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Thursday, February 23, 2012

The continuing saga of how we find new products

One of the most frequently asked questions we get at Frieda’s is, “How do you find new products? Do you travel the world searching for new fruits and veggies?”

In today’s digital world, we don’t always have to travel the globe to find something new. Sometimes it finds us. Here is the story behind our latest discovery.

Willette, a friend of Frieda’s and mine, is a world-renowned theatrical producer (Twist is her latest musical) and world traveler. Last month she was in Paris dining at a restaurant called Passeig 53.

She saw a fruit she did not recognize, so she took a few photos and emailed them to Frieda and me, asking if we knew what it was.


Frieda and I started guessing at what it might be. At first, I thought it was a variety of yellow passion fruit from New Zealand that I had seen many years ago. But Willette told us that it tasted like a lemon and the insides looked like a finger lime (see my previous blog on these). And, it was quite large.

We were now on a hunt!

We forwarded Willette’s comments and photos to some of our favorite citrus Aficionados, and, of course, it was one of the experts at the University of California – Riverside’s Citrus Collection – Toni -- who solved our mystery.

She guessed that our ‘mystery citrus’ is possibly a Faustrime or Faustrimedin, a hybrid of finger lime and limequat. Here's more info on this fruit:
http://www.homecitrusgrowers.co.uk/photos/faustrimefruit.html


Although we don’t know the country of origin of the citrus fruit that Willette found, we do know that they are being commercially produced somewhere. Maybe one of the small citrus growers in Central California will be interested in planting a few trees so we can see how they produce and taste.

We know that citrus, in general, is exploding in terms of new varieties, and it’s all about taste and flavor! Maybe the Faustrime will be the newest taste sensation. Or not.

Only time will tell.

So, to all my friends reading this blog: When you are dining or shopping while you travel, I would love to receive photos and information about what you see. If you want to share them, please post them on Frieda’s Facebook page. Who knows what the next hot trend in food will be…

Enjoy!

Karen

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