You’re probably familiar with apples, pears and oranges, but how about mangoes, papayas, pineapples and kiwis? If you’re unsure about these different varieties of fruit, that’s OK—this post is here to provide valuable information that will make you want to add these fruits to your diet!

These fruits are part of the tropical fruit family. Tropical fruits are indigenous to tropical regions and were traditionally grown in a subsistence-style agricultural structure or gathered from the wild. A more efficient transportation system refrigerated storage and increased production have helped move tropical fruits to populations globally. At Publix, we carry a wide variety of tropical fruits (including many not listed in this post, such as lychee, pitaya, carambola, acai, guava and more).

Papayas

Maradol papayas (Caribbean red papayas) are sweet and tropical, both in taste and aroma. Weighing up to six pounds, these papayas can be enjoyed as they are, in a smoothie, as a dessert topping or a variety of other ways. This fruit – a good source of folate and an excellent source of vitamin C – contains the digestive enzyme papain. Some tips about papayas include:

  • Don’t refrigerate papayas until they are ripe.
  • To ripen a papaya faster, place it in a closed paper bag with an apple or banana.
  • The fruit’s skin is very fragile so be careful when handling.
  • Once ripe, refrigerate your papaya. While refrigerating, the fruit will emit a sweet glaze that can be used in your yogurt, salad or entrée.

Mangoes

Each type of mango has a unique flavor and texture, but the most common type of mango sold is the Tommy Atkins mango. Originally from Florida, the Tommy Atkins mango is the most widely grown commercial variety shipped in the United States. The flavor profile is mildly sweet, and it’s a dark red blush color with green and orange-yellow accents. Per cup, mangoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of folate and vitamin A. Some tips about mangoes include:

  • When picking a mango, don’t focus on color.
  • Squeeze the mango gently. Ripe mangoes will give slightly.
  • Ripe mangoes will sometimes have a fruity aroma at their stems.
  • Peak availability for this mango variety is March to July and September and October.

Mangoes placed on blue background.

Pineapples

Known for having a sweet, delicious flavor, pineapples are grown in tropical and sub-tropical locations, including the Philippines, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Thailand, Malaysia, Brazil, Indonesia and various countries in Africa. These tropical favorites can be used in desserts, salads and drinks, and are lovely when grilled. Pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C and contains the digestive enzyme bromelain.

  • Smell the pineapple and pick one that smells sweet and fragrant.
  • When selecting a pineapple, select one that is heavy and symmetrical.
  • Look for leaves on the pineapple that are fresh and green in color.
  • Avoid pineapples with soft spots.

Pineapple with Sunglasses

Kiwis

Did you know that two medium green kiwis have less than 100 calories and as much potassium as a medium-sized banana? These oval-shaped, fuzzy brown fruits have a tangy-sweet taste and are high in fiber. Kiwi fruit was discovered in the Chang Kiang Valley of China. By the mid-1800s, the fruit was in other countries, and in 1962, a California produce dealer began importing kiwis from New Zealand. Add Green kiwifruit to yogurt, soups, smoothies, cereal and more!

  • When selecting your kiwis, press the outside of the fruit with your thumb.
    • If it gives to slight pressure, it’s ripe.
    • If it doesn’t give to pressure, it’s not ready to eat yet.
  • Green kiwifruit contains Actinidin, a natural digestive enzyme unique to kiwifruit.
  • When preparing a recipe with meat, the Actinidin in Green kiwifruit can serve as a tenderizer.

Man holding kiwis over his eyes.

If you’re looking for the fruits mentioned in this blog, you can find them in our produce department. They’re available as whole fruits, and we also offer a tropical fruit salad that features a variety of some of the different tropical fruits mentioned in this post.

 

Matthew L.

Written by

Matthew started with Publix in 2009. After working his way up to a Publix Manager, Matthew decided to make a change from retail and pursue his passion for writing. Matthew enjoys hearing stories from the people he's writing about and loves the Publix culture. Outside of work, Matthew enjoys spending time with his wife, son and their dog. They love to explore all that Central Florida has to offer.

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