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My cherimoya, shortly before it became smoothie fodder.

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August 22, 2009

Smoothie Quest

As much as I like to occasionally gripe about the selection of fruit in grocery stores, I have to say the number of interesting fruits in them has certainly improved in the last decade. My three year-old and I decided at dinner we were going to make smoothies tonight. We already had blueberries at home, and I had half a flat of strawberries from work in the car (I was planning an informal tasting of the five leading selections, which was cut short when one of my daughters wolfed down one clamshell's worth in a matter of seconds). So we headed to the store and went fruit shopping.

She made her old dad proud, choosing a really eclectic mix of fruits, each of which I sampled before dropping them into the mix:

Cherimoya Cherimoya

Wow...I'd forgotten how much I liked cherimoya. The aroma is wonderful. And it worked really well in a smoothie. The only downside was digging out all those seeds (which are hopefully working on germinating right now...)

Honeydew Nectarine:
Honeydew nectarine

I had never heard of this before...and I really wasn't missing much. It tasted like a blend of really bland nectarine and underripe melon. It might not have been fully ripe, but the texture suggests it was close. Still, a pale yellow nectarine is interesting. (My picture is kind of washed out...oh well.

Golden Kiwi:
Gold Kiwi Gold Kiwi

I've been seeing these for a while, but this is actually the first time I've bought one. Interesting that the shape and skin are so distinctive--if I had to guess, this is Actinidia chinensis, not the usual Actinidia deliciosa. It was pretty good, but nothing spectacular. It was a tad past its peak, I think, but it went into the mix just fine.

Manzano Bananas:
Manzano Bananas

I really like these things. I probably should have waited for them to darken more (it does improve the flavor), but they're really good even at this stage. I ate one while I worked and gave the other to my daughter, so none made it in the smoothie (we bought some standard bananas too, which served just fine).

We also got blackberries (which my daughter had nearly reduced to smoothies already by the time we got them back to the car--she was enjoying shaking the bag vigorously), a nectarine, more standard versions of kiwi and banana, and an apple.

The smoothies were good and we got to discuss lots of different fruit species. How many three year olds do you know who can tell you all about cherimoyas?

(I didn't really have a point to this post, other than just basking in all the fruit I just bought).

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At 8/24/2009 08:24:00 AM, Blogger Brandon Hurr said...

That sounds like a very good smoothie to me. I especially like the addition of the cherimoya. That fruit is amazing. Apple, pineapple, banana flavors with a slightly mealy pudding texture. I wish I could get those over here more.

At 9/09/2009 03:42:00 AM, Anonymous Tom Bicknell said...

Your guess was correct - that Zespri Gold kiwifruit is known as Hort16a in the biz, and it is indeed Actinidia chinensis.

The Zespri one is the most well-known gold variety, but a couple of other varieties from the same breeding programme have hit the market, as well as a bunch in China whose origins I'm not sure of.

I just found your blog today, and it's very interesting to read your perspective as a breeder (I picked out your job correctly, didn't I?). I'm a fruit journalist. Yes, I have the same trouble as you telling people what I do.

I upload the odd work photo to my Flickr account that you might be interested in:



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