Tree Fruits

This section includes three groups of tree fruits:

-Miscellaneous tree fruits
-Pome fruits
-Stone fruits/drupes

 

Miscellaneous Tree Fruits

Fig (Ficus carica)

Family: Moraceae
Edible part(s): false fruit – multiple fruit – mature syconium – containing many drupelets), leaves
Native region(s): Mediterranean, Southwestern Asia, Middle East
Climate: tropical, subtropical, temperate, can tolerate moderate frosts
Life cycle: perennial, grown as annual in temperate climates
Appearance: Fig trees can grow up to 33 feet high. Fig trees have smooth white bark and large, fragrant leaves that are rough to the touch. The leaves are 8 by 5 inches in size and have 3 or 5 deep lobes. Fig flowers have a syconium, a hollow fleshy structure that is lined with many flowers that bloom inside the syconium and become a multiple fruit made of multiple single-seeded fruits inside. Fig fruit is tear-shaped, 1-2 inches long, 2-3 inches in diameter. Figs have green skin that turns purple or brown when ripe. the flesh inside is soft, reddish in color, and contains many crunchy seeds.
Aroma: fruity, creamy-buttery, woody, almond, floral
Taste: sweet
Flavor: fruity, melon, sugar, berry, honey, citrus, green, cucumber
Nutritional value: dietary fiber, manganese, 80% water
Culinary uses: eaten raw and cooked, dried, made into jams and desserts.

 

Persimmon (Diospyros)

The word “persimmon” is of Algonquian origin, and the genus name Diospyros, is from the Greek “fruit of the god Zeus”. Diospyros virginiana is the common or American persimmon. Diospyros kaki is the Asian, or kaki persimmon. Asian persimmons are larger and sweeter than less common American persimmons.

Family: Ebenaceae – ebony
Edible part(s): fruit – berry
Native region(s): Asia – China
Climate: temperate and subtropical
Life cycle: perennial
Appearance: tree grows up to 100 feet tall and has a round top. dark green leaves, yellow or green flowers and orange fruits 2 inches long. the orange fruits are fist-size.
Aroma: green, potato, honey, caramel, balsamic
Taste: sweet
Flavor: Asian persimmon is sweet, slightly tangy with a soft texture
Nutritional value: vitamins A, B, C, E, K, potassium, copper, manganese, fiber
Culinary uses: eaten raw and cooked, cut into sections, skin and core removed. eat very ripe, so the tannins are broken down and are less astringent. Persimmon fruit is also dried, made into jelly, drinks, pies, puddings, curries, and made into vinegar. Persimmon leaves are used to wrap sushi in Nara Prefecture, Japan.

 

Pomegranate (Punica grantum)

The name pomegranate comes from the Latin word pomium, which means apple.

Family: Lythraceae
Edible part(s): fruit – arils – fleshy, juicy, edible sacs that surround the seeds
Native region(s): Middle and western Asia – Iran
Climate: 
Life cycle: 
Appearance: The pomegranate tree grows up to 20 feet high. It has glossy green leaves up to 4 inches long, narrow, and oblong in shape. The reddish-orange trumpet-shaped flowers become orange-sized, leathery skinned fruits that are 2 to 4 inches in diameter. Inside the fruit is divided into compartments, each packed with little sacs of juice that surround a seed.
Aroma: green, fruity, pine, woody, musty, mushroomy, floral
Taste: sweet, sour
Flavor: juicy, sweet-tart
Nutritional value: vitamins C and K, dietary fiber, folic acid
Culinary uses: eaten raw and cooked, made into jams, jellies, syrups – Grenadine, liqueurs

 

Pome Fruits

Apple (Malus domestica)

Apples traveled along the Silk Road from the Tian Shan mountains in China to Europe.

Family: Rosaceae
Edible part(s):
fruit – pome
Native region(s): Central Asia
Climate: temperate
Life cycle:
perennial
Appearance:
an apple is a small round fruit that grows on a tree that is about 6 to 15 feet tall. the tree has dark green oval-shaped leaves with serrated margins. apple blossoms are white with a pink tinge. the fruit can be red, orange-red, pink-red, purple-red, brown-red, russetted. the flesh (exocarp) inside is usually pale yellowish-white, but some apples are pink, yellow, or green inside.
Aroma:  sweet, ripe, apple, green, fresh aroma. Some apples have more nuanced aromas such as anise, spicy, rose, orange, strawberry, pineapple, citrus, and coconut.
Taste: range from sweet to sour
Flavor: sweet, tart, tangy, flavor profile varies depending on the apple variety
Nutritional value: vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, fiber, high water content
Culinary uses: eaten raw and cooked, canned, dried, frozen, baked,  stewed, in applesauce, juice, cider, wine, brandy, vinegar, jelly, apple butter, apple pie, crisp, crumble

 

Pear (Pyrus communis)

There are over 3,000 different types of pears which vary in size, shape, texture and flavor. Some common types of pears include: Anjou (green or red), bartlett, bosc, forelle, concorde, seckel, Asian pear.

Family: Rosaceae
Edible part(s):
fruit
Native region(s): Europe, North Africa, Asia
Climate:
temperate
Life cycle: perennial
Appearance: 

Aroma: Asian pears have a sweet, ripe, apple, solvent, floral aroma. Eurasian pears have a sweet, ripe, apple, pear, floral aroma.
Taste:
Flavor:
Nutritional value: vitamins B, C & K, antioxidants, iron, potassium, copper, folate, fiber
Culinary uses: eaten raw and cooked,

 

 

Quince (Cydonia oblonga)

Family: Rosaceae
Edible part(s):
Fruits – pome fruits are fleshy with a papery inner portion forming a core where the seeds are located.
Native region(s): Middle East? Iran, Turkey
Life cycle: perennial
Appearance: 
Quince fruits grow on small shrubs or trees grow up to 25 feet high and 20 feet wide. The flowers are pale pink and the round fruits are round or pear-shaped yellow pome fruits.
Aroma: green, woody, fruity, sweet, winey, pear, floral.
Taste: sour
Flavor: tart, astringent, sharp
Nutritional value: vitamin C, 84% water
Culinary uses: eaten raw and cooked, usually cooked with sugar because the taste is very astringent, sour, and sharp, made into in marmalade, jam, paste (called Quince cheese), small amounts in apple pies

 

Stone Fruits or Drupes

Apricot (Prunus armeniaca)

Family: Rosaceae
Edible part(s):
pitted fruit or drupe (contain one seed, a pit, and very thin skin), also called stone fruit?
Native region(s): Central Asia
Climate: temperate
Life cycle:
perennial
Appearance:
Apricot trees can grow up to 39 feet tall. the oval leaves have a pointed tip and a finely serrated margin. the flowers are whit to pinkish. the fruits are round with velvety skin that ranges from yellow to orange, tinged red on the side where it’s exposed to the sun. The flesh (mesocarp) is fragrant, firm, sweet, less juicy than peaches. the single seed is inside a hard, stony shell with a grainy, smooth texture.
Aroma: floral, peach, creamy, geranium leaf, and cucumber.
Taste: sweet
Flavor: sweet, tart,
Nutritional value: vitamins A, C & E, antioxidants, fiber
Culinary uses: eaten raw and cooked. in salads, desserts like tarts, poached, dried, canned. seeds or kernels must be cooked to remove poison, and can then be used as a substitute for almonds to make extract which is used to flavor Italian amaretto, amaretti biscotti, jams, and cookies. oil of almond is pressed from the kernels can be used in cooking.

 

Avocado (Persea americana)

The common name avocado comes from the word ‘ahuácatl’ in Nahuatl, means testicle in the Mexican language Nahuatl, referring to the shape of the fruits. some believe avocados increase fertility.

Family: Lauraceae
Edible part(s):
 fruit – berry
Native region(s): tropical America
Climate: tropical, moist, require a lot of water, well-drained soil 
Life cycle:
perennial
Appearance:
avocado fruits grow on large trees that have leathery leaves that are dark green on top and pale green on the underside. The pear-shaped avocado fruit has a hard rind, soft green or yellow flesh, and one large seed/pit inside. The two main cultivated varieties of avocado are: Persea americana ‘Fuerte’ has smooth, shiny green skin and Persea american ‘Haas’ has thick dark purple skin.
Aroma: grassy, nutty, fatty, sweet, and resinous
Taste: sweet
Flavor: rich and nutty, texture is soft, buttery, creamy
Nutritional value: vitamin E, potassium, low sodium
Culinary uses: fruit eaten in salads, dips, on toast, smoothies, ice cream, desserts; leaves used in bean stews and to wrap bread or cheese, avocado honey made from the nectar of avocado trees

 

Cherry – Prunus avium (sweet), Prunus cerasus (sour)

bing, lambert, tartarian, royal ann, maraschino

Family: Rosaceae
Edible part(s):
fruit – drupe, or stone fruit
Native region(s): Western Asia and Eastern Europe
Climate: temperate
Life cycle:
perennial
Appearance:
Cherries are small succulent fruits that grow on trees. Sour cherry trees are smaller than sweet cherry trees. The skin and flesh of cherry fruit ranges from yellow to bright red to deep, dark red, almost black. The skin and flesh are the same color. sweet cherries are larger than sour cherries, and have firm, heart-shaped fruit. sour cherries are smaller, softer than sweet cherries. sour cherries are very tart and usually not eaten raw, they are combined with sugar and made into pies and preserves.
Aroma: sweet cherries have a green, floral, almond, fruity aroma. sour cherries have an almond, floral, honey, clove, vanilla aroma.
Taste: sweet or sour
Flavor: succulent
Nutritional value:
Culinary uses: eaten raw and cooked, dried, in pies, preserves, desserts

 

 

Date palm – (Phoenix dactylifera)

The date palm plays an important role in many religions.

Family: Arecaceae
Edible part(s):
fruit – drupe, or stone fruit
Native region(s): Middle East – Gulf States, Iran, Iraq, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan
Habitat: desert, desert-like environments, well-drained sandy loam soil
Life cycle:
perennial
Appearance:
the date palm tree can grow almost 100 feet high. the long stem has a crown of leaves at the very top of the plant, with long, shiny pointy leaves that can be 16 feet long. Spikes of flowers grow from where the leaves and stem connect. The flowers grow in clusters that can produce more than 1,000 date fruits. Fruits are typically oval in shape and light to dark purplish-brown, but they vary in size, shape, and color depending on the variety.
Aroma: 
Taste: sweet
Flavor: Two common cultivated varieties are Medjool (large, caramel tasting fruits) and Deglet Noor (firmer texture, more delicate flavor).
Nutritional value: magnesium, potassium
Culinary uses: eaten raw and cooked, processed into syrup, powdered, or fermented and distilled to make wine, pitted and stuffed, in sweet desserts like Christmas pudding, date loaf, and savory dishes like tajine and roast lamb.

ribs of the leaves are used to make furniture and boxes, stems used as firewood, fiber is used as packing material, seeds used as animal feed, and the leaves are woven into baskets, mat, and clothing.

 

Lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.)

Lychee, litchi, lichee

Family: Sapindaceae – soapberry 
Edible part(s):
fruit
Native region(s): Asia – China, Southeast Asia
Climate: tropical and subtropical 
Life cycle:
perennial
Appearance: 
Lychee are small fruits that grow on trees. The fruits are round or oval, they have a brittle outer rind that is red or pink and rough to the touch. Lychees have one large, smooth, inedible brown seed inside, which is surrounded by tender translucent, white flesh.
Aroma: highly aromatic, with a floral-rose, lemon, violet, green, citrus, sulfurous
Taste: sweet
Flavor: fresh lychee is sweet, flowery, musky. dried lychee pulp is acidic and very sweet
Nutritional value: vitamin C, antioxidants, copper, potassium, high water content
Culinary uses: eaten raw and cooked, in jelly, juice, wine, ice cream.

 

 

Mango (Mangifera indica)

Family: member of the cashew family
Edible part(s):
fruit
Native region(s): Southern Asia – India
Climate: tropical and subtropical 
Life cycle:
perennial
Appearance:
Mango fruits grow on trees. The size and shape of mangos varies widely, from oval, round, kidney-shaped, heart shaped, or long and thin. Mango skin can be red, yellow, and green. The flesh is yellow to orange, tender, succulent, and has a sweet taste.
Aroma:  fragrant, and has a fruity, pineapple, caramel, resin-turpentine, tropical/passion fruit, sulfurous, peach coconut aroma
Taste: sweet
Flavor: sweet, fruity, hints of peach, pineapple, caramel, cucumber, soft, juicy, succulent
Nutritional value: vitamins A, B & C, antioxidants, copper, folate, fiber, high water content
Culinary uses: eaten raw and cooked, in salads, salsas, smoothies

 

 

Nectarine (Prunus persica var. nucipersica)

A type of peach that has smooth skin, nut fuzzy like peaches.

Family: Rosaceae
Edible part(s):
fruit
Native region(s): Asia – China
Climate: temperate
Life cycle:
perennial
Appearance:
Nectarines are stone fruits (drupes) that grow on trees. Stone fruits, or drupes, contain one seed, a pit. Stone fruits have very thin skin.
Aroma: peach, coconut, creamy, fresh, almond, fruity, floral.
Taste: sweet, tart
Flavor: sweet, similar to peaches but more tangy, firm flesh
Nutritional value: vitamins B & C, antioxidants, copper, potassium
Culinary uses: eaten raw and cooked, in salads, salsas, jams

Peach (Prunus persica)

Family: Rosaceae
Edible part(s):
Stone fruits, or drupes, contain one seed, a pit. Stone fruits have very thin skin.
Native region(s): Asia – China
Climate: warmer temperate regions 
Life cycle:
perennial
Appearance:
Peach plants are trees that have glossy green leaves
Aroma: coconut, creamy, fresh, almond, peach, fruity and floral.
Taste: sweet
Flavor: sweet, mildly tart, fresh, fruity, notes of pear, lychee, tropical fruits. yellow-fleshed peaches are slightly acidic, white-fleshed peaches are sweeter because they have less acid.
Nutritional value: vitamins A & C, antioxidants, potassium, fiber, high water content
Culinary uses: eaten raw and cooked, frozen, canned, in pies, cobblers, smoothies

 

Plum (Prunus domestica, Prunus cerasifera)

cultivars – Japanese or Chinese plum, Damsons (European plum), Prune plums (European plum), Victoria plums, Greengages (European plum), Mirabelles (European plum), Myrobalan or cherry plums

Family: Rosaceae
Edible part(s):
pitted fruit, drupe (contain one seed, a pit, and very thin skin), also called stone fruit?  
Native region(s): Asia and Europe – China, Eastern Europe
Climate: temperate
Life cycle:
perennial
Appearance:
Plum fruits grow on plum trees. The fruits are drupes, which contain one hard stone which encloses the seed. Plums are small, round or oval, have thin skin which ranges in color from purple, red, green, orange to yellow. The flesh of plums ranges from firm to soft, and most are succulent, juicy, and sweet or tart.
Aroma: Asian plums – floral, almond, fruity, coconut, peach, dreamy, and fresh. European plums – floral, fruity, almond, alcohol, green, floral, peach aroma.
Taste: sweet to tart, skin can be tart
Flavor: firm and juicy
Nutritional value: vitamin C, 87% water
Culinary uses: eaten raw and cooked, dried plums (prunes), jam, plum dumplings, plum juice, plum wine, brandy, salty plum drinks, pickled plums (umeboshi in Japan)