Florida Produce

One of the best things about the food in Florida, is the the freshness of it all.

The fish tasted like it was straight from the sea, and the produce as if it was plucked right from the orchard.

We took the opportunity to try a couple of more tropical fruits for breakfast while we were there, that aren’t always readily available in my neck of the woods: Papaya and Blood Oranges.

My Dad loves papaya, and insists on picking up a couple every time we’re in Florida. For some reason, I was under the impression that I didn’t like papaya – perhaps a left-over grudge from my less adventurous eating childhood days?

Regardless of where this feeling came from, it has been completely put to rest. Now I can appreciate the totally delicious taste and interesting texture of papaya.

To me, the papaya seems the fruity equivalent to avocado. (Although avocado’s are technically a fruit as well – sometimes called the ‘alligator pear’) I say this because the texture of the papaya is very reminiscent of the flesh of an avocado. Both are smooth, silky and creamy, and come primarily from the Central and South America region.

I discovered on this trip to Florida that I really like the papaya fruit very much and even moreso with a complimentary squeeze of lime, per my father’s suggestion. Bravo Dad, bravo.

Now the blood orange, I actually have no previous experience with or memory of – It was completely new territory for me!

The shape and texture of the blood orange was identical to the rest in the orange familia (Citrus sinensis), however, the color and taste was much different.

As you can see, the crimson color of a blood orange is simply gorgeous. Looking at its rosy, almost tie-dye looking hue, it’s easy to tell where the name is derived from.

Upon Google’ing the blood orange, it seems that the signature maroon color of this citrus fruit results from developing in low temperatures during the night. I found this very interesting, as it’s typically recommended to offer plenty of sunlight to most ripening fruits and vegetables.

(I need to stop taking these pics on my phone. My close-up shots always seem ok within the confines of my phone cam, but consistently appear on this blog as utter and epic fails.)

Though I couldn’t capture this fruit as beautifully as it deserves, I can tell you that the taste is quite enjoyable. The expected citrus notes are ever present, however I also detected sweeter and deeper flavors that tasted almost berry-like. Though I have not much to back this up, I have a feeling the taste of a blood orange can differ greatly based on it’s level of ripeness and region its grown in. I hope one day I’ll have the chance to try all of the blood oranges in the world and can report back to you the discoveries and differences I have found. 🙂

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