A Northerner's First Impression of ECHO Grown Food

1,690 miles away from ECHO’s farm in Fort Myers, my little cousins like to pick raspberries from my Grandma’s garden in St. Paul, Minnesota. The cool thing about picking and eating fruit as a child is most of the time, you don't have to ask your mom before you eat it. I wonder what my cousins would think if they wandered through ECHO’s trees.

Growing up in the north, tropical fruit was never my forte, so that’s why I have been excited at ECHO to try some tastes I’ve never experienced before.

On Saturday, I took a trip across Durrance Road to ECHO’s market, which is held every Friday and Saturday. I left with three different foods harvested from ECHO’s farm and brought them back to my A-Frame to give them a try.

Wax Jambu

Even though their name makes them seem like they taste like a crayon, they don’t! When I took my first bite, the tart hints of cranberry and pine made me think about Christmastime. I’m not sure if the ones I ate were at their full eating potential, but I would be willing to try another batch to make Wax Jambu fruit preserve.

 Sapodilla

When I sliced this Sapodilla in half and ate the sugary inside, I realized why my family makes sweet potato pie back home. It is because we can’t grow Sapodillas. It’s as if the Sapodilla tree cranked its oven to 350 degrees and made a bunch of pie pods. 

One of the interns told me it is possible to make Sapodilla cake. I might have to make one and celebrate my birthday a little early this year!

 Okra

Okay, I know Okra isn’t necessarily that unique. And I know it can be grown in Minnesota, but I have never tried it.

So feeling a little embarrassed, I picked up my first little pod of Okra and took a munch.

I expected it to be crunchier...like a pea pod, and to my surprise, my mouth started to feel really slimy.

I liked it!

To mix it up, I decided to pop some Okra pods in the oven with some salt, pepper and olive oil. When they stopped sizzling, I gave them a try.

It was kind of like a slimy french fry. Looks like I found my next movie snack!


What ECHO fruits and veggies should I try next? Post your tropical food suggestions and recipes in the comments! I would love to try them!