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Freaky Fruits
Photo: Elisabetta Grondona
It's the last class before lunch and the only thing keeping you awake is the rumbling of your stomach. You're famished! But when the bell finally rings and you eagerly tear open your sack lunch you let out a groan. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich and an apple—again! Oh, well—another day, another boring lunch.

It doesn't have to be this way, though. Try livening up that boring lunch with some of these wild, wacky, and just plain freaky fruits:

Prickly Pear—Also called the cactus flower, this weird fruit has a thorny skin and many small seeds that need to be removed before eating. It has a delightfully refreshing taste somewhere between a kiwi and a banana.

Passion Fruit—No, this fruit won't help your love life, but you may fall in love with it anyway. A native of Brazil, passion fruit has a wonderful fruity fragrance and a sweet/tart flavor. It ranges in color from yellow to dark purple. The purple variety's pulp is sweeter and has more juice. Passion fruit is used in ice cream and preserves or pureed to flavor pastries.

Carambola—Commonly known as “star fruit,” this yellow-green fruit is from Asia. Its bittersweet flavor adds a nice contrast to fruit salads or as a garnish on your favorite dessert. Best of all, when sliced it forms five-pointed stars that look really cool!

PawPaw—Most people call this pear-shaped fruit papaya, but no matter what you want to call it you will definitely call it delicious. Its flesh is pink-orange, and it tastes like a combination of apricots and peaches. This delicious fruit is loaded with vitamins A and C and is a good source of fiber.

Guava—Another great source for vitamin C, the guava has a sweet but slightly acidic taste. Serve it in a fruit salad, mix it with your favorite ice cream, or make it into a delicious juice.

Tamirillo—Some people call these South American fruits “tree tomatoes” because they taste somewhat like tomatoes. Delicious grilled or eaten raw, this fruit can also be pureed and made into a wonderful ice cream. And, on top of all that, the tamirillo has more vitamin C in it than an orange!

Persimmon—People either love persimmons or hate them. That's because if you ever bite into an underripe persimmon you will learn very quickly the meaning of “pucker power”! Talk about sour! However, if the persimmon is allowed to fully ripen it is incredibly sweet and a great source of potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and C.

Kumquat—This fruit resembles a miniature orange and is a symbol of good fortune in its native China. The rind is edible and had a sweet, but somewhat tart flavor. The fruit can be eaten whole or used as a garnish. 

As you can see, the world is filled with wonderful, wacky foods so don't settle for boring lunches any longer. Try some freaky fruits today and give your taste buds a thrill!

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By Richard G. Edison. Reprinted with permission from Listen, May 2007. Copyright © 2010 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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