One of the things about the grocery stores in Portugal that seems to be vastly superior to most normal American supermarkets is the large selection of strange exotic fruits available. I have found fruit here in Continente and Jumbo that I had been dying to taste for years - like mangosteen and physalis - but it just wasn't sold anywhere I lived or traveled to. I've also found weird fruits, like the spiky melano (or kiwano or horned melon) below that looks more like a blowfish than a fruit, until it's cut open.
Naturally I had to try them all, despite most of their high prices. The dragon fruit, or pitaya, was the most expensive at about $7 a fruit, but I suppose you're paying for these to be imported quickly and with care and that's not cheap. The only way to justify spending over 20 euros on a few fruits was to turn it into a fruit salad photoshoot.
The photo above is a behind the scenes look at the table I was shooting on. I had recently made a "vintage" turquoise blue crackle table that I was excited to experiment with as a background. I liked the way the bright greenish-blue contrasted with the colors of the fruit. After chasing off a couple of cats and doing a bit of rearranging, I ended up with a whole bunch of great photos from this shoot. The ones that I've finished editing are available to license in my iStock portfolio. Here's a preview with links to the images below.
The best part of this was finally getting a chance to taste all these unusual fruits at the end of the shoot. I filled up a bowl with passion fruit (tart, tangy, sweet & crunchy), carambola or star fruit (very perfumey, not very sweet), kiwi (sweet with citrus and berry), pomegranate (sweet & tart nodules of fruity goodness), physalis berries (varying sweetness & very tart), mangosteen (similar to lychee), granadilla (similar sweet/tart-ness and seed pockets to passionfruit), dragon fruit (very mild flavor and sweetness, crunchy seeds), and melano (delicate cucumber/banana flavor, not very sweet). It was one of the best fruit salads I've ever had! If you ever encounter these alien fruits in your store, just ignore their pricetag and bring a few home for a super nommy experience.