Variety is the spice of life!

Chris Wallace and father-in-law John Picone, and some of the vast variety of fruits at the Picone Exotics stall.

If you are looking for a little inspiration for a unique culinary experience then a visit to Picone Exotics– it’s an experience not to be missed! 

John has over 400 different varieties of fruit tree on his farm – so to say it’s a passion is an understatement.

Not only will you be thrilled by the weird and wonderful, he has endless tips on how to grow, eat, or drink these fruits too.

For starters, the Torch Ginger flowers not only look stunning in a vase but you can eat them – just finely shred the petals and add them to tom yum soup.

The Brazilian cherries are delicious whizzed up with some ice and mixed with soda and gin for a thirst-quenching cocktail. Just one of those cherries will give you your daily vitamin C dose, says John.

The shahtoots, a 5-6cm long mulberry, have a flavour similar to port, and the nopalitos are the soft pads to the prickly pear that, when barbequed, give a citrus tang.

And you can’t pass up an awesome dessert of black sapote, known as the chocolate pudding fruit, it’s very tasty just on its own – but if you whizz up the flesh with coconut cream, vanilla bean and cacao, then refrigerate for a few hours and you’ll have nature’s chocolate mousse.

With the stonefruit coming through you’ll find many varieties on John’s stall that you’ve probably never tasted before. So make sure you pay him a visit, and have a chat – as he will no doubt have a list of exciting ways to consume them.

John is at the Mullum Farmers Market every Friday from 7–11am.

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