“They don't have a decent piece of fruit at the supermarket. The apples are mealy, the oranges are dry ... I don't know what's going on with the papayas!” once lamented eccentric, fruit-obsessed Kramer in the long-running sitcom Seinfeld. If the local grocery store is just not cutting it, and the government-recommended three servings of fruit a day included in your diet are beginning to bore you, maybe you should treat your weary tastebuds to produce that's exotic, sensual, smooth: mango, guava, litchi, mamey, passion fruit.
While supermarkets may not be the ideal place to find such treasures, the Tropical Ag Fiesta, taking place this weekend at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum on the grounds of Metrozoo is. Ag stands for agricultural; the fiesta is an outdoor event highlighting the best of South Florida's tropical crops. Experts will be on hand to answer questions about the best way to skin a jackfruit and to conduct 45-minute workshops on subjects such as growing and repotting orchids, building a garden pond, proper methods for backyard composting, and even simple tasks such as cultivating good old-fashioned roses. Need recipes for that succulent sapodilla you found growing in your backyard? A new addition this year, Taste of the Tropics, presents area chefs who will create luscious dishes featuring tropical fruits. Herbs and ornamental plants and fruit trees also will be offered for sale, as will the fruits and veggies.
The whole shebang is sponsored by the Southern Tropical Growers Association, a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting awareness about the use and handling of tropical products, proper landscaping, and resource protection. The STGA members are also big fans of showing off their tasty wares at shows and festivals such as this one. Who knows? After tasting one of the more than 90 varieties of mangoes set to be on display, you may find yourself repeating the words of George Costanza, Kramer's neurotic Seinfeld cohort, who after sampling his first mango exclaimed “This is like a taste explosion!”