Do you like to try hybrid fruit and vegetables? I love them. There’s a special slot in the local produce section at my grocery store, and it’s always full of the latest hybrid offerings. I can’t help but buy them… so imagine how excited I was when it was announced that 2015 will be the year of hybrid fruit. Here’s some of the amazing offerings you need to try before we get our next batch of cross-pollinated goodies!
This strange looking fruit isn’t a weirdly heavy orange…it’s a tangelo. That’s a cross between a tangerine (yep, that one was obvious), and a grapefruit. Why? Well, grapefruits are also known as pomelos, and if you blend the two words together, you get tangelo. It’s a pretty great description of the flavor, too. It’s a perfect blend of sweet and sour, which will appeal to everyone. Even if you don’t usually like grapefruits, give this a try.
Also known as Brussel Kale, or even Lollipop Kale… this rather strange looking vegetable is a blend between kale and Brussel sprouts. It’s got a tang to it that is the best of both worlds, and the texture is out of this world. It’s a brilliant alternative to either vegetable, which makes it great for giving your favourite meals a quick update, with no extra effort.
Okay, so this one isn’t really new. Pluots have been around for a while, but they were so popular that there seems to be a near constant supply. A blend of plum and apricots, these are delicious and refreshing, and they give you a flavor that no other fruit can offer. They are really popular with craft beer brewers, too – that flavor translates to alcohol brilliantly.
There are cauliflower recipes everywhere at the moment, but it’s a vegetable that really divides. Some people love it, some will tolerate it teamed with broccoli, some people cover it in salt, some people avoid it entirely… There’s something about its fluffy wateriness that just divides opinion. This broccoli cauliflower cross breed - also known as romanesco - has a sweeter taste than cauliflower. You prepare and cook it the same way as cauliflower and is ideal if you or your family aren’t a fan of the traditional vegetable. Try it with Shepherd’s Pie!
5. Rainbow Carrots
Ok so this isn't a hybrid but an ancient vegetable going back to its original form. Carrots were all sorts of colors before the Dutch decided to make them orange. Carrots aren’t just orange. Farmers are now growing them in every colour from blinding white to dark purple, and even navy. These coloured carrots have a different range of nutrients, so having multicoloured veg is a great way to keep yourself healthy. You can grab these at most local farmer’s markets, as well as in grocery stores. Grab some and make your meals more colourful!
Not a fan of tarty citrus fruits? This orange-like fruit is much sweeter than a “standard” lime, which makes it much more palatable. It also gives it a tang that is perfect for desserts and drinks. They are, quite simply, delicious. They come into season during the winter, so get searching your local stores for these when the temperature starts dropping.
This fruit could almost be mistaken for a raspberry, but it’s got a big flavor difference! A cross between a blackberry and a raspberry, it combines both flavors, making it a delicious dessert in a single bite. They taste wonderful with cream, and the high levels of pectin in them makes them amazing for jamming. Definitely get your hands on some of these.
If you haven’t already tried them, you should seek out some pineberries and blood limes, too – the classic hybrid fruits - they are definitely worth the effort. Are you loving hybrid fruit and vegetables, or do you prefer to stick with the classics? Let me know what you’re loving!