Over the years, more and more imported fruit (from Central America, South America, and New Zealand) has appeared in stores, making otherwise out-of-season fruit available. But practically every fruit has a season when it is at its flavorful peak and most reasonable price.
Whenever possible, buy fruits in season from local farmers' markets; you will be rewarded with the most delicious produce possible. Some fruits, such as apples, cherries, citrus fruits, pomegranates, and rhubarb, are purchased fully ripe and can be enjoyed immediately.
Other fruits, especially those that have been shipped long distances, need further ripening. These include apricots, nectarines,peaches, pears, and plums. To ripen these fruits, place them in a closed paper (not plastic) bag or fruit-ripening bowl, and leave at room temperature for a few days.
Some fruits, such as bananas, kiwi fruit, mangoes, melons, papayas, and persimmons, ripen best at room temperature,away from direct sunlight. Refrigerate all ripened fruits to keep them from becoming overripe.
Cutting halves alongside the fibrous pit and "hedge hogging" the mango is the cleanest way to remove the flesh.
Standing the mango on its side, cut down each side of the mango, from stem to base, as close to the pit as you can.
Cut a crisscross pattern into the flesh of both pieces, but don't go all the way through. Invert the skin so the mango cubes pop up, then remove with a knife.
This technique is the quickest, easiest way to segment an orange, leaving the flesh pith-free.
With a sharp knife, slice away the top and bottom of the orange, then work around the fruit, slicing away the skin and pith.
Slice between each segment,leaving the thin layer of membrane behind until you have cut out all the segments
They may look impenetrable, but the pulp, juice, and seeds of this exotic fruit are surprisingly easy to extract.
With a sharp knife, cut the fruit in half, across the center.
Using a spoon, scrape around the edge of the passion fruit to release the seeds from the membrane. Scoop out the pulp.
Removing the skin from peaches and other stone fruit, such as nectarines and plums, is necessary for many desserts and sauces.
Starting at the base, make a cut crosswise around the middle, just through the skin. Then repeat the cut in the other direction.
Place the fruit in a heatproof bowl and pour over boiling water. Remove with a slotted spoon, and when cool, pull off the skin.
Take care when handling the sharp outer skin, and use the sharpest knife you can find as the inner core is tough.
Slice off both ends of the pineapple. Stand it on its base, and slice the skin from the top down, all the way around the fruit.
Cut it in half lengthwise, then slice away the fibrous core that runs through the center of the fruit.
This delicious Middle Eastern fruit has a tough skin and requires patience when preparing, but it's worth the effort.
Slice off the top of the pomegranate with a sharp knife. Slice into quarters.
The seeds are in clusters divided by a thin membrane. Pick out the seeds from each quarter.
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