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In the fruit market, the colors in the early morning light burst with neon energy. Cardboard signs poking out of the colorful piles identifying the fruits: açaí, cupuaçu, muruci, mangosteen, rambutan, papaya, acerola, bacuri, jambo rosa, pupunha and dozens more. Most of the fruits are foreign to U.S. grocery stores.

EarthFruits is most excited about the cupuaçu, a close relative to the cacao that looks like a heavy, oblong coconut. Inside the hard shell is a gridded, gooey cream-colored inside. Each square contains a large seed covered in stringy pulp that tastes of banana and citrus. While the pulp can be pureed, like the açaí, the seeds contain oils that can be used in cosmetics.

LAST UPDATE: Oct 02 2008 | 11:21 AM ET
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