The Kishu tangerine is a seedless, easy to peel variety. Measuring about two inches in diameter, the skin is very loose and the flesh is bright orange with a mild, sweet flavor.
Monterrey pears are a large variety from northern Mexico, botanically a cultivar of Pyrus pyrifolia. The Asian pear hybrid was selected from the tree of a popular southern Texas variety. Monterrey pears are a cross of European pear and a Japanese pear.
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Rose apples are small tear-drop shaped fruits, roughly one to two inches in diameter. The yellow skin has an occasional green tint and a waxy appearance. Atop the fruit is a bright green calyx and stem. Rose apples give off a highly aromatic scent reminiscent of a blooming rose, and offer a sweet floral flavor, comparable to rose water. The yellow flesh is firm and crisp and in the center contains one to four small brown seeds that are loose within the core. When the whole fruit is shaken, the seeds rattle around inside the small cavity.
Rose apples are available in the summer months.
The Rose apple is classified botanically as Syzygium jambos, and is not related to the common apple at all. The small yellow fruit is a member of the myrtle family and is distantly related to guavas. Its smell and flavor are responsible for its floral moniker. It is also known as Plum rose and Malabar plum, and is closely related to the Malay apple and Java plum.
Rose apples are most often cooked down and made into jellies and jams, as opposed to eating fresh, out-of-hand. The fruit lends a subtle rose flavor to custards and puddings. In Jamaica, the small fruit is peeled, seeds removed and halved or sliced and cooked with sugar and cinnamon for a candied dessert. In late 1800s Bengal, ripe, deseeded fruits were distilled 4 times for “rose water” that rivaled those made with actual roses. Rose apples are very perishable and bruise easily, making them less than ideal for shipping.
Rose apples are native to the East Indies and Malaysia, which are the island countries located between Asia and Australia. The rose flavored fruit grows best in tropical or near-tropical climates. They have been naturalized in India and Southeast Asia and were introduced in Jamaica in the mid-18th century where they spread to Mexico and Peru. Rose apples were planted in Florida in the mid-19th century and later in California, though mostly for ornamental purposes. Today, outside of the East Indies and India, Rose apples can be found at farmers markets in Southern California.
Recipes that include Rose Apples. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Beyond Sweet and Savory||Hidden Rose Apple Tart|