With the price of bananas in Australia being so high after the cyclones and floods of the summer, it is nice to harvest a couple of small bunches off my trees. It’s even nicer when they are the beautiful looking red dacca variety.
These bananas weren’t as big as usual because the trees got blown over (we had our share of wild weather) and I had to pick the bunches before they were fully developed. I wasn’t even sure they would ripen, but slowly the bananas went from the very dark red on the tree, to the lighter, brighter red of the ripe fruit, shown in these photos.
The flesh is similar to the usual cavendish banana in colour and flavour, with maybe a little creamier texture. They are particularly nice cooked in the microwave and eaten with ice cream.
One of the problems with growing red daccas is the size of the plant. Mine grow to between 5 and 6 metres tall, making it difficult to protect the bunches from the wild bush turkeys.
Posted in Fruit
Tagged dessert, food, fruit
On my recent trip to NZ, I came across these in a market in Queenstown.
As you may know from reading previous posts, I live on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, a virtual culinary wasteland thanks to our lack of cultural diversity, and the generally conservative eating habits of most Australians. So it is always exciting to discover something new, even though the rest of the world may have been eating it for years. It does however appear as though the commercial kiwi berry is quite new, even in NZ. Or it’s a well kept secret, because these little fellas are great.
They’re slightly bigger than a grape and have a smooth edible skin, unlike their hairy big brother the kiwi fruit. I found the flesh similar to the kiwi fruit in colour, appearance and taste, but with fewer seeds.
Delicious, lets hope one day I might find them in shops here.
I saw these fruits on TV and after a bit of searching (didn’t think to look for the growers website!) found some at James St Market in Brisbane. At over $17 per kilo, they work out at about .90 cents each, which is expensive for the size of the fruit. So what are Achacha’s? They are a new fruit in Australia, originally from Bolivia in South America. The Australian fruit are grown on a large plantation (the worlds largest?) south of Townsville in North Queensland. Some time ago I tried a mangosteen which is closely related to the Achacha. The mangosteen is meant to be the Queen of Fruit, but I was quite disappointed with it. Not so with the Achacha, the fresh white flesh inside the orange skin is tangy, sweet but slightly acid and is delicious. Unfortunately with the large seed there is not a lot of flesh to enjoy.
I took advice from the website and blended the skins in water with some added sugar. These were kept overnight in the fridge and then strained to produce a slightly bitter but deliciously refreshing drink, with a taste similar to grapefruit. I would certainly recommend trying Achachas if you get the chance. Hopefully they will become more popular and easier to get. For more info see http://www.achacha.com.au/
Posted in Fruit
Tagged dessert, food, fruit
The black sapote or chocolate pudding fruit (Diospyros digyna) grows well where we live. I have a couple of trees and this year they have a particularly good crop coming on. The fruit doesn’t ripen on the tree, so it is picked green and ripens on the bench in about a week.
A ripe fruit (left) next to a much greener just picked fruit.
Once the fruit is fully ripe the skin is a much darker colour and very fragile and the fruit is easily dented with a finger. There are a few seeds inside, but mostly just the lovely flesh.
The soft, dark delicious flesh of the black sapote.
I guess the name chocolate pudding fruit comes from the colour of the flesh because I don’t think it tastes like chocolate, just a sweet vanilla flavour. It’s nice eaten as is, but I particularly like to mash the flesh, mix in some cream and a little Kahlua or Tia Maria, and then chill it. Makes a delicious mousse.
This is a little bit of a departure from what I intended to be in this blog, but Tamarillos are one of the feature fruits of my childhood. Very popular and quite common in New Zealand, they are not easy to get here on the Sunshine Coast, so when they do appear at the supermarket I buy a few, even at the high prices they ask. I have a couple of small trees planted so hope to be picking my own soon. I find then delicious eaten as is, but they are also great stewed and served with ice cream.
Tamarillos, Solanum betaceum, formerly known as tree tomatoes in NZ, are low in fat and calories and high in vitamin c.