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ALLEN SUSSER NAMED OFFICIAL CHEF SPOKESPERSON FOR
TROPICAL FRUIT GROWERS OF SOUTH FLORIDA
Chef Allen Susser, owner/chef of Chef Allen's in Aventura, has been named official chef spokesperson for the Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida (TFGSF). "It's a natural fit," says Reed Olszack chairman of the Tropical Fruit Advisory Council (TFAC)"; "Chef Allen was a founding member of the Mango Gang, the group of South Florida chefs who helped place tropical fruit on the national culinary map." Susser will make public and media appearances locally and nationally to promote the health benefits and culinary applications of Florida's luscious tropical fruits, including lychee, carambola, longan, mamey sapote, guava, mango, sapodilla, green papaya, and pitaya, among others. Susser is also coordinating, as well as participating in, the tropical fruit chef demos at the upcoming Tropical Ag Fiesta at Tropical Fruit & Spice Park, in June 2005. The Tropical Fruit Growers Association of South Florida, 18710 SW 288 Street, Homestead, Florida, grows, picks, packs and ships more that 20 varieties of tropical fruit. 305-401-1502. To learn more about the organization, visit www.tropicalfruitgrowers.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TROPICAL FRUIT GROWERS NAME GUAVA 'FRUIT OF THE MONTH' FOR APRIL
Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida, a coalition of close to 100 South Florida growers and packers have declared guava the fruit of the month for April. Just cited in the new U.S. dietary guidelines released by the federal government as the highest-ranked source of vitamin C, surpassing even oranges, guava is available most of the year and will be at its peak February to April. "6,000,000 pounds of guava, one of the most successful fruits to be grown and shipped in South Florida, will be harvested between March and September", according to Reed Olszack, chairman of the Tropical Fruit Advisory Board. Often used as a minor ingredient in well known desserts, such as the Cuban pastelitos, a flaky, guava filled pastry, today guavas are being showcased as the main ingredient in new dishes around the country, especially in South Florida, where chefs and consumers consider it a treasured natural resource.
Guavas are small, oval fruits about 2-6 inches in size, with a thin, light yellow-green edible skin. The ripe fruit softens to the touch and emits a sweet fragrance. The flesh of the guava can be white, pink, yellow or red, with numerous small edible seeds. It's naturally sweet and delicious as is, and can be eaten out of hand, sliced in fruit cups, pureed for cream desserts, juiced and used in punch and cocktails, ice cream and sodas, jams and jellies, or frozen for later use. Today, contemporary American chefs often incorporate guava into seafood, pork, poultry and salad recipes.
Introduced to the Americas in 1847, from Cuba, the guava thrives year-round in the warm, humid climate of Florida. The fruit requires 120 days to mature with peak seasons generally occurring from August - October and February - March. Grown on a small tree with oblong leaves, a typical guava can weigh from one ounce to two pounds with each tree producing 120 to 220 pounds of fruit per year. The best way to ensure a ripe fruit is to allow the fruit to ripen at room temperature until the peel color changes from light green to yellow. Guavas are available at major supermarkets, in gourmet specialty shops and Asian markets.
Along with vitamin C, Florida guava is also an excellent source of vitamins B1, B6, niacin and phosphorus. One cup of raw guava contains 84 calories, .9 grams of fat, 260mg of potassium, 1.35 g of protein, and 8.9g of fiber, 218mg of vitamin C, .004mg of vitamin B1, B2, and B6.
Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida, Inc., headquartered in Homestead, Florida, grows, picks, packs and ships more than 20 sweet and succulent tropical fruits. To learn more visit www.Florida-agriculture.com/tropical or email email@example.com.
Consumers may also access recipes and information about Florida tropical fruits, including guava, at www.Florida-agriculture.com/tropical or send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, 407 S. Calhoun Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0800.
The following recipes are easy to prepare and complement a healthy lifestyle
Guava Rum Sorbet\Chef Johnny Vinczencz
Johnny V Restaurant & Lounge, Fort Lauderdale,
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 1/2 cup of water
1 cup fresh Florida guava pur�e
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1.5 oz. rum
Bring water and sugar to a boil. Add guava pur�e, lime and rum and let simmer 5 minutes. Place in an ice cream maker and churn to desired consistency. Remove and freeze.