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Exotic harvest

If you like…

Apples- Try asian pears. How they taste: crisp, juicy, slightly sweet and tart. What to look for: The most popular variety, the Japanese pear, is round with smooth, yellow skin. Pick the most fragrant fruit that feels firm, with few or no brown spots.

Cantaloupe- Try starfruit. How they taste: like a mix of plum, pineapples and lemons. What to look for: Choose firm, even-colored fruit with shiny skin and light brown rib edges.

Pomegranates- Try passion fruits. How they taste: tangy, similar to guava, with a strong aroma. What to look for: Passion fruits are egg-shaped, with wrinkled purple-brown skin and seeds and orange pulp. Pick large, heavy, firm fruit.

Peaches- Try mangoes. How they taste: like a mix of peach and pineapple. What to look for: Select firm, plump fruits that give slightly to pressure. Ripe mangoes have a fruity aroma at the stem end; those with a yellow tinge have the best flavor.

Green peppers- Try edible cactus. How they taste: similar to a green pepper. What to look for: Purchase small, firm, pale-green cacti with fleshy, oval leaves and no wrinkling. Skip limp or dry ones.

Tomatoes- Try tomatillos. How they taste: slightly acidic, with a hint of lemon. What to look for: Tomatillos resemble small, unripe green tomatoes. Pick one with an intact, tight-fitting light brown husk.

Summer squash- Try chayote squash. How they taste: chayote squash doesn’t have much taste which makes it perfect to mix into most dishes. What to look for: This pale green vegetable is about the size and shape of a large pear with slight ridges running lengthwise. Select small, firm, heavy, unblemished squash.

Carrots- Try Jicama. How they taste: similar to a pear; when cooked, jicama takes on the flavor of other ingredients What to look for: Look for a firm tuber that looks like a turnip or radish with dry roots and unblemished skin.