We were extremely fortunate to spend time on Sugarloaf Key in January and February, and in addition to the amazing weather, ocean views, and palm trees everywhere, there are some of the most vibrant and delicious fruits available. Since we got to spend quite a while in the Keys, we got to know some of the neighbors in the neighborhood where our rental house was located, and we were so concerned for everyone during and after the hurricanes. We have touched base with at least one family and they said that no one in the area suffered too much damage, and we were lucky enough to find out that most importantly, everyone was ok.
I was looking back at a few of our photos from earlier this year, and I even though I have of course been in Fall-Pumpkin-Everything Season lately, I still wanted to share this light and bright Tropical fruit plate with you because I am feeling nostalgic about Florida.
Organic fruits and veggies at the grocery stores are sky high, but I wanted to embrace the tropical spirit of everything around me, and was super happy to find two awesome fruit stands.
Keys Homegrown, the fruit stand that was much closer to our rental was located next to Keys Cuisine, unfortunately closed while we were there. I found star fruits, 4 for $1.00 there, plus TONS of amazing other fresh fruits. So sad that place closed!
Next, was Paradise Produce, a much larger and super well organized fruit stand which is luckily still there. They had friendly staff who explained a bit about some of the more exotic and unusual fruits, and their selection was incredible! (The photo below is one I grabbed from their Facebook Page).
Keys Cuisine was definitely one of the best three restaurants out of the Key West area. The other two included the OMG-inducing Bavarian Bakery and Sandwich Shop called Sugarloaf Food Co. The other restaurant was called Bucktooth Rooster and served huge portions of delicious comfort food.
For this fruit plate, I knew I needed a rather large container, and luckily, I found one at the Dollar Tree that held everything extremely well. The plate is made of white plastic, and had a smaller round center part that you would usually use for dip or salsa. I placed the small watermelon bowl into the center and then built my fruit plate around that!
Gooseberries (The small round orange fruits)
Kiwi, cut in half into flower shapes (simple tutorial here)
Papayas (one with seeds removed, and keep seeds in the other for visuals)
Any other fruit yoru heart desires!
1.) Cut watermelon in half, carefully making sure the cut is smooth. This will become part of your fruit plate display.
2.) Choose the more attractive half of the watermelon and set aside. Cut the other half into cubes, removing the outer skin as you go. With the prettier half of the watermelon, slice around the top with a sharp knife to remove as much of the red part as possible. Then, cut that into cubes. Place hollowed out watermelon half into the center of the tray, and refill it half way full with watermelon cubes.
3.) Cut kiwi into flower shapes, by very carefully using a pairing knife to press into the kiwi in a zig zag shape all around the entire circumference of the fruit. This is an amazing way to add visual interest to your platter! Be careful to never cut toward your hand.
4.) Lastly, cut apples and any other fruits, and begin to arrange clusters of grapes, papayas, and any other ingredients in your own style and way. This would be amazing also served with fruit dip, but this is an amazing way to encourage guests or your family to eat healthier snacks.