It’s harvest season and across the country supermarkets, farmers markets, and roadside stands are stuffed with peak-season produce. That’s one of the reasons it makes sense that September has been designated “Fruits & Veggies More Matters Month”
The piles of juicy apples and fresh-picked butternut squash are seductive, but “More Matters Month” is also a great time to branch out and try fruits and vegetables that might not be as familiar. Who knows? You might find a new veggie to fall in love with or a new fruit BFF.
Here are ten of the more unusual f+v available in stores this season. Some are exotics that you may need to search a bit farther afield for, while others are hiding in plain sight in your produce department. Thanks to the useful list of seasonal fruits and veggies on the Fruits & Veggies More Matters website for the inspiration.
Cardoon What looks like a bunch of celery, but tastes like artichokes? Cardoon! Many of us might be more familiar with cardoon as a landscaping plant than a food, but artichoke fans will want to seek them out.
Quince One reason the quince is not a popular fruit: It is way too sour and astringent to eat raw. But once this pear-shaped golden fruit is peeled, seeded, and poached with a little sugar, it’s completely transformed into a tender, aromatic, and rose-colored delight with flavors of apple and vanilla.
Chayote Squash Native to Mexico, the chayote is an extremely mild member of the squash family that takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with. Enjoy it raw and crispy by slicing, dousing with lime juice, and sprinkling with coarse salt.
Guava This tropical fruit has an intoxicating flavor and a haunting aroma. The flesh can be pink or white, but make sure it is meltingly soft (harder guavas are unripe). The skin and seeds are edible, too—the slightly bitter skin makes a great contrast with the sweet flesh.
Delicata Squash Winter squashes are packed with nutrients and the delicata is no exception. The oblong delicata stands out from the winter squash crowd by virtue of its excellent flavor. It’s versatile, too—roast it, stuff it, puree it for soup, even bake it into pie—you can’t go wrong with sweet delicata.
Hearts of Palm Unless you are lucky enough to live near a grocery store catering to Central Americans, you’ll likely find hearts of palm only in their canned or jarred form. They are mild and lightly sweet and are often tossed into salads. They had a cultural moment a few years back when they were featured on the TV show Mad Men.
Kumquat This tiny citrus fruit has a big surprise: You eat it whole—skin and all! Just pop it into your mouth and enjoy the bright, tangy flavor.
Huckleberries The Western U.S. is lucky enough to boast wild huckleberries. These tiny dark blue berries have a flavor like blueberries, but on steroids. The higher the altitude, the better and more complex the flavor is.
Jujube Some of us think of a certain tooth-ripping candy when we hear the word jujube, but in the fruit world jujubes are hardy fruits that look like dates, but have a dry spongy texture and a sweet/tart flavor. Also called Chinese dates, the jujube can most often be found at Asian markets.
Kohlrabi Will kohlrabi be the next kale? Possibly. It’s also an underappreciated cruciferous vegetable that’s low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. This alien looking veggie is the stem of a member of the cabbage family. If you like the flavor of broccoli stems, try out kohlrabi. You can cut it thinly and toss raw into salads or cook it.