“What a Way Eeit Hugly”: Ugli Fruit

Look at what I found (and eventually bought) at the grocery store today!

Ugli fruit!

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I’ll be honest — I was going to pass up on this funny looking fruit until I looked closer at the PLU price tag which read, “Product of Jamaica.”

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It’s beyond rare that I find a “product of Jamaica” in a large chain supermarket here in Montreal (in Toronto, maybe, but Montreal, definitely not).  I know, it’s a darn shame.  I have to travel far and wide just to get ethnic products here.  But that’s another story.

They cost $2.00 each, or 2 for $4.00, as advertised (I later read that they can be priced much higher elsewhere).

I whipped out my cell phone to do a quick Google search on how to 1) pick the right fruit and 2) use it in recipes.  What did it taste like?  Would I like it?  Would it be worth spending $2.00?

I decided to buy it and do more research (and try my luck!).

Ugli fruit (or euphemistically called “uniq fruit” elsewhere) is thought to be a Jamaican hybrid of a grapefruit, orange and tangerine.  It’s described at the Jamaican tangelo and it gets its name from it’s ugly (or, as Jamaicans would say, “hugly”) appearance.  Legend has it an indigenous ugli fruit tree was found growing wild near Brown’s Town in Jamaica.  The fruit was soon cultivated on a wider scale and “ship ah farrin” (shipped abroad) to places like the United States, Europe and yes, even Canada.

For more information on this fruit, I found the following sites to be helpful:

http://www.thekitchn.com/what-is-an-ugli-fruit-49487

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugli_fruit

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-ugli-fruit-3495.html

http://www.ehow.com/how_2103610_eat-ugli-fruit.html

I have yet to cut into mine, but apparently it can be used just like a grapefruit or orange and has a taste similar to a navel orange.  The fruit is so exotic that it has its own website: http://www.ugli.com.  The site has a page dedicated to recipes that feature the ugli fruit.  Elsewhere I read that many people juice it or turn it into ice cream.

I’m not a huge fan of juicing (because you end up throwing away the fiber), but I may make an exception here.  Otherwise I’m tempted to cut it in half, sprinkle some salt on it, and broil it like I would a grapefruit for part of my breakfast (a friend told me that sprinkling salt on a cut orange makes the orange taste so much better). Hmmm… or maybe I can grater ginger and sprinkle it on top before popping it under the broiler…the possibilities are endless.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Do any of you have any tips for eating ugli fruit?  How do you nyam yuh hugly fruit?


Vegan Marshmallows

One of the hardest things about being vegan is avoiding gelatin.  It’s hard because gelatin (made from the ground-up bones and cartilege of pigs and cows — ewwwww…) is in almost everything — they encapsulate your chewable vitamins, they are in gummy candies/snacks, and they ar even in marshmallows.  Thus many have set out to find a vegan alternative and have succeeded (thankfully!).

I have recently discovered two kinds of vegan marshmallows that I love.  They are made from beet sugar, corn syrup, cane dextrose and a bunch of other stuff that are plant-based.  They are vegan, but not necessarily the “healthiest.”  Since they do contain a good deal of sugar, I would use them sparingly.  On the other hand, they melt and expand and taste just like real marshmallows.  I use them in my hot chocolate, or to make s’mores or in my rice krispie squares.  They are an excellent substitute for sure.

You can find these at your nearest health food store. Enjoy!

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