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How to store tropical fruits

Some tricks to make the most out of avocados, mangoes and chirimoyas
Tropical fruits are delicious and have a lot of vitamins. Some of them, as avocados, mangoes, chirimoyas, kakis or kiwifruits, start to ripe first in autumn. Due to the cooler weather and to their unique characteristics, they can be preserved for a long time, and even be exposed to higher temperatures during transportation. This is an advantage not only for producers, but also for consumers, who can store them at home for a relatively long time, and then use some special tricks to turn them ripe at demand. In this post we will try to give you some advice so you can have everything under control and enjoy your favorite fruits longer than ever. Avocados do not ripe while they are still on the tree. Depending on the moment they are harvested, even weeks can pass until they start to get their dark-violet spots and a softer skin, the signal that they are ready to be devoured. If you want to delay the process, they should be kept in a cool place, out of the reach of sunlight. On the contrary, if you want to accelerate it, apart from keeping them at room temperature, you should wrap them up in with some newspapers or put them into a paper bag. The magical trick is to include an apple or a banana inside the package: the ethylene released by these fruits will be stored, and your avocados will be ripe in a blink! When they start to yield to a gentle pressure, you should start to keep them inside the fridge. If you cut them open, by pouring some lemon juice over the surface and wrapping it up with a plastic film, it will hold for one day. But for sure you didn't know that avocados can also be frozen. If you count yourself to those who cannot live without guacamole, this solution suits you perfectly. Wash the fruits carefully, remove the skin and the pit and put the rest inside the mixer. For every avocado, add one spoon of lemon juice -it will prevent the color from getting brown-. After liquefying the mix, fill it into a tupperware and freeze it. You can use it up to four or five months later! And what about mangoes? The first step is to select the best quality, which you will recognize not by their color, but by their aroma. Also, you should store them in a cool place. Separate them from each other if you prefer the process to be slow, and wrap every two of them together into paper in case you want them to ripe quickly. Once they are yielding to the touch, it's the moment to store them in the freezer. Also mangoes can be frozen. The skin will get dark, but the flesh will remain delicious. Chirimoyas follow basically the same rules. As long as its skin is green and hard to the touch, it should be preserved at room temperature, ideally at 15ºC. Keep in mind that chirimoyas are very fragile, and you should prevent them from getting hit. These are the basics. But you can also explore your creative side: who said that tropical fruits are not suited for the more traditional ways of preserving fruits through the winter? You can experiment with preparing jams, marmalades, jellies, compotes, syrups and preserve them for the whole year... possibilities are unending!

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