Are you in the late winter fruit doldrums right now? We feel your pain. By the end of winter we’re usually daydreaming about those long summer days with endless peaches, watermelon, blueberries…But we digress. There’s lots of great fruit out there to eat right now, it’s just that you might not immediately recognize it. Sometimes you just have to be willing to break out of your familiar fruit habits (bananas, apples…) to try something new and tasty. That’s why we love the motto of our friends at specialty retailer Frieda’s Produce: “Fear No Fruit”… and that’s the spirit in which we introduce you to three tasty seasonal fruits that may not be part of your regular routine.
Case in point: These amazing, perky little greengage plums. They’re a small, firm but sweet plum with greenish-yellow flesh (they’re known as Reine Claude in France) and they are super-tasty to eat right out of hand – but they’re not around for very long and they’re easy to pass by if you’re not looking for them. They are grown in New Zealand and are available in February and March; ask your grocer if you don’t see them in the produce aisle. We kid-tested them by bringing them to the playground last week and we wound up with a little line of kids next to the plums asking for more. They’re only about as big as two or three bites; one kid told us they tasted like green grapes. Either way, they’re a great lunchbox solution or healthy snack. (And if you’re looking for more things to do with greengage plums, check out this list from our friend Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious.) Extra bonus for March: These green plums make great healthy snacks for St. Patrick’s Day!
Another fun choice for this time of year is the lemon plum. This zesty plum is a relatively new variety, grown in Chile and available in February and March. The fruit starts out green and then turns yellow with a reddish tinge when it is ripened. It’s mostly a classic plum taste but with a little hint of citrus zing. We just get a kick out of the adorable heart shape.
Last but not least, you might have heard of the Sumo, a relatively new citrus variety that’s made quite the splash in the last few years. It’s incredibly odd-looking, with a thick wrinkled skin and a large knot on the top. But behind that thick skin is one of the most tender and sweet (and seedless) oranges you’ll find. Lunchbox bonus: They are the least messy oranges you’ll ever eat – the segments separate easily and you don’t get juicy stickiness all over your hands. Sumos, grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley, have limited availability from February through May. You may have to ask around to find Sumos; we bought ours at our local specialty produce realtor, GROW.
Seen any new or unusual fruits lately? We’d love to hear about them. Fear no fruit!
Blogger disclosure: We received greengage plums and lemon plums from Frieda’s Produce for review; we did not receive compensation for this post.