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Information about Sharon Fruits and Prickly Pear

Description/Taste 

Sharon Fruits


Sharon fruit is the trade name for a persimmon variety, the astringency of which has been artificially removed so that it can be eaten at all stages of ripening. They are similar in shape to tomatoes, on average 5-8 centimeters in diameter, at the top of a green or brown calyx. Their thin, waxy edible skin is pale to reddish-orange when ripe, and the orange flesh is almost always pitted, pathless, and without any bitterness.

 

It offers a sweet taste even if it is still immature and firm, with a crunchy and juicy texture. As it ripens, the fruit softens to a custard consistency, taking on a more complex sweet taste with hints of brown sugar.

 

Seasons/Availability

 

Sharon fruits are available during the fall and winter months.

 

Current Facts

 

Sharon fruits are botanically classified as Diospyros kaki, Japanese persimmon, and belong to the ebony family. It can be referred to by several other names, including Korean Mango and Triumph, an astringent persimmon that is sold as a Sharon fruit after chemically removing the astringency. Sharon fruits are harvested and processed using modified atmosphere packaging, or MAP for short. 

 

The fruits are stored in low oxygen, high carbon dioxide environment for 24 hours to facilitate natural ripening and remove astringency. However, this controlled atmospheric storage is not a new method; the evidence suggests that the harvested crops have been stored under controlled conditions since the Egyptian period.

 

Nutritional Value

 

Sharon fruits are high in fiber, about twice as fiber as an apple, and are rich in minerals such as sodium, magnesium, calcium, and iron. They are widely known for their high levels of beta-carotene, which is found in both skin and meat, making them an excellent source of vitamins A and C. They are also rich in glucose and protein.

 

Prickly Pear Cactus Description

 

Prickly Pear also called nopal is any of several types of flat-stemmed prickly pear cactus from the genus Opuntia (Cactaceae family) and their edible fruit. Prickly pear cactus is implanted in the Western Hemisphere. Some of them are grown in culture, which is an important food for many peoples in tropical and subtropical countries.

 

It has large yellow flowers, 7.5 to 10 cm in diameter, followed by white, yellow, or reddish-purple fruits. It is widely grown in warmer regions for the cultivation of fruits and edible shoulder blades and as a forage crop. Hard seeds are used to make oil. Due to the high water content, the stems, especially of the spineless varieties, are used as emergency feed for the herd during drought.

 

Some types of prickly pear are cultivated as ornamental plants and are prized for their large flowers. They multiply easily by stem segments. The two most famous species, the Engelmann prickly pear (O. engelmannii) and the beaver-tailed cactus (O. basilaris) are commonly found in the southwestern United States.


Some species have become invasive in regions outside of their natural ranges. When the first explorers first introduced prickly pears to Australia and South Africa, they thrived and, leaving their natural parasites and competitors behind, eventually became pests. In some cases, they were brought under control by the introduction of butterflies of the genus Cactoblastis.