Tropical Fruit Guide


  Page: 1/6   NEXT > 

 


Abiu

 

Botanical Name:

 

Pouteria caimito (Sapotaceae)

 

General Description/History:

  • Oval shaped fruit about the size of a mango
  • Bright yellow when ripe
  • Weighs from 100g - 600g
  • Smooth, leathery skin about 5mm thick
  • The flesh is gelatinous, translucent white 1-5 large seeds
  • Has a caramel flavour

The tree is an evergreen, pyramidal in shape with an open structure. Leaves are dark green, 100-250mm long and concentrated at the branch ends. Height is in the vicinity of 5-15 metres.

 

Select firm, glossy fruit, free from blemishes.

 

Eaten fresh, simply scoop out the flesh taking care to remove the seeds. Delicious pureed and used in beverages.

 

The tree grows best in a humid tropical or subtropical climate, with 1000-3000mm of rain well distributed throughout the year, and preferably within 20° north or south of the Equator, with minimum temperatures not below 0°C and altitudes to 500m, temperature permitting. In humid climates, healthy trees have survived temperatures down to -2°C with little damage. The Abiu tree is tolerant of a range of soils. Good drainage is essential as is exposure to full sun from an early stage.

 

The Abiu originates from the Amazon Region including Peru, Venezuela, Equador and Colombia.

 

Alternative Names:

 

Caimo

Cauje

 

Growing Areas:

 

QLD - Tropical North

NT - Darwin

 

Nutritional Value:

 

A good source of B group vitamins and vitamin C.

 

Storage/Handling:

 

10°C and 90 - 95% relative humidity. Extra care should be taken as abiu bruise easily.

 

Consumer Storage:

 

Ripen at room temperature and store in the refrigerator crisper for a short period.

 

 

Avocado

 

Botanical Name:

 

Persea americana (Lauraceae)

 

General Description/History:

 

The pattern of growth of the avocado plant varies with the variety. Some are tall and upright, while others are low and sprawling. Although some avocados are still grown from seeds, the majority of growers’ plant grafted trees.

 

Avocados only ripen once they are harvested with this process taking a couple of days to a few weeks if allowed to occur naturally. It is advisable for the purpose of retail to stock both sprung fruit (fruit subjected to a controlled amount of ethylene to hasten ripening) and unripe fruit.

 

To ascertain whether the fruit is ripe, cradle the avocado in the palm of the hand, gently press around the stem end, and if it yields slightly the avocado is ready for eating.

 

Colour is not a good determinant of ripeness as the only variety that experiences a change of colour as it ripens is the Hass. Hass change from green to a purplish black when ripe. All other varieties are green when ripe.

 

The avocado fits happily into anyone’s daily diet, whether it is for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Slice onto toast, alone or with bacon, tomato, cheese or simply a dash of pepper. Incorporate cubes or slices into salads for a contrasting creamy texture.

 

Blended avocado flesh makes beautiful dips, or toppings for baked potatoes and soups. Traditionally known as the perfect accompaniment for seafood, it also compliments chicken, veal and beef. It is also ideal in, and served with, many Mexican, Italian and Indian dishes.

 

The simplest way to prepare an avocado for use is to cut the flesh lengthwise around the seed and twist both halves gently to separate. Insert a sharp knife into the seed by giving it a gentle tap, twist and lift out. To peel, strip skin from fruit, beginning at the stem end and then use as desired.

 

Avocados thrive in warm areas, with rich alluvial soil and good rainfall. Adequate drainage is essential, as although they need plenty of water, they cannot tolerate “wet feet”. Little pest control is needed, however fungicides, often together with a soluble fertiliser, are commonly sprayed over avocado groves.

 

It is a native of Central America, Mexico and the West Indies. Proof of the existence of avocados in Mexico, Central and South America as early as 291 B.C. can be found in the Mayan records and Aztec picture writing. Owing to its high nutritional value and pleasant flavour, the Indians have used it as a staple food for thousands of years.

 

The avocado first appeared in Australia in the early part of this century, when seeds were brought in from the West Indies. It was in 1928 that the first trees were planted in the Sunraysia district.

 

The Fuerte variety was brought in from California and planted at Redland Bay in 1930. Further crops were introduced to local districts. In 1974 many trees died from waterlogging, which led to high prices being paid for remaining fruit. Many people saw these high prices and planted trees. These trees are now fruiting which has resulted in large quantities of fruit in the market.

 

In 1985 there were approximately 200 000 trees in Queensland and by early 1986 the avocado industry was worth $12 million. Australia has become a world leader in terms of production. Queensland is the leading producer of the states with New South Wales and Victoria also producing significant quantities.

 

Alternative Names:

 

Avocado Pear

 

Growing Areas:

 

QLD - Atherton Tablelands, Bundaberg/Childers, Gympie, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Tamborine Mountain

NSW - Alstonville, Coffs Harbour, North Coast, Sunraysia

VIC - East Gippsland, Mornington Peninsular, Sunraysia SA Riverland

WA - Carnarvon Gin Gin, Pemberton, Perth, South West

 

Nutritional Value:

 

The avocado has been quoted in The Guiness Book of Records as the most nutritious fruit known to man. It is the best energy source in the fruit category, making it an excellent food for active, growing children.

 

Avocados are a good source of vitamins B6, E and folic acid and are a useful source of vitamin C and potassium. Avocados also contain some B2, B3 and the essential fatty acid, linoleic acid. 820kJ/100g.

 

Avocados do not contain cholesterol. Cholesterol is present in animal fats not in fruit and vegetables. Avocados contain mono-unsaturated fats that help lower blood cholesterol levels.

 

Storage/Handling:

 

Mature Green 7 -10°C at 90% relative humidity. Ripe Fruit 0°C at 90% relative humidity.

 

Consumer Storage:

 

Ripen at room temperature and store in the refrigerator crisper. Unripe fruit will only ripen effectively at room temperature.

 

 


Avocado - Fuerte

 

Description:

 

The Fuerte avocado has dark green, glossy skin with pale raised spots. It is buttery in texture with a good flavour and has a medium sized stone.

 

Growing Area:

 

QLD - Atherton Tablelands, Bundaberg/Childers, Gympie, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Tamborine Mountain

NSW - Alstonville, Coffs Harbour, North Coast, Sunraysia

VIC - East Gippsland, Mornington Peninsular, Sunraysia SA Riverland

WA - Carnarvon Gin Gin, Pemberton, Perth, South West

 

 


Avocado - Hass

 

Description:

 

The Hass is one of the most popular varieties. It is smallish with a pebbly skin, which ripens to a purple/back colour. It contains a small stone and has dense, nutty, fibre free flesh. Keeps well.

 

Growing Area:

 

QLD - Atherton Tablelands, Bundaberg/Childers, Gympie, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Tamborine Mountain

NSW - Alstonville, Coffs Harbour, North Coast, Sunraysia

VIC - East Gippsland, Mornington Peninsular, Sunraysia SA Riverland

WA - Carnarvon Gin Gin, Pemberton, Perth, South West

 

 


Avocado - Hazzard

 

Description:

 

The Hazzard is a large elongated fruit with smooth olive green skin. The flesh is creamy and of excellent quality. The skin retains its colour and the tip should yield slightly when ripe

 

Growing Area:

 

QLD - Atherton Tablelands, Bundaberg/Childers, Gympie, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Tamborine Mountain

NSW - Alstonville, Coffs Harbour, North Coast, Sunraysia

VIC - East Gippsland, Mornington Peninsular, Sunraysia SA Riverland

WA - Carnarvon Gin Gin, Pemberton, Perth, South West

 

 


Avocado - Reed

 

Description:

 

A large, round fruit with a loose peel. It retains a firm texture even when ripe and is therefore ideal for salads but not a good choice for mashing into dips or guacamole.

 

Growing Area:

 

QLD - Atherton Tablelands, Bundaberg/Childers, Gympie, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Tamborine Mountain

NSW - Alstonville, Coffs Harbour, North Coast, Sunraysia

VIC - East Gippsland, Mornington Peninsular, Sunraysia SA Riverland

WA - Carnarvon Gin Gin, Pemberton, Perth, South West

 

 


Avocado - Sharwill

 

Description:

 

The Sharwill avocado has a rough green skin similar to the Fuerte. The medium-sized, oval fruit has a rich, creamy flavour and a small seed. Ideal for guacamole when ripe.

 

Growing Area:

 

QLD - Atherton Tablelands, Bundaberg/Childers, Gympie, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Tamborine Mountain

NSW - Alstonville, Coffs Harbour, North Coast, Sunraysia

VIC - East Gippsland, Mornington Peninsular, Sunraysia SA Riverland

WA - Carnarvon Gin Gin, Pemberton, Perth, South West

 

 


Avocado  -  Wurtz

 

Description:

 

The Wurtz avocado is pear-shaped, with a thin, smooth, shiny skin and

a small seed. It also has a good, consistent flavour.

 

Growing Area:

 

QLD - Atherton Tablelands, Bundaberg/Childers, Gympie, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Tamborine Mountain

NSW - Alstonville, Coffs Harbour, North Coast, Sunraysia

VIC - East Gippsland, Mornington Peninsular, Sunraysia SA Riverland

WA - Carnarvon Gin Gin, Pemberton, Perth, South West

 

 


Avocado  -  Cocktail

 

Description:

 

A cocktail-sized avocado that is about the size and shape of a small cucumber. The seed is unformed in this variety and in its place is a hollow, papery sheath. The fruit is slightly curved with a smooth, dark olive green skin and creamy, fine-flavoured flesh. Ideal for individual serves.

 

Growing Area:

 

QLD - Atherton Tablelands, Bundaberg/Childers, Gympie, Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Tamborine Mountain

NSW - Alstonville, Coffs Harbour, North Coast, Sunraysia

VIC - East Gippsland, Mornington Peninsular, Sunraysia SA Riverland

WA - Carnarvon Gin Gin, Pemberton, Perth, South West                   

 

 

Banana

 

Botanical Name:

 

Musa spp. (Musaceae)

 

General Description/History:

 

The ‘tree’ is actually a giant herb, and each stem flowers and bears fruit only once. New suckers perpetuate the life of the root knoll (corm). A sucker unfolds a fixed number of leaves before fruiting occurs. The flower stem is pushed from the corm, through the stem and emerges at amazing speed. Under each flower leaf, one hand of bananas emerges.

 

The male part of the banana (the bell) that hangs below the bunch marginally assists in the development of the bunch. In commercial varieties the male flower is sterile. An average bunch will have 8 hands of 15 bananas.

 

Nearly all bananas are commercially ripened and people buying the fruit can often get them in a semi-coloured state that will ripen within a matter of days. For ripe bananas, look for bright yellow skin with green tips at each end and free from bruising.

 

Bananas can be termed the perfect snack food or the basis for a complete meal. They are extremely versatile. Try them in a range of dishes from simple salads to tantalising desserts. Bananas complement chicken, pork and veal and are delicious barbecued.

 

For a quick snack, serve banana and ham jaffles or for a sweeter version, banana, coconut and sultana jaffles. Bananas can be frozen on a stick, wrapped in foil and stored in the freezer for a quick delicious snack on a hot day. Use ripe bananas mashed for use in cakes, scones, hotcakes, pies and milkshakes. Discover just how quick and easy food preparation can be with versatile bananas.

 

In southern areas, banana plantations are usually situated on fairly steep hillsides to get above frost level and away from severe cold. Generally these slopes face north or northeast so as to maximise to exposure to the winter sun. In northern parts of Australia growing on hillsides are not required because of the warm humid conditions are ideal for bananas. Bananas grow best in deep alluvial soil and good soil drainage and aeration is essential. Bananas have a considerable requirement for water so that when rainfall is insufficient, irrigation is practised.

 

Evidence indicates that bananas are one of the oldest fruits known to mankind and also probably one of the first fruits to be cultivated. Their original place of origin is believed to have been the moist tropical region of southern Asia. From here, bananas spread into southern China and the Indian subcontinent. As long ago as 327 B.C., Alexander the Great is credited with discovering them flourishing in India.

 

Despite the banana’s long history, only a century ago they were still considered a rare, exotic and wonderful delicacy. The first shipments arriving in the United States from Central America attracted hundreds of curious onlookers. Today the banana is perhaps one of the most popular fruits, establishing itself in the eating habits of many countries with ease and rapidity.

 

Alternative Names:

 

Sugar banana

 

Growing Areas:

 

QLD - Tropical North

NSW - Coffs Harbour

 

Nutritional Value:

 

Bananas are a good source of vitamins C and B6. A good source of cholesterol-lowering dietary fibre and a useful source of potassium. Bananas also provide complex carbohydrates and energy, with a medium banana (1509) providing 370kJ.

 

Storage/Handling:

 

Mature Green 13.5°C at 95% relative humidity. Ripe 13.5°C at 85% relative humidity.

 

Bananas are harvested mature green. Fullness of the fruit is the main criterion for assessing maturity for harvest. Ripening of bananas can be controlled with the use of ethylene over a specific temperature and humidity range in order to achieve uniformity in the ripeness of fruit and reduce variability in supply. Without controlled ripening, wide variation in ripeness can occur between hands on the one bunch and perhaps more importantly even within the one hand.

 

Boiling is a serious disorder occurring with bananas at temperatures above 32°C, therefore exposure to temperatures at this extreme should be avoided at all costs.

 

On the other end of the scale, chilling injury can occur when fruit is held at temperatures below 13°C. Green fruit is slightly more susceptible to this than is ripe fruit.

 

Consumer Storage: Ripen at room temperature. Can be stored in the refrigerator, the skin will darken; however fruit will still be edible. Fruit should be kept from 13°-18°C, no more. No less.

 

Interesting Facts and Myths?

 

Banana oil never saw a banana; it's made from petroleum.

 

Bananas don't grow on trees, as is commonly believed. They grow on compacted, water-filled leaf stalks that grow up to 8 metres high. They are the world's largest herb.

 

 

  Page: 1/6   NEXT >