How to buy fruit when it's fresh and seasonal
I'm having such an amazing odyssey this fall that I just wanted to tell you about what I'm doing. I'm learning a lot about how to buy fruit from the locals on this tropical island where I am currently living.
This winter snowbird season 2015-16 I am spending on the Spanish island Tenerife. The weather is great! But the real reason I stay there is for the wine and fresh fruits and vegetables. I have been here for more than a month now. But I haven´t visited one of the outdoor farmers´ markets yet. It´s a bit embarrassing, as one of them is only 2 km from our house.
How to buy fruit: visit farmers' markets
A Finnish couple who is staying in the same village as we told us about the local farmers' market. You can find loads of fresh produce from the local farmers. It's open every Saturday and Sunday. At the moment bananas, or plátanos as they are called here, are in season. In fact, it seems they are in season all year round. Must be this amazing climate.
My dear readers in more northern climates are moving into the winter season. From what many of you tell me, Saturday morning farmers' markets are quite popular through the winter. As the weather gets colder the weekend market moves inside.
Back here in Tenerife, mangos are nearing the end of their season. The end of November will be the last harvest this season. My American friend in Hawaii told me she'd buy a big bag of them, chop them up into chunks, and then freeze them. She put them separately into serving-size plastic bags and containers.
For the most part, I buy fresh whenever I can. I'm not a big fan of pre-frozen anything. That's just my personal preference. Nevertheless, frozen fruit – as long as you don't leave it in there forever – still holds nutrients and taste, a welcome addition to a smoothie. Or consider buying a dehydrator – dried fruit is loaded with nutrients and just as healthy as fresh.
Ask the farm experts for tips on how to buy fruit
When you go to the farmers' market, ask questions at the stands about recipes, and how to choose fruit to buy. Depending on the fruit, you may want to smell it and see if it is hard or gives a little to your touch. Color may make a difference as well.
- Cherimoyas, or Buddha fruits, are grown here. They are also called Ice cream fruit because they do taste like ice cream. I bet they are great in fruit salads, too.
- Dragon fruit is the most exotic fruit I have ever tasted. They are commonly grown in private gardens. But if you are lucky, you can find them at farmers' markets, too.
- Tomatoes here have a special, crisp, and romantic flavor. The pineapple tomato is what I use when I make salsa. And last but not least is the…
- Avocado. It also grows all year round. If you go to a fruteria (special fruit and veggie shop) you can always ask for “avocados to eat today” and the owner will have a few put away for you.
Well, I don't know what the chances are of you coming to lovely Tenerife. Wherever you are, you can make a similar list of local produce. If your region is challenged to find fresh, frozen is the next best thing. It lasts longer, and the nutrients last.
Life is good.