04 Jul2006

Dried Fruit

by Marketman

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One of my favorite finds on the second floor of the Mercato Centrale was a spectacular dried fruit vendor. I have seen many dried fruit vendors in the cities I have visited before, but nothing, absolutely nothing, compares with this stall’s selection. My supply of trail mix was dried2running low so we immediately purchased a mixture of dried strawberries, green grapes and pears. What really differentiated this store from others was the breadth of choice (perhaps 50+ types of dried fruit), the volume of fruit and the freshness of the products. Although they were casually displayed in open baskets, the fruit was dried to just the right moistness and the intensity of flavor was clear in every single morsel that we tasted or sampled. I had tried dried strawberries a few months back but these really fresh versions were even more delicious. It amazes me that a similar shop does not exist in Manila as so many of the fruits were in fact, tropical – pineapples, mangoes and even starfruit or carambola! But of course there were dried pears, peaches, apples, oranges, apricots, cherries, etc.! Perhaps such a shop would be lost on local consumers who may find some of the choices unusual and esoteric…

Dark cherries, strawberries and apricots…

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3 or 4 different kinds of dried grapes or raisins…

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More dried cherries…

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Dried Starfruit or Carambola…

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COMMENTS:

  1. lee says:

    if by chance i would find myself in this place in my lifetime i would turn into a child with big pockets.

    Jul 4, 2006 | 6:03 pm

     
  2. Marketman says:

    lee, it was truly an adult’s candy store. There are some things one must do in one’s lifetime, and Florence is one of them. And, believe it or not, this vendor was very affordable at about Euro1 or PHP65 for 100 grams of most of the dried fruit. That’s just slightly more than all the preserved fruits at an aji Ichiban or similar store…

    Jul 4, 2006 | 6:22 pm

     
  3. leny says:

    hi! just to let you know that i for one likes to eat kamias the way i like to eat prunes. I know how to make preserve kamias as delicacy.:)its so yummy yummy!

    Jul 4, 2006 | 8:37 pm

     
  4. connie says:

    I love dried fruits. The kind of trail mix I get have dried kiwis in them, very good. Did you find any dried kiwis perchance? They are not as sweet as the other dried fruits with just a little bit of tanginess in them. Unfortunately the package have only few pieces in them, so husband and I tend to compete for the same fruit. *laughs* I have yet to find a store that sell just dried kiwis, they’re usually mixed in with other dried fruits.

    Jul 5, 2006 | 12:25 am

     
  5. Marketman says:

    connie, there was lots of dried kiwi in the European markets… It must be abundant in NZ and Australia… and probably, fairly easy to make at home by just slicing and perhaps soaking in a sugared solution before drying in the hot sun covered with a screen or very slowly in a very low oven perhaps?

    Jul 5, 2006 | 5:58 am

     
  6. millet says:

    WOW, grabe! pwede ba mag-TNT sa florence market, right in the dried fruit and cheese sections, MM? Tell the authorities to come for me after 3 years…

    Jul 5, 2006 | 8:06 am

     
  7. Apicio says:

    The higher-grade European candied fruits for fruitcake mostly come from Italy too, better colour and much better flavour and consistency, truly apt for use in French fruitcake where better quality candied fruit is essential because it calls for a lot less of it. Robert Linxe makes an extra-ordinary version in chocolate of course, topped with thin slices of the legendary candied whole fruits from Auer.

    Jul 5, 2006 | 8:33 am

     
  8. sister says:

    Apicio, you are right about the candied fruit from Europe, I buy mine from Paris Gourmet in New Jersey, they import it from Fance and it makes a world of difference in fruitcake. Never mind that it costs four times as much as US made candied fruit peels.

    Jul 5, 2006 | 9:35 am

     
  9. Gigi says:

    What a glorious post, MM! I’m into this dried fruits mode now throwing slivers of dried mangoes and prunes into my heaping bowl of salad baon for work. It’s so convenient kasi for one esp for a single condo-dwelling girl like me… I always end up with rotting mangoes, strawberries and grapes even when I buy ’em in the barest of portions. Man, I wish I could get my hands on dried strawberries! That would have been so great! :)

    Jul 5, 2006 | 10:19 am

     
  10. SimplePleasure says:

    Wow Florence definitely made it to my Places to Go List! all those dried fruits looks so yummy! And I like the fact that there are so many to choose from

    Jul 5, 2006 | 11:59 am

     
  11. Marinel says:

    Hi MM. That is indeed very cheap for dried fruits. And the selection! Wow. Is there a place, anywhere, in PI that sells dried fruits? Rustans or SM maybe?

    Jul 6, 2006 | 3:11 am

     
  12. Marketman says:

    Gigi,dried fruit in salads or trail mixes are a great way to get additional “fruit” servings per day. Try some dried cranberries that are occasionally available at Landmark…they are really good. Marinel, the groceries do carry some dried fruit…there is pineapple, sometimes durian, mangoes, papaya, etc. in the stores but their quality levels vary greatly from good eating to hard as rock varieties!

    Jul 6, 2006 | 5:17 am

     
  13. Glauro Campello says:

    Dear All
    I am doing a Marketing study of the US, European and Middle East market of crystallised fruits. I need data regarding consumption, main fruits, size of the marketing in those areas, preice, etc.
    Can any of you be able to help me to finish this job to my studies, please?
    Thanks for your help

    Feb 15, 2008 | 10:13 pm

     
 

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