Coastal View - Monthly Article, January 2017'

January 13th, 2016

Coastal View, January 2017  http://www.coastalview.com/

Rare Fruit

 We live in a day and age of the fantastical! When I sit and think of how excited renaissance man Michelangelo and the masterful Thomas Edison would feel to experience all of the ingenuity we get to discover daily it makes me smile. In the animal world when you cross a tiger and a lion you get the mysteriously beautiful liger. In the food world when you cross a plum and an apricot you get a deliciously purple orange Pluot. Only agriculturalists can know the mystery of how these hybrids are specifically cultured through cross-pollination, but the fruits of their labor are 100% worth devouring. Yet, the beautiful climate and soil of CA also allows rare and exotic naturally growing fruit to thrive naturally without any extra help.

This spring when you go to your local farmer’s market you may come across a few curious looking fruits and vegetables. While some fruits are a work of nature, others are cultivated when the pollen from the flower of one plant is transferred to the stigma of another. Unlike a GMO (genetically modified organism), these gorgeous hybrids have never been altered in a lab … though some are so amazing to look at you’d think it was a Dr. Suess drawing brought to life.

In my travels, I had the good luck to taste a Tayberry as well as some Tayberry jam that had just been canned. This tart berry is a cross between a blackberry and a raspberry and perfect for pie making and jamming with a high pectin level. Then you have the Rangpur, a cross between a mandarin orange and a lemon, which I love to use in both curry and stir-fry dishes when in season.

Last year I catered a beautiful ranch style wedding at Goleta’s own Goodland Organics farm. I was lucky enough to try out some of their exotic and naturally grown harvest and tasted both a cherimoya as well as a finger lime. Never in my life had I tasted such an exotic combination of flavors, which had me immediately creating new recipes in my head for such cool ingredients. The finger lime, aka the caviar lime, was by far my favorite and I loved hearing how this bushfood native to Australia could find a footing in our soil. While this fruit is not a hybrid and grows wildly in Australia under subtropical weather, once you cut into it and see the acidic pearls hidden inside you’ll be amazed. So, get out of your rut and head to our local markets to try out some amazing new produce that will bring a new zing to your favorite recipes.

Scallop Ceviche

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serving: 4

Ingredients:

o    1/2 pound each Shrimps and Scallops, diced

o    1 cup fresh lime juice

o    1/4 cup, finely diced red onion

o    1/2 cup red pepper, finely chopped

o    5 radishes, thinly sliced

o    1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced

o    1/4 finely chopped cilantro

o    Salt and fresh pepper to taste

o    8 Finger Limes

o    Tortilla chips

Cooking Process:

- Place shrimp and scallops in colander, rinse under cold water and let drain. Place in glass or ceramic bowl and cover with lime juice. Refrigerate 1 hour or until seafood cooks through. Remove bowl from fridge and discard 1/2 cup of the lime juice, stir in the chopped vegetable, cilantro and season with plenty of salt and pepper to taste. To serve, spoon mixture into serving glasses, top each glass with the Finger Lime pulp and serve accompanied with chips. Enjoy!