For culinary purposes, fruit can be divided into various groups: stone fruits, hard fruits, soft fruits, citrus fruits, tropical fruits, and melons.

The nutritive value of fruit depends on its vitamin content, especially vitamin C; it is therefore valuable as a protective food. The cellulose in fruit is useful as roughage.
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Food value of fruits

The nutritive value of fruit depends on its vitamin content, especially vitamin C; it is, therefore, valuable as a protective food. The cellulose in fruit is useful as roughage.

Storage of fruits

  • Hard fruits, such as apples, are left in boxes and kept in a cool store.
  • Soft fruits, such as raspberries and strawberries, should be left in their punnets or baskets in a cold room.
  • Stone fruits are best placed in trays so that any damaged fruit can be seen and discarded.
  • Peaches and citrus fruits are left in their delivery trays or boxes.
  • Bananas should not be stored in too cold a place because the skins will turn black.

Preservation of fruits

  • Drying – apples, pears, apricots, dates, peaches, bananas, and figs are dried; plums when dried are called prunes, and currants, sultanas and raisins are produced by drying grapes.
  • Canning – almost fruits may be canned; apples are packed in water and known as solid packed apples; other fruits are canned in syrup.
  • Bottling – bottling is used domestically, but very little fruits is commercially preserved in this way; cherries are bottled in maraschino.
  • Candied, glace and crystallized fruits are mainly imported from France.
  • Jam – some stone fruits and all soft fruits can be used.
  • Jelly – jellies are produced from fruit juice.
  • Quick freezing – strawberries, raspberries, loganberries, apples, blackberries, gooseberries, grapefruit and plum are frozen and must be kept below 0°C (32°F).
  • Cold storage – apples are stored at temperatures of between 1-4°C (34-39°F), depending on the variety of apple.
  • Gas storage – fruit can be kept in a sealed storeroom where the atmosphere is controlled; the amount of air is limited, the oxygen content of the air is decreased and the carbon dioxide increased, which controls the respiration rate of the fruit.

Fruit juices, syrups and drinks

Fruit juices such as orange, lemon and blackcurrant are canned. Syrups such as rosehip and orange are bottled. Fruits drinks are also bottled; they include orange, lime and lemon.

Uses of various fruits

With the exception of certain fruits (lemon, rhubarb, cranberries) fruit can be eaten as a dessert or in its raw state. Some fruits have dessert and cooking varieties (e.g. apples, pears, cherries and gooseberries).

Stone fruits

Damsons, plums, greengages, cherries, apricots, peaches and nectarines are used as a dessert; stewed (compote) for jam, pies, puddings and in various sweet dishes and some meat and poultry dishes. Peaches are also used to garnish certain meat dishes. Varieties of plums include Dessert, Victoria, Gamota, Mayoris, Burbank; for cooking, Angelina, Stanley, Beech Cherry and Reeves Seedlings.

Hard fruits

The popular English Dessert apple varieties include Beauty of bath, Discovery, Spartan, Worcester pearmain, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Blenheim Orange, Laxton’’s Superb and James Grieve; imported apples include Golden Delicious, Braeburn and Gala. The Bramley is the most popular cooking apple. Apples and pears are used in many pastry dishes. Apples are also used for garnishing meat dishes and for sauce with roast pork and duck.

Soft fruits

Raspberries, strawberries, loganberries and gooseberries are used as a dessert. Gooseberries, blackcurrant, redcurrants and blackberries are stewed, used in pies and puddings. They are used for jam and flavoring, and in certain sauces for sweet, meat and poultry dishes. Other varieties of soft fruit include; dewberries, jam berries, young berries, boysenberries, sunberries, wineberries, blueberries and elderberries. Variety of gooseberries include: Leveller, London and Golden Drop.

Citrus fruits

Orange, lemons limes and grapefruit are not usually cooked, except use in marmalade. Lemons and limes are used for flavoring and garnishing, particularly fish dishes. Oranges are used mainly for flavoring and in fruit salads, also garnish certain poultry dishes. Grapefruit are served at breakfast and as a first course generally for luncheon. Mandarins, clementines and satsumas are eaten as a dessert or used in sweet dishes. Kumquats look and taste like tiny oranges and are eaten with the skin on. Tangelos are a cross between tangerines and grapefruit, and are sometimes called uglis. Pamelos are the largest of the citrus fruits, predominantly round but with a slightly flattened base and pointed top. 

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