Fruity World

Fruit & Spice Park

A few of the other tropical fruits abundant on the grounds and becoming more familiar to the public:

Caramabola: This ellipsoid star fruit is known to most by now. Crisply juicy, the nearly translucent flesh, when of the sweet variety, provides a refreshing taste of plums, apples, and Concord grapes with a citric edge.

Cherimoya (custard apple): It comes from the South American highlands and may be the earliest recorded New World fruit. The flesh is silky smooth, cream colored, and moist. It has a slight granular finish, like pear custard, with hints of mango, pineapple, and papaya. Like many tropical fruits, it contains a slightly fermented, musky flavor.

Jeremy Eaton

Pomelo: Originating in the Malaysia-Indochina region, it also is cultivated in China and Japan. It's the largest citrus fruit, with thick, soft skin and pale yellow to pink fruit that differs dramatically from one variety to the next. The pomelo seed was first brought to the West Indies in the mid-Seventeenth Century and evolved into the world's first grapefruit. Unlike its sister citrus, however, pomelos are never bitter.

Monstera: The scaly spadix of the philodendron flower is nearly a foot long and quite reptilian looking. The creamy pulp will irritate the membranes of your mouth, tongue, and throat if eaten unripe, but when ready to eat, the green scales peel off in hexagonal pieces to reveal pulpy plugs of delicious banana-pineapple flesh.

Litchi: Revered in China for more than 2000 years, the litchi is becoming a popular back-yard fruit and an important crop in South Florida. Litchis are roughly the size of Ping-Pong balls, slightly oval with spiky rose-colored shells -- the rosier the shell color, the fresher the litchi. The gray-white flesh is sweet and juicy, and has the texture of a peeled grape and perfumed aromas of muscat and rose.

There are no food concessions at the Fruit & Spice Park, but that isn't to say your culinary adventures for the day have to end with a teeny taste of litchi. There exist a few splendidly rickety and delicious taquerías on nearby Krome Avenue that serve what's arguably the best Mexican food in South Florida. In fact a pork burrito at one of these places will dwarf anything on the cotton-candy-and-corn-dog menus available in the glitziest of parks.

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