Tag Archives: fruit

Taste 1,000 Fruits, No. 97: Mountain Rose Apple

30th January 2012

Can’t you almost smell that color?

When I first saw a Mountain Rose Apple, my breath caught. It reminded me of a professor who said that one of the Impressionist painters — I think it was Matisse — brought an apple as a gift when he visited friends. And that’s exactly what these apples are, tokens of affection. The best way to bring something simple and sweet to someone you love.

Taste 1,000 fruits is part of my ongoing Life List project. If you’d like to make a Life List of your own, start with these 10 tips or this exercise.

Taste 1,000 Fruits: Black Arkansas and Davisson Apples

22nd November 2010

I choose apples the same way I’d choose a puppy, by looking for the one with the prettiest spots. The Black Arkansas apple on the left is so gorgeous. So red, it truly is almost black, except for the mottling on the side. It’s tart and firm, seems like it would make a decent pie apple. The Davisson is flavorful, but a little sweeter.

With the addition of these two, we’re up to 96 fruits. Only 904 to go!

Taste 1,000 Fruits: 90. Jamaican Apple 91. Guinep 92. Breadfruit 93. Jamaican Almond

20th July 2010

Our schedule in Jamaica was so packed I wasn’t able to make it to a fruit market, but I still added a few new ones to my list.

Jamaican Apples are delicious. They’re crisp like conventional North American apples, but have a much lighter texture — like a less-dense Asian pear.

The best ones are deep red with skin that gives a bit when you press it. They’re thirst quenching, and they’d make an excellent palate cleanser.

You can eat the whole thing except the pit, which is pretty large. I had something very similar in Costa Rica when I was 15. Ticos call them Manzanas de Agua, or water apples, and the ones I had were pale pink with no pit to speak of — it was neat to have that memory flood back when I bit into the Jamaican Apple.

These are Guineps, which I’d tried in Puerto Rico recently, but couldn’t figure out the name. They taste like citrusy peaches. There were a few Puerto Rican natives on trip who called them Quenepas.

You smash or bite the outer shell, which cracks open to reveal a jelly-like fruit inside with a large pit. You suck the fruit away from the pit, and the texture is a little like slimy algae. Much of the fruit pulp will stay on the pit. I’d love to freeze a bunch and use them as ice cubes in a tropical drink. So pretty.

I didn’t get a shot of the entire Breadfruit because they served it roasted as part of our meal at Scotchies. Roasted breadfruit tastes a lot like a potato, with a creamier texture more like a yam. It’s good with salt and butter.

This is O’Neil from the Jamaican Dogsled Team crew (more on that later). He’s one of my new favorite people. While we waited for our dogsled ride, he pointed out a huge pile of fly-covered, horse-gnawed Jamaican almonds.

They’d fallen from a tree on the property, and he shook each one until he found one that rattled, which is an indication that the almond is ripe.

Then he cut away the hull by using a rock to hit the back of his knife, and offered us each a taste. It tasted like almond, with a hint of horse saliva.

Taste 1,000 Fruits, No. 74-88

13th May 2010

I just added a bunch of fruits to my Taste 1,000 Fruits Project. A few of my favorites:

Concord Grapes
I finally realize where artificial grape flavoring came from. Concord grapes taste like the fruit version of grape candy. They’re small, and have an exquisite texture. The outside peel isn’t solidly attached to the fruit inside, so you can squeeze one between your teeth and the interior fruit pops out. That’s how I ate the whole bunch.

Yali Asian Pears
Crisp and light, the flavor is almost like an essence, the way cucumber can scent water.

Muscat Grapes
Sweet and juicy — if you’ve had Muscat wine, you know what these taste like.

I didn’t get a great photo, but this is one of my favorite new fruits. Like a cross between a banana and a pineapple with texture a little like a peach. The flesh inside is white with large brown seeds in it. If you see one anywhere, try it.

Taste 1,000 Fruits: No. 71-73

2nd February 2010


Winter citrus! These are Mandarinquats, tiny Kishu Mandarins, and a Fremont Mandarin.


Kishu Mandarins are so wee that the segments are about half the size of a quarter.


They’re very sweet, with barely enough tang to feel like you’re actually eating citrus.


Fremont Mandarins tasted similar to the Kishus, but larger, with a brighter peel that would make lovely zest. Also, they have seeds.


I was most excited about the Mandarinquats, which are a Mandarin-Kumquat hybrid. They’re supposed to be similar to kumquats, which have a super sweet peel and tart fruit. Kumquats are about the size of grapes, so you just pop them in your mouth whole, and I love them.


I do not love Mandarinquats. They’re pretty, but the peel is nowhere near as sweet as a kumquat, which means you’re just eating an orange peel. But! If you’re a bartender who wants to make a kumquat drink, these would be less time consuming to juice I guess. Also pretty in floral arrangements?

Meh. Mandarinquat, you are no friend of mine.