October 15, 2008
I recently went on a family vacation to Hawaii. I arrived in Kauai with dreams of making exotic dishes full of new and interesting ingredients. Kenya and I had a blast going to farmers markets every other day all over the tiny island. The locals told me to get there right when the markets opened and they weren't kidding. I got to one market at 2:15pm (it opened at 2pm) and they were already sold out of several foods. What they did have though, in abundance, were the sweetest, juiciest and ripest mangoes, papayas, passion fruit, limes and "apple" bananas (a smaller, more dense banana that has a faint taste of, you guessed it, banana). As Kenya and I walked around the markets sipping coconut water (high in potassium and mineral content) right out of whole coconuts, we salivated at the macadamia and coconut baked goods, pink oyster mushrooms that looked like shells and other unusual fruits and veggies such as jack fruit and bread fruit. It was awesome!
Mangoes and papayas are both rich in beta-carotene and along with pineapple they're all loaded with vitamin C. Recently back home, I've been buying passion fruit from our local farmers market for Kenya's dessert after dinner and he loves them. They're actually quite easy to find in most groceries, too. Just look for a shriveled, heavy, bright yellow or purple fruit (when it shrivels up s when you know it's ripe). When you cut into it, passion fruit is loaded with sweet/tangy juice similar to the taste of guava with little edible seeds that are packed with vitamin A, potassium and dietary fiber. Kenya likes to eat them straight out of the shell, but they could also be sprinkled on yogurt or added to something like this fruit salad.
And trust me, the lemon or limes make this tropical fruit salad truly extraordinary tasting.