We’ve become quite adept, in Australia, when it comes to understanding and using many Asian fruit and vegetables. Travel has introduced us to new products in their home countries, getting to taste and understand them in local recipes. Immigration has also bought a demand for these products locally, making them more readily available.
My favourite story is still the April Fools day joke played on an unwitting British public by the BBC in 1957, where they were presented with a three minute documentary showing the annual spaghetti tree harvest, hard to believe how easily they fell for it. In this internet era we may think we know everything, but, just as a lychee or rambutan may once have left us scratching our heads, there are still a multitude of fruits and vegetables that most of us have not yet heard of, and even less likely to understand.
Due to their distance, Africa and South America are probably the best places yet, to get that real challenge: try and source these 3 delights for starters, and reinvent your recipes.
The African Horned Cucumber – described as the ‘blowfish fruit’, tasting like a cucumber meets zucchini.
Cherimoya – a cross between a pineapple and banana, also described as tasting of bubblegum.
Aguajefruit – covered in reddish scales, it is an excellent source of Vitamin C, treats burns and makes a delicious wine.