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Tropical Fruit Paradise: Homestead, Florida [Pictures]

Tropical Fruit Paradise: Homestead, Florida [Pictures]
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  • Tropical Fruit Paradise: Homestead, Florida [Pictures]

    Post #1 - February 10th, 2006, 7:33 am
    Post #1 - February 10th, 2006, 7:33 am Post #1 - February 10th, 2006, 7:33 am
    LTH,

    Ellen and I are in for an interesting day as we are planning a visit to both the Fruit & Spice Park and Robert is Here in Homestead, Florida. Both were featured in the current issue of The Art of Eating (#70).

    The lure of 500 varieties of fruit, spice and nut trees, including 55-avacado, 120-mango and 70-bannana types at the Fruit and Spice Park, which is a country park, is irresistible. The park rule is you can’t pick from the trees, but anything that hits the ground is fair game.

    Robert is here is an old time roadside fruit stand which has been in the same location 45 years, with a huge selection of tropical fruit for sale. I’m really looking forward to trying, probably for the first time, dead ripe tropical fruit.

    From Art of Eating: “We’re really stupid about tropical fruit in this country,” says Robert. “Half of what I do is try to educated people about what a tropical fruit should look, feel, and taste like.” Ripe fruit is not necessarily pretty, and the fruits at Robert is Here are achingly ripe.

    I’m bringing my camera, will take lots of pictures and report back.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    http://www.artofeating.com/
    http://www.fruitandspicepark.org
    http://www.robertishere.com
    Last edited by G Wiv on February 12th, 2006, 10:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #2 - February 10th, 2006, 12:07 pm
    Post #2 - February 10th, 2006, 12:07 pm Post #2 - February 10th, 2006, 12:07 pm
    Gary, I look forward to it. I think these venues came up a while back when Erik, I and others were discussing US sources for very rare tropical fruits. (Maybe it started with a mangosteen query?)
  • Post #3 - February 12th, 2006, 10:50 am
    Post #3 - February 12th, 2006, 10:50 am Post #3 - February 12th, 2006, 10:50 am
    JeffB wrote:Gary, I look forward to it.

    Jeff,

    Fruit & Spice Park was extremely interesting and well worth a visit. We happen to arrive just as a guided tour was leaving and our guide was a font of knowledge, regaling us with info ranging from medicinal, to perfume, to horticultural. The park is broken up in to regions, an ethnobotanical approach (I learned new words :) ) and quite beautiful.

    I, to say the least, am not familiar with growing tropical fruit and half expected ripe, luscious fruit to be littering the ground, though, of course, this was not the case, being February. While I would love to see the park in July, when the fruit is ripe, there was still much to see and enjoy.

    Rice
    Image

    Coconut (?)
    Image


    Screwpine
    Image

    Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis (There's a ring of gold that did not show well in the picture0
    Image

    Water Lily
    Image

    Bite of the apple
    Image

    Robert is Here is a hoot and a half, crowded, vibrant, unabashedly commercial.

    Image

    Robert and his wife Tracey are so totally immersed, so engaging, it is difficult not to get carried away. And if you saw the stuff I'm shipping home, including an intense honey from bees in an avocado field that tasted a little like backstrap molasses, Mamey spread, Guanabana preserves, Hot Guava butter, you'd know I got more than a little carried away. :)

    My first question to Robert was what do you have that we've never had before and, if we saw it would not eat it thinking it was was past it's prime. In otherwords, truly dead ripe tropical fruit. Black Sapote, aka Chocolate Fruit, was amazing, deep rich fig flavors, incredibly ripe, unlike anything we've eaten before. We ate the Black Sapote, along with a Kent Mango, on a picnic table in the Emu, Goat, Turtle, Donkey farm area in back.

    Black Sapote
    Image
    Image

    I also brought home a few Kent Mangos
    Image

    Robert is Here is well worth a visit for anyone in the area, it's only about 40-miles from Joe's Stone Crab in Miami Beach. which is, coincidentally, where we went for dinner that evening.

    Joe's Stone Crab is one of those places you either love or hate, crowded, chock full of tourists of every stripe, rush the customer out as fast as possible, charge as much as possible, but, somehow, almost in spite of itself, Joe's has style, substance an undeniable appeal and, of course, terrific stone crab.

    Joe's Stone Crab
    Image

    I had stone crab, Ellen opted for lobster tail, and we rounded out dinner with asparagus, broiled tomato and terrific onion rings, though the onion rings were brought quite late in the meal.

    Joe's Onion rings
    Image

    We shared a slice of Key Lime Pie, that was served on the verge of being frozen, quite good, but only after it warmed up a bit.

    Joe's Key Lime Pie
    Image

    Joe's is the type of place that, as I get older, it gets harder to see the beauty of, the whole frenetic if you are not in just the right mood, which we were, can easily get annoying. Now that's I've had my Joe's fix I can easily go 5-6 years without another.

    When we were swinging around for the valet, I spied an open meter, coincidentally right in front of [b]Dolce Vita Gelato, Magic 8-Ball said we needed to stop for an after dinner gelato. Very slick, very Italian, very South Beach, very good gelato.

    Dolce Vita Gelato
    Image
    Image

    All in all a wonderful day in South Florida.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #4 - February 12th, 2006, 11:21 am
    Post #4 - February 12th, 2006, 11:21 am Post #4 - February 12th, 2006, 11:21 am
    Thanks Gary,

    Beautiful pictures. That black sapote looks incredible.

    I didn't realize how fruit starved I am right now. I miss ripe fruit.

    trixie
  • Post #5 - February 13th, 2006, 7:49 am
    Post #5 - February 13th, 2006, 7:49 am Post #5 - February 13th, 2006, 7:49 am
    trixie-pea wrote:I didn't realize how fruit starved I am right now. I miss ripe fruit.

    Trixie-pea,

    The fruit was really amazing, a revelation.
    Image

    Speaking of amazing, did I mention the corn and tomatoes I bought. ~sigh~

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #6 - February 14th, 2006, 12:40 am
    Post #6 - February 14th, 2006, 12:40 am Post #6 - February 14th, 2006, 12:40 am
    Gary, great stuff. Black sapote is a great ice cream base, as you might imagine.
  • Post #7 - February 15th, 2006, 8:39 pm
    Post #7 - February 15th, 2006, 8:39 pm Post #7 - February 15th, 2006, 8:39 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    Speaking of amazing, did I mention the corn and tomatoes I bought. ~sigh~


    AAaarrgghh!

    Image

    -ramon
  • Post #8 - February 24th, 2009, 9:14 pm
    Post #8 - February 24th, 2009, 9:14 pm Post #8 - February 24th, 2009, 9:14 pm
    Gary,

    If you're like me, sometimes you wonder whether posts about seemingly remote places will ever be used by fellow LTHers. Well, let me assure you that your post about Robert is Here started Elizabeth and me off on a near-perfect vacation to Islamorada.

    The place is, as you noted, unabashedly commercial. When we arrived, there was a country band playing and a mass of people eating some miraculously good milkshakes made with the ripest local fruit. I hate lines, but I'm glad we waited - Hot Doug's style - for a most worthy reward. The canestel and guanabana shakes we had have left a memory that will not soon disappear.

    We bought a ton of stuff that lasted the few days we were in Islamorada. Among our purchases was something I'd never tried before - caimito - which had flesh that was like a sticky apple-custard. Remarkable.

    Caimito:
    Image

    Many thanks for the introduction to Robert is Here, and for anyone else on their way to this region, I'd suggest that it is a must-stop.

    Kennyz
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #9 - February 26th, 2009, 7:28 am
    Post #9 - February 26th, 2009, 7:28 am Post #9 - February 26th, 2009, 7:28 am
    Kennyz wrote:Many thanks for the introduction to Robert is Here, and for anyone else on their way to this region, I'd suggest that it is a must-stop.

    Kenny,

    A place like Robert is Here is so off the map it is incredibly cool you went. Better yet, you liked the place as much as we did.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your above statement, Robert is Here being a must stop.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #10 - December 21st, 2018, 11:18 am
    Post #10 - December 21st, 2018, 11:18 am Post #10 - December 21st, 2018, 11:18 am
    We spent 4 days in Homestead a few weeks ago and of course very much so enjoyed Robert is Here, but if you're in the area, you also should make a stop over at Yardie Spice, just a 3 minute drive away. It is run by a Haitian husband, who runs the front of house, and a Jamaican wife, who handles the cooking. They do great work on both cuisines. We were recommended it by the ship captain who took us to Biscayne National Park, and we liked it so much that we went two nights in a row. The first night, we had the conch fritters, Jamaican curry goat and the Haitian pork griot. The second night, we had the Jamaican jerk chicken and Haitian legume beef. Everything was flavorful, thoughtfully constructed and showed a lot of care. The area is a bit of a food desert, but Yardie Spice is a clear bright spot and a very LTH style place.

    Yardie Spice
    225 S Krome Ave
    Homestead, Florida 33030
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/category ... 601870226/

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