Ten Unusual or Little Know Fruits and Vegetables

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Here are ten interesting and little know fruits and vegetable that will spice up a garden harvest.  Most will not work well in the lowered numbered grow zones in North America but with special care we can get some on them to produce for us.

 

Cherimoya

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Photo by: Robert Couse-Baker

 

 

Cherimoya is a heart-shaped fruit with a green textured skin.  The skin is not meant to eat.  They are native to South America.  They are ripe when it is soft to the touch, the stem end gives off a fragrance and the skin turns from army green to dark brown.  If you cut open a ripe cherimoya you will find white creamy flesh that you can spoon out and enjoy.  The flavor is described as a cross between a banana and a pineapple with a hint of mango and papaya.

 

Tomatillo

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Photo by: Erin

 

 

This is a small fruit that has a paper-thin husk.  It resembles a green tomato once the husk is removed.  It originates from Latin America.  They are generally cooked which will soften them up and improves the flavor. They are known for their saucing abilities and are a main ingredient in many Latin green sauces.

 

Sea Beans or Samphire

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Photo by: 70023venus2009

 

 

This plant looks like a mix between asparagus and cactus.  This green vegetable is grown near salt marshes and coastal areas and as a result have a very salty and citrus flavor.  They can be eaten steamed or raw.  They are used in stir-fry and also in salads.  With the high salt content, a little bit goes a long way.

 

Chayote Squash

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Photo by: RD

 

 

This vegetable has a pear shape and smooth apple-green skin that will need to be peeled.  It is also called christophine or mirtliton.  The vegetable has a mild taste that is a cross between a zucchini and cucumber.  The plant produces year round and once picked can be grated in a salad, roasted, steamed, grilled, baked or stuffed.

 

Kumquat

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Photo by: morgan schwartz

 

 

Looking like a dried up orange but oval more the round.  Originated in China.  The fruits are bright-orange and are the size of a large grape. Kumquats are a member of the citrus family and can be eaten whole including the rind. Kumquats are added to salads, used to thicken sauces or made into jelly or jams.  They are a great way to get additional vitamin C.

 

Pummelo

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Photo by: Melanie

 

 

This is the largest citrus fruit these it.  It originated in southeast Asia.  The fruit is round and firm the size of a cantaloupe or larger and is much like is cousin the grapefruit.  The rind is thicker than a grapefruit.

 

White Asparagus

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Photo by: amanda

 

 

If you have only had green asparagus before than you will know the flavor of the white asparagus.  The way it is grown is the only difference between the two.  White asparagus is not exposed to direct sunlight.  It is covered with plastic or by mounds of dirt and this block the formation of chlorophyll.  This also produces a more tender spear then the usual green spear.

 

Star Fruit

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Photo by: Hafiz Issadeen

 

 

Also known as a carombola this fruit has a waxy, yellow-green skin and loves warm climates.  This plant originated in southeast Asia.  They are sweet and crunchy at the same time, with a little tang in the taste. They are full of water and juices like a watermelon with the crunchy texture of a cucumber.

 

Gai Lan

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Photo by: Veronica

 

 

Gai lan has dark green leaves, slender stalks and small white flowers. It can be steamed, stir-fried, sauteed or boiled.  Gai lan is leafier, thinner and sharper in flavor than traditional green broccoli.

 

Ugli Fruit

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Photo by: Scott Veg

 

 

Ugli fruit has mottled greenish-yellow skin and strange shape. It has surprisingly sweet and juicy orange flesh with few seeds. Ugli fruit is great in fruit salad, eating them as you would a grapefruit, or adding them to a chicken dish. They originated from Jamaica and is very sweet like a tangerine and are easy to peel.

 

 

 

-My Yard Garden

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