Think of a tropical island paradise in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean or the Pacific and chances are you’ll think of white sand, crystal blue seas and bright sunshine. When it comes to food, it’s likely that mangoes, coconuts, pineapples and other exotic fruits quickly come to mind.
While not all of us will be reclining on an exotic beach this summer, cooking with exotic fruits can add a refreshing diversity of flavor to our diets, and you can enjoy the flavors of far-flung holiday destinations in your own kitchen.
Try something new
Cooking with unfamiliar ingredients can sometimes seem a little daunting, but adding new tastes, textures and aromas to your snacks and meals can be easier than you think.
Our pulled jackfruit burger recipe is a perfect example, and it’s also a great vegan alternative to pulled pork. The addition of BBQ sauce to the jack fruit gives it a tasty savory (or umami) flavor, making it a great plant-based treat for the summer.
Alternatively, for a delicious breakfast or on-the-go snack, try our recipe for mango muesli balls with coconut flakes. Combining fresh, juicy mango pieces with dates, coconut flakes and other savory ingredients, these delicious treats only take 8 minutes to cook and can be stored in an airtight container and eaten over the course of a couple of days.
Hawaii toast meanwhile is a quick and delicious tropical take on a ham and cheese toastie. Sweet and acidic pineapple perfectly complements the richness of the cheese and the meatiness of the ham, creating a delicious snack of light lunch in just slightly over 15 minutes. This dish is a perfect way to use up leftover pineapple if you routinely buy fresh fruits, or canned pineapple rings or pieces can be a convenient alternative.
Support a local market
While supermarkets typically offer a large variety of fruits to choose from, local markets and specialty stores can be a great resource when looking for tropical fruits. While many of our users won’t have tropical fruits growing in their area, specialty fruit sellers may be able to assist you in sourcing specific ingredients, and they can also advise you on the correct way to prepare unfamiliar fruits.
A taste of the exotic
Whatever your plans for this summer, and wherever you plan to spend it, cooking with seasonal fruits can add a taste of tropical paradise to your regular diet. You can even choose music, decorations and beverages to create a themed evening, creating your own little piece of paradise.