Tropicals catch on with curious consumers

09/14/2012 11:28:00 AM
Tom Burfield

In all, Brooks Tropicals offers about 30 kinds of tropicals, said Mary Ostlund, director of marketing.

Florida guava is one of those offerings. It has a rosy color inside as opposed to the yellow flesh of the Thai variety, she said.

The company ships Florida-grown water coconuts, which is an immature coconut that is desirable for its nutritious water content, along with the mature coconuts from Dominican Republic that consumers buy for their white flesh.

Boniato, a root vegetable that is a popular Hispanic comfort food, has the same texture as a russet potato but has “a definite nutty taste,” she said.

Passion fruit from Florida has become “the new darling on the tropical scene,” she said. It has a pleasant aroma and serves as “a nice accent to just about anything — from oatmeal to smoothies.”

Ginger also is gaining popularity and is used for baking and cooking vegetables and in stir-fry dishes.

“You just can’t beat fresh ginger,” she said. “It has a ton of flavor.”


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