Summer Produce: Gabriele Marewski Explains How to Snag the Good Stuff

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

It's summertime, and with these scorching temps, the idea of heavy, rich food is less than appetizing. Besides, who wants a bloated belly when donning that sexy new swimsuit? Instead, it's all about fruits and veggies for the next couple of months. (Mango Festival, anyone?)

And in our neck of the woods, summertime means tropical fruit season, so we should all be getting our fill of mango, Thai guava, coconuts and all those delicacies that people in the Northeast would kill for.

So, to make sure we're getting the choicest stock in the produce bins, we spoke to Gabriele Marewski, owner of Paradise Farms for some tips on picking the best of the herbivorous bunch.

For tropical fruit, says Marewski, it's often about the smell. So give those fruits a nose before you snag 'em.

"There are mangoes in season, jackfruit, mamey, passion fruit, longan, Thai guava - that's what's local," Marewski says.

"With jackfruit you do want it to have some give. You should be able to smell it, it has a strong odor and you like that strong odor because that lets you know it's ripe."

Ripe jackfruit, for those unfamiliar, tastes like a cross between a banana and a pineapple.

"With mangoes, when they have color break -- you can see that it's not all one color. It turns into other colors. You can smell a mango too when its ripe. A mango will have a little bit of give to it also," she says.

"Thai guava -- it's hard like an apple. Regular guava will be in season in August. You can smell it and it should have a little bit of give as well."

With sapodilla, "it should be very soft to the touch," Marewski adds. Sapodilla tastes similar to a pear, with a note of brown sugar.

And there are always coconuts. "Shake it and you can hear the milk in it. Drink the milk and scoop out the meat."

As far as veggies, locally, it's basically all about the okra right now. "It should look fresh, not wrinkled -- plump and fresh."

And where should you go to stock up on all this bountiful beauty? Homestead and the Redlands are your best bets, particularly to avoid supermarket rip offs.

"Locally, Robert Is Here fruit stand, and there are a lot of the little markets up and down Krome Ave. And then there's the market on U.S. 1 and SW 248th street, Redland Market Village. They have a very big farmers' market."

Above all else, Marewski says, EAT LOCAL. And, skip the tomatoes. They don't grow locally this time of year.

"Right now is when tropical fruits are in season and we really try to educate people and say tropical fruits, tropical fruits, tropical fruits!"

Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.

Follow Short Order on Facebook, on Twitter @Short_Order, and Instagram @ShortOrder.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.