raw, chayote makes a nice addition to salads and salsas and is usually marinated in lemon or lime juice. (Wikipedia experts say so.)

When I set out to try chayote, I didn't really know what I was going to do with it...how I would prepare it. I sort of just assumed I would cook it like I do yellow squash but after cutting in to it and tasting it, I didn't think I'd like it that way. I could tell I would prefer this fruit to be eaten raw.



Imagine that a pear and cucumber had a baby...that's what the chayote tastes like. A very delicate, mild flavor bordering on bland...not really sweet or tart. I'd love to find ways to incorporate this into a salad or salas as mentioned. Also, this would be delicious marinated in some sort of vinegarette or pickled. I'd think you could use this in any way you could use a cucumber and it would work well...but as a bonus it would be just a bit different...unexpected. Will definitely be experimenting with this one.

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