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The annoying paradox of Florida produce

lax2mia | Jun 14, 200509:55 AM

This situation is starting to bug me more and more. On Saturday my S.O. and I attended the Tropical Ag festival at the Fruit and Spice Park. It was your typical Ag festival with nurseries selling fruit trees and (very few) vendors selling actual tropical fruit. One sold sapodillas and tasteless dragonfruit. The other had the typical tropical fruits (mamey, mango, etc.) along with monesteras and some guavas. The biggest and by far best display was from the Tropical Fruit Growers of S. FLA. At least 20 different varieties of mangoes, jaboticabas, sapodillas, jackfruit, etc. It was great. When asked if I could buy some the volunteers said no, there were for display only. When asked where I could buy produce like this and they said that pretty much no one carries it. Robert is Here will have some different types of mangoes. Same with Gardeners and Norman Bros. But the other, funkier fruit, forget it.

So why then do fruit growers in South Florida extoll the virtues of the climate which is conducive to growing tropical fruit yet we don't have access to them? Florida is by far the largest grower of mangoes in the US yet what we have in our own supermarket are mangoes imported from Mexico which have been pasteurized to kill any fruit fly larvae. And with the hundreds of mango varieties available, we're stuck with some of the worst and most fibrous varieties.

Anyone have any answers?

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