Mangoes, cinnamon apple, and wax jambu.
The Redland Fruit & Spice Park is located about 25 miles southwest of Miami, in Homestead, which is a major agricultural region in South Florida. Due to the subtropical climate, exotic plants from all over the world can thrive here. In the park, there are more than 500 varieties of rare fruits, herbs, spices and nuts. Some of them you may be familiar with, such as bananas, avocados, and mangoes; others were foreign and alien to me, such as the sausage tree, the ice cream bean, the chocolate pudding fruit, and the eggfruit. Read more and see photos after the jump ...
In addition to touring the gardens, there are also lectures and classes - a schedule can be found on the park's website, here. At the entrance, there is a gift shop where you can buy tropical fruit drinks, tropical fruit ice cream, fallen fruit from around the park, and other tropical fruit-related gifts such as jams, candies, and cookies. They also have a tasting table with free fruit samples.
Wear comfortable shoes, and take some water - it is quite hot! Be prepared with a hat, sunscreen, some insect repellent, and of course, a camera. Visitors are free to sample anything that has already fallen to the ground, but it's verboten to pick anything above ground. it's a very interesting place to visit to learn more about where your food comes from, and what food is common in other parts of the world.
Ice cream bean and red pineapple. The ice cream bean comes from the Amazon region and is used as food and is distilled into a beverage.
Sausage tree and breadfruit tree. Breadfruit is starchy and is cooked before eaten. Sausage fruit is poisonous when fresh, and has to be prepared by drying, roasting, or fermenting. The sausage fruit has been proven to kill melanoma cancer cells and is used in medicine.
Eggfruit ice cream - it was very rich and creamy.
Guiana chestnut and bananas. This photo doesn't show the size very well, but the guiana chestnuts are the size of a football.
Address: 24801 S.W. 187th Avenue, Homestead, Florida 33031
Hours: 9:00am - 5:00pm
(Images: Kathryn Hill)