We recently heard about ground cherries (can also be groundcherry[ies]). When we looked up pictures of them, they looked very much like what I grew up calling Japanese lanterns. So we were intrigued about them. Here is what we found.
They are both of the genus Physalis, flowering plants in the nightshade family. Many of the plants of this genus are called groundcherries. There are Inca berries, Cape gooseberry, golden berries. The group known as Japanese lanterns or Chinese lanterns are more ornamental. Another member of this genus is the tomatillo, used in Mexican cooking.
Ground cherries are said to have the taste of mango and pineapple juice in a cherry tomato. There are many recipes that can use ground cherries. You can add them to salsa, make a pie, grind and spread on bread for an appetizer, add to a salad, make jam.
They are supposed to be easy to grow so if you have room in your garden, you can grow this fruit.
While looking at Twitter one day, we found a post about a restaurant serving smoked watermelon. They serve it up like, and even make it look like ham. It it put in a bath and then put into a smoker. After it has smoked, it is scored and put in a pan with olive oil and spices. It is then sliced and served. It almost looks like ham. The woman in the video below says it looks a little like rare prime rib and that it tastes like nothing she’s had before. It comes from Ducks Eatery in New York. The chef was looking for options for vegans and vegetarians when dining with their meat-eating friends.
He also developed the cantaloupe burger. These items don’t happen quickly. They undergo a 2-day process to get the correct texture and taste they are looking for.
Mangos (sometimes spelled mangoes) are a tropical fruit. There are six varieties available at various times of the year. Each type has a different flavor and texture so you may want to explore them all.
Honey: Has a yellow color and a sweet and creamy flavor. Its peak availability is March-June, while there is some availability the rest of the year. They are grown in Mexico, Ecuador, and Peru.
Francis: The ouside is bright yellow with some green and the inside is bright yellow-orange. It is grown mostly in Haiti. The flavor is rich, spicy, and sweet. The peak availability is April-June while March-September has some availability.
Keitt: This greenish-skinned variety is grown in Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Puerto Rico. The bright yellow inside has a sweet and fruity flavor. They are popular in Asian cuisine. They are available March through October with peak availability from July to September.
Kent: Kents are available year long except April and October. They peak June-August and December-February. Their skin is mostly dark green and sometimes has small areas of dark red. The flavor is said to be sweet and rich. They are grown in Mexico, Ecuador, and Peru.
Tommy Atkins: These lovelies are originally from Florida and are the most that are imported into the U.S. They are mildly sweet with a firm flesh. They have a dark red blush with green and yellow areas. They have some availability year round with peak being March-July and September-October. They come to us from Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru.
Palmer: These also originated in Florida. They are grown in Brazil. They are available somewhat August-October but they don’t have a peak season. They are a deep red and mildly sweet.
One cup of mango cubes has about 100 calories, 100% of daily vitamin C, 35% daily vitamin A.
Sometimes salads can be boring. That needn’t be. There are many trends out there that can add some pizzazz to your salad. The Victor crew suggests some of the following ideas:
To a green salad, add berries, apples, or other fresh seasonal fruit. Grapes or cherries are also good. If there aren’t any seasonal fruits you want to add, try dried cranberries or other dried/dehydrated fruits.
Another nice addition is nuts. You can even easily make your own candied nuts to toss in. Use some raw almonds and toss with olive oil and honey and maybe some cinnamon and roast in the oven for about 20-30 mins on low. You can make a bunch and freeze them for another time. You can do the same with pecans or walnuts too.
You can grate some cheese in your salad as well. Try using the “ribbon” side of your grater or the ribbon microplane and use cheese such as asiago or fontinella (not fontina).
As for greens, try some different types like spinach (strawberries go well with this), romaine, baby lettuce, spring mix, arugula mix, or mixture of any of them.
There are many different salad dressing that you can use with these salads. Usually vinaigrette goes well. There are different types that would work – sometimes a sweet one such as raspberry vinaigrette works well.
One day I was walking in a Whole Foods Store and saw a humongous weird looking thing in the produce aisle. I didn’t take a picture of it or even ask an employee what it was. I found myself back a couple days later and saw some packages of what looked like the fruit cut up labeled “Jackfruit.” So now my curiosity is peaked.
Now when I say this fruit was weird, it was kind of beigey-green in color, with little nodules all over it. The odd thing was it was about two feet long and about a foot wide. So here is what the Victor crew found out.
According to Wikipedia, the name jackfruit comes from the Portuguese language and they call it jaca, which they have drived from the Malayalam word chakka. The fruit itself comes from India. It has been cultivated in southeast Asia. The fruit, when unopened emits a strong aroma. The fruit inside is said to smell like pineapple and banana. When the seeds are roasted, they are also used as an alternative to chocolate aroma.
The fruit itself is starchy and has lots of fiber. The flavor is said to compare to a combo of apple, pineapple, mango, and banana. The fruit can be eaten on its own or combined in many dishes. It can be used to make custards, cakes, mixed with shaved ice, made into chips, and is often cooked with coconut milk and eaten with rice.
This video shows what it looks like canned and fresh and how to open it.