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Fresh Fruit and Veggies Friday! We are so lucky to be apart of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Program through A&Z Produce Co. Through this program, students have the opportunity to try new fruits and veggies they may not have experienced before. This week, students were able to try Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Caviar Limes, and Asian Pears!
Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes:
These petite round cherry tomatoes come in an array of flavors and assortment of colors, from pale yellow and sun-gold orange to bright red, Cherokee purple and marbled green. Juicy, low-acid with high sugar content, heirloom cherry tomatoes a highlight of the season. These tomatoes are harvested appropriately in the beginning of the summer months. Dating at least from the 1800s, heirloom tomatoes are prized for their rich, tomato flavor and varied shapes and sizes.A good source of potassium, tomatoes offer vitamin A, vitamin C, some calcium and iron. In France, around the time that the myth was dispelled that tomatoes were poisonous, people began to believe that the tomato was an aphrodisiac and called it “pomme d’amour” or “love apple.” Tomatoes are among the most common plants grown in home gardens. The typical American eats about 80 pounds of tomatoes annually.
Finger limes are small, elongated fruits, averaging seven centimeters in length, and have a narrow, oblong shape with slight tapering at both ends. The thin, taut skin is semi-smooth with a leathery, pebbled texture, and can range in color from purple, red-orange, dark green, light green, to black. Underneath the surface, the pulp consists of many small vesicles, or pearls, that are firm, slightly sticky, aqueous, and crisp, also varying in color from pink, pale green, to white. When consumed, the pearls create a popping, snap-like sensation with a burst of sweet-tart flavors. Finger limes bear a minty, citrus-forward aroma with a tangy, sweet, and slightly sour, floral, lemon-lime flavor. Finger limes are available for limited a time during the late summer through early spring in select regions of Australia and the United States. Finger limes are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that strengthens the immune system and helps to reduce inflammation. The fruits are also a good source of vitamin E, a nutrient that protects the body against environmental damage, and contains folate and potassium.
Asian pears widely range in size and shape, depending on the variety, and can generally be divided into three main categories originating from Japan and China. The first two types are native to Japan, with one type having a round to ovate in shape with a russeted, gold to bronze coloring, while the second type is round to oval in shape with skin that ripens from green to yellow. The third type of Asian pear, believed to be native to China, bears a pyriform, oblong shape and has green skin with patches of brown russet. Regardless of the variety, Asian pears frequently have textured, semi-rough skin displaying prominent lenticels across the firm surface. Underneath the skin, the ivory to white flesh is crisp, aqueous, and slightly grainy with a central, fibrous core containing several small, black-brown seeds. Asian pears are aromatic and have a sweet-tart flavor with delicate floral notes and low acidity. It is important to note that Asian pears retain their firm texture once picked and will not soften when kept in storage. The fruits are fully ripened on the tree, and once harvested, they can be immediately consumed. Asian pears are available in some regions at the beginning of summer, but the fruit’s peak season is in the early fall through winter.
For more information about the fruit, follow this link.
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