Though botanically a vegetable, rhubarb is considered a fruit in culinary circles. The tart and crisp stalk is a baker’s secret weapon, popping up in desserts with all sorts of different flavor profiles. Don’t ignore the savory side of rhubarb though; its tangy taste pairs wonderfully with meat and can be added to a variety of ethnic dishes.
- Seasonality: April-June
- Favorite Varieties: Colorado Red, Macdonald, Victoria
- Try Cooking: Strawberry-rhubarb pie
The closest thing the fruit world has to yin and yang, ripe and unripe jackfruit are two entirely different beasts that still retain their own flavor profiles, textures, and unique culinary application. That’s great news for chefs, as you can use unripe jackfruit as a meat substitute or its ripe counterpart in place of other tropical fruits! Be sure to check out our recommendations for sweet and savory applications.
- Seasonality: March-September
- Favorite Varieties: Cheena, Honey Gold, Singapore
- Try Cooking: Jackfruit “pulled pork” sandwiches & jackfruit sago
Along with showing up on cocktail menu after cocktail menu, cactus pears have the added benefit of the cactus itself, also known as nopales. When taken together, you have a fruit with a unique flavor profile and a vegetable that appeals to the adventurous eater. Honestly, what’s better than a one-two punch when planning a menu to knock yourself out’ve a cold-winter funk?
- Seasonality: January-April
- Favorite Varieties: Cristalina, Juana, Roja Pelona
- Try Cooking: Cactus pear margaritas & cactus pear sorbet
Just like spring, boysenberries come and go right before our eyes. Though the little berry has a short season and huge demand, it’s indubitably worth the effort, as its sweetly tart flavor and juicy flesh is like none other. Whether you’re a boysenberry pie fan or crave something a little more adventurous, boysenberries deserve a spot in your kitchen.
- Seasonality: April-June
- Favorite Varieties: Lavaca, Thornless
- Try Cooking: Boysenberry pie & boysenberry BBQ sauce
Nicknamed “nature’s candy,” this melon reemerges in the springtime like an old flame. Beloved by kids and foodies alike, the approachable sweetness of cantaloupe is extremely reliable, but adaptable enough to find its way on a charcuterie plate with some creativity (hint: reach for the prosciutto). Check out our intro guide for a refresher on this refreshing melon.
- Seasonality: April-December
- Favorite Varieties: Athena, Sugar Cube, Wrangler
- Try Cooking: Proscuitto wrapped cantaloupe & cantaloupe smoothies