One of my pleasures when I travel throughout Latin America is to visit produce markets or roadside fruit stands to see and taste the local fruits. Often in cities you will see women or kids selling fruits and whenever I find some fruit I have never tasted I always go for it and besides eating it I try to find out as much possible of the fruit, where does it come from? what it is called? what can you prepare with it? does it have any medicinal value? later I go to the internet and research it, what is the scientific name? what is the nutritional value? recipes for the fruit, I always meditate on the fruit, can it be used for dessert? with what other ingredients could it be combined? can it be used for seasoning or flavoring? can it be a side to a protein dish? can it be used in salads? these are fun questions that I take time to answer and eventually I cook with the fruit in various recipes, my own creation or someone else's , but I record the experience and if it is positive it becomes part of what I call my Market Cuisine archive.
In this blog I have written extensively on some fruits that are particularly ubiquitous, this time I will refer to fruits that are well known but are not so common because they are associated with a particular region of Latin America or season of the year. Fruits in tropical Latin America are most abundant during the rainy season that is when you see fruit stands well stocked. I am sure that my readers in Latin America have seen some of the fruits I describe below, perhaps some have tasted them, if not I hope this blog will encourage them to try these fruits, I am certain you will enjoy the experience, remember what your mother and doctors always say: fruits are good for you.
They give a unique flavor when made into a compote, or added to stews (e.g. Boeuf Bourguignon), hollandaise, chutneys, and curries. They are also tasty and decorative in, for example in salads. Appetizing desserts using this fruit include bavarois and combined with apples in a strudel. To use you scoop out the pulp and discard the crust which is bitter, liquefy with water and strain to eliminate the seeds. To 2 cups of seedless pulp add 1/4 cup of sugar and boil 10 to 20 minutes to make syrup, which can substitute cranberry sauce for a Turkey or cranberry juice in a Cosmopolitan.