Finding Perfection in Unrip Fruit

Memorial Day is right around the corner and so are our fantasies of backyard BBQ’s, fresh grilled food and succulent summer fruit.  However, this doesn’t mean that you should shy away from using those fruits that aren’t quite “ripe”.

I love these creative ways to salvage your unripe fruits in your recipes, to avoid waste but also to tap into their yet-to-be-discovered potential (sage advice from Celilia Estreich of Baldor Specialty Foods).

unripe apricot

Green Apricots
This immature apricot is harvested early in the season and resembles a green almond.  The fruit has a strong almost almondy, bitter flavor.  They’re traditionally used in Persian and Eastern European cuisines in chutneys jams and pickles.
Tip:  Don’t try to pit these things before cooking them. It’s a disaster.  Cook them, cool them and then use a cherry pitter to easily remove the stone.

verjus grapes

Verjus Grapes
These are so exciting.  Sure, they take some work but when do you ever get a chance to work with verjus grapes?  For the uninitiated, these are highly-acidic unripe wine grapes.
Tip: Cultures throughout the Middle East crush them into condiments or pickle them and use them like capers. You can also press them to make your own verjus.

green strawberries

Green Strawberries
Unripe, green strawberries have taken a few trips around the block in the past five years.  But, who cares– these are an exceptional ingredient, especially into them when they’re pickled and served as cheese accompaniment.
Tip: Rene Redzepi claims that each strawberry needs to be a perfectly unripe whitish-green. But, we haven’t found a little blush to be problem if you plan to cook or pickle them.

green almonds

Green Almonds
Perhaps the most mainstream of the under ripe items we carry, immature almonds have applications all over place.  They’re especially popular in Spain.

Tip: The center of the green almond evolves throughout the season, starting out as a clear gel and solidifying into a translucent, white nut as the season progresses.  When the gel stage passes and the nut begins to form, they make incredible almond milk.


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