Australia's Exotic Fruit Farm: 2 Fruit Tasting
Tasting fruits in whole form
You're greeted with a cool glass of water with splash of West Indian Lime at the Cape Tribulation Exotic Fruit Farm on arrival. The flavor is recognizably lime, but subtler, less tart. The fruit farm has been collecting and growing unique tropical fruits since 1988. The tasting is a chance to get up close and personal with some very rare fruits, many of which are grown on the same land the farm sits on. Trish, our instructor also offers lots of information on recognizing when the fruit is ripe, peeling and cutting the fruits, and recipe and flavor pairings. Its a fruity dream in a tropical rain forest.
Breadfruit is a large spiky fruit. When its fully ripe, its a falling apart mess. Its eaten in its starchier state, and has lots of uses. We had ours roasted like potatoes. The flavor was nutty, and rooty. Very like a parsnip.
You've probably heard of the next one, jakfruit. Its available in a can in the states, and I've had it in halla halla, an Asian dessert. The canned version doesn't have much to do with the real thing. Its a monster. Jakfruit is the biggest tree-born fruit and can weigh as much as 88 pounds. The segments of the jakfruit are removed and cut into pieces after the skin is removed. The fruit is full of a sticky latex that will aggressively adhere to skin and clothes. Its recommended to wear gloves when cutting it up, and wipe your knife to prevent build up.
Cutting the jakfruit
The flavor is beautiful. Bright honey, banana, even a little watermelon in there. The texture is crunchy, and smooth. The segments contain seeds, which can be boiled and eaten too.
Pomelo are becoming less and less exotic. They are widely available in New York City markets. These Burma bases fruits are the granddaddy of a many other citrus fruits, namely grapefruit.
Pomelos are still very similar to grapefruits. The fruits are triple the size with a drier texture. The fruit, pith and rind are all edible. The flavor is less bitter than grapefruit, but with a good citrus taste.
After the first 4 fruits the tasting took a real departure towards very exotic. Sapodilla is small brown fruit which turns a caramel color when ripe. An indicator of its sweet caramel flavor. I found it similar to a fresh date, but fleshier with a little mealy texture. Its wonderful.
Cutting the sapodilla fruit
The sapodilla is also used to make gum. The seeds should not be eaten. The sapodilla fruit is best fresh, and hard to cook.
Sapodilla, soft and sweet
Yellow sapote was another fruit first for me. Its texture is like no other fruit. Its velvety soft and a little dense. The flavor was mild. My eyes may be playing tricks on my palette, but I detected some pumpkin notes, perhaps a little peachy too.
Yellow sapote in halves
Because of the yellow sapote's unique texture it goes very well with cheese, in yogurt, and ice cream. Its just a delight to feel it in your mouth and shines with its stand-out yellow color. Of all the fruits I tasted I really imagine this one having its own place in the commercial market.
Yellow sapote fruit with a creamy texture
Next Trish held up what looks like a plus size unripened tomato. In fact even the farmers have a hard time knowing when this fruit is ripe. They watch the birds to know when to pick it. The black sapote is ripe 4-5 days later. From then you must be quick to eat it, or falls apart.
You'd never guess what's inside the black sapote fruit
Black sapote is also known as pudding fruit, because its flavor is just like pudding, Jell-o pudding to be more exact. Its related to persimmon, and shares a similar taste. The flavor is sugary, and undistinguished. But its minimal flavor and decadent texture makes it a great palette for other flavors. Go ahead and add cocoa powder or orange juice, maybe some cinnamon or spice. Black sapote could be the healthier vegan alternative to custards and richer desserts. If it weren't so hard to package I can imagine this fruit also having a greater life in the international market.
Black sapote the pudding fruit
Davidson plum is local to the Daintree rain forest area. Its another surprise, but this time not so sweet. The tiny plum is mouth wrenching sour. Remember warheads? Its that sour, but I believe with more of a physical effect. Your face can not stop its self from puckering and twitching. The color is as large as the flavor, fluorescent magenta. How does nature event this stuff?
Mini Davidson plum with a huge flavor
The davidson plum is popular in savory foods. It does well in sauce with gamy flavors. Kangaroo with davidson plum anyone? It can also be used to color foods with 10x the color of a beet. If I got my hands on some of these plums you can bet I'd make some really radical sour pickles.
The star apple is neither an apple or a star, discuss. Well, there is a star revealed by cutting the fruit in thirds. The flavor is mellow and sugary, a bit like a fresh fig. The texture is velvety and airy. Emphasis on the mouth-feel rather than the flavor.
Cutting the star apple
The star apple should be eaten in wedges. The skin is not edible.
The next fruit has many names to many people. Guanabana aka soursop aka custard apple or the people's jakfruit. Its the best fruit I've tried yet. The flesh is wet and avocado soft with some fibers. The flavor doesn't know when to stop. Complex flavors are sweet, acidic, and a bit perfumed. Describing the taste is like describing the flavor of a banana. Nothing compares.
Guanabana aka soursop aka custard apple
With or without the exotic fruit farm the Cape Tribulation in Northern Queensland is a spectaluar place to visit. Combind with this special farm dedicated to collecting, and educating people on the delights of fruit I think its a number one destination for anyone interested in food. Really interested? Try a work stay or a few nights in their B&B. You only stand to risk to spoil your senses.