Looks like 2007 is the year of the superfruits. Over the last few years, the solid pomegranate and his pals blueberry and cranberry have done a lot of the groundwork (now almost everyone knows what antioxidants are). With their help, the world is ready for more. While I was at the Fancy Food Show, I noticed that everyone who didn't have a pomegranate flavor, now has one, and those that already did, now have something new. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the superfruits.
- Pomegranate - The trend is still going strong. It's now available as ice cream, soda, organic lollipops and Jelly Bellys.
- Goji Berries (aka Wolfberry) - These are sold dehydrated (a bit like raisins) and are believed to enhance the immune system, improve eyesight, and a bunch of other magical medical properties. I guess the western world is finally learning what the Chinese have known for years. You can buy them plain for snacking, but expect to see them in a lot of your granola bars, cookies, etc.
- Açaí - Another super antioxidant fruit (I imagine this one is going to give pomegranate a run for its money). Since these tiny Amazonian berries don't travel well, they're usually sold in the form of flavoring or juice. One of the featured items was the açaí flavored coconut water.
- YumBerry - From the outside, this Chinese fruit looks like it's part of the lychee family. However, once opened, the inside is a deep hue. You'll have a hard time finding these fresh, but soon you'll be able to drink the juice.
- Mangosteen - Although it has the word mango in its name, this highly antioxidant fruit does not taste anything like mangoes. It's currently unavailable in the US (except Hawaii), but that may be changing soon. Until then, you'll have to get the health benefits from the actual mangosteen nectar.
Oh and while I'm on the subject of fruits, there was a new one from Chile called Carica. It was golden yellow and tasted like a mixture of mango, papaya, apricot and pineapple and was definitely one of the show highlights (in fact almost everyone who went to the show ended up talking about this one). Currently it's not available fresh in the US, but Tamaya Gourmet is importing it jarred in a sweet natural syrup (which would be great in drinks, salads, etc.). Definitely worth seeking out.
Check out some of the images from the show: