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Freaky Fruits for Fall

Fall is in the air, which means it’s time for cooler temperatures, colorful leaves, and creepy food treats. Want to confound and befuddle your friends family members – and expand their horizons? Try setting a table with some of these freaky fruits (courtesy of Melissa’s Produce).

Can you name them all? Aw, heck, we’ll make it easy for you. Clockwise from top left: Buddha’s hand, cherimoya, cactus pear, dragon fruit, longans, and sweet dumpling squash. Let’s take a closer look at a few of them:

What’s the deal with these longans – and why do they look so much like eyeballs? Longans (often known by their Chinese nickname, dragon eyes), are close relatives of lychees and rambutan. They have a rough, papery skin and a smooth white fruit underneath (with an “eyeball” seed in the center). If you slice around the “equator” of the outer skin, the white fruit pops out easily – and all you need to do is remove the center seed. The taste of the juicy white flesh is similar to a grape that has been peeled.

The Buddha’s hand is actually a variety of the citron – a citrus fruit related to the lemon. They’re probably more useful for decorating than for eating, but you can grate them and use them for any recipe that calls for lemon zest. (If your friends are repulsed by them, have them deeply inhale the citrus fragrance and they will immediately feel soothed and comforted.)

Cactus pears (also known as prickly pears) come from a variety of cactuses. Inside, they have a sweet red seedy flesh. They’re usually served peeled and cubed in a fruit salad (or the juice is used for Halloween “blood”).

Last but not least, there are these beautiful/scary dragon fruit. Peel back the thick mango-like peel and you’ll find a juicy seeded fruit with either white or brilliant magenta flesh. The taste is similar to that of a kiwi – but the color is like nothing you’ve seen on your plate before.

We’re going to be making things with these and more “freaky fruits” in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for more. And let us know if you’ve tried any of these and what you think!

Blogger disclosure: Melissa’s sent us these fruits to sample; we did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are our own.

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