WHY IT'S HOT American taste buds, inspired by kiwis and mangoes, are now into freaky fruit like rambutan
WILL IT LAST? Wake up and smell the durian
Seedless watermelons don't seem so strange anymore. That's because an unusual cornucopia of natural sweets ranging from horned kiwano melons to star fruits are popping up in local stores. "We're such a mixed country now that fruits from ethnic grocers are inching their way into mainstream supermarkets," says Roger Meyer, owner of San Diego's Valley Vista Kiwi Farm. Coming soon: Cuba's mamey sapote (which tastes like a cooked sweet potato), the yellow kiwi (smoother, less tart than the green type), and the jackfruit (fibrous, fleshy, richly flavored). Then there's the Vietnamese dragonfruit, a crunchy cactus that one gourmand called a "psychedelic pink-and-lime-green hand grenade." Snapple is using it in a new "smart drink" line called Elements, but the real thing is also "going to be tremendous," says Meyer. Not as promising is the durian of Southeast Asian, which the farmer says "smells like a toilet but tastes wonderful." Um, thanks, but we'll stick to contemplating our navel oranges.
--By Jeffrey Ressner