Fruit of the boom
Get to know these nutritious foreign imports.
Thu Sep 21 2006
Photo: Macduff Everton / Corbis
Just a few years ago, the pomegranate was largely an obscure fruit from Greek mythology, not something readily found in the supermarket. But once its superantioxidant properties became clear, pom juice ended up in nearly every bodega. The latest exotic berfruits—many of which have already found their way into juice bars and natural-food stores—also pack a trend-inducing nutritional punch.
This red berry, grown in the Himalayas, tastes like a raisin when dried, which makes it a novel addition to an otherwise ho-hum trail mix. Known for its immune-boosting and fertility-enhancing qualities, the goji has more beta-carotene than carrots and more antioxidants than blueberries.
Ward off sickness with the juice of this red stone fruit which reportedly has 65 times more vitamin C than an orange. Native to the Caribbean, Central America and Brazil, the acerola is similar in appearance to a cherry, but bears no actual relation (note its citruslike sections).
This purple, baseball-size fruit (pictured) has a flavor reminiscent of citrus and peach and purportedly battles cancer with high amounts of powerful antioxidants. Although difficult to find fresh in the States, the West Indies and Malaysia export often turns up canned or juiced.
Indigenous to India and Southeast Asia, this potato-size, cream-colored fruit is now also grown commercially in French Polynesia and Hawaii. However smelly (think blue cheese), noni juice is being researched for its detoxifying, energy-boosting and anticancer properties.
If you’ve been to a juice bar, you’re already familiar with this dark-purple berry. Too delicate to survive the journey here from Central or South America, aa typically arrives frozen. It adds antioxidants, fiber, amino acids, essential omegas and a hint of blueberry-chocolate flavor to smoothies and tonics.