True to their name, Tropicals are fruits that are originally from tropical regions around the world. Due to their popularity or demand, there have been attempts to grow them in Texas in both the commercial setting or the home setting.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Order: Varies
- Family: Varies
- Genus: Varies
- Species: Varies
- Binomial name: Varies
Tropical Fruit Trivia
- The dragonfruit is one of the most intriguing tropicals in the world. It only blooms for one night per growth cycle.
- Figs have been known as “The fruit of the gods” and are considered as one of the oldest recorded fruits.
- Mango is known as the “king of fruits.”
- The pineapple is neither a pine or an apple.
Tropical Fruit Buying Guide
A good rule of thumb when choosing tropical fruits is to smell them before purchasing them. Many tropical fruits stop ripening after being picked, so there is a possibility that the tropical fruit that’s available for purchase is going to be as ripe as they’re going to get. The tropical fruit should have sweet and fruity overtones on the exterior.
Another sign to look for when purchasing tropicals is to look for fruits that are still plump. This means that they have been stored and transported correctly. Shriveled tropical fruits can either be old stock or they could have cold damage.
Avoid fruits with excessive bruising and discoloration.
Tip: Our Texas Fruit promptuary has more specific information on the different fruits, so if you want to know more about a particular tropical fruit that’s found in Texas, you can check it out over there.
Tropical Fruit Production & Farming in Texas
Tropical fruits like avocado, citrus, mango, banana, papaya, pineapple, and others are extremely sensitive to cold weather. The production of these fruits is usually limited to the gulf coast and the Deep South areas of Texas. Of course, they can be grown elsewhere in the state, but it would require a lot of cold protection, or they have to be housed in greenhouses.
Unless they’re grown locally and certified organic, most imported tropical fruits will have a lot of pesticide residues on them as the regulations in most tropical countries are not as strict as the United States’ when it comes to the usage of pesticides.
Imported tropical fruits require a lot of extra protective packaging to protect them on their journey here from their home countries. They are also shipped over in large refrigerated containers. Most imported fruits have also been treated with chemicals to slow their ripening or prevent further ripening to make sure that they’re still good when they arrive on the supermarket shelves.
Enjoying Tropical Fruits
Tropical fruits are usually sweeter than most non-tropical fruit. This is because of the abundance of sunshine in tropical areas. The abundance of sunshine allows the fruit to create more sugar in their flesh, thus making it sweeter than their non-tropical counterparts.
Since they’ve gone across the ocean, it is best to consume tropical fruits after purchasing them. They can last anywhere from one day up to a week in the fridge, depending on the fruit’s hardiness.
For more information on the handling of tropical fruits, we have pages dedicated to various tropical fruits available in Texas in our real food promptuary.
Tropical fruits are typically loaded with a lot of vitamins and nutrients due to their exposure to sunshine. They’re sweeter in general than most temperate fruits, with a few exemptions. For more nutrition information, check out our collection of tropical fruits inside our real food promptuary.