Florida Getaways of the Day
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Redlands: Exotic fruits and nuts to see and sample( PHOTO COURTESY MIAMI-DADE PARKS AND RECREATION )
To the untrained eye, the thousands of trees and plants at the Fruit and Spice Park may look simply like any lush greenery. But those berries on the dark bushes are African "Miracle Fruit," which block the tongue's ability to taste sour -- making limes taste as sweet as sugar.
And the tall Sapodilla tree bleeds white sap that was the source of the first chewing gum. The milky juice from the papaya plant is popular as a meat tenderizer and is the active ingredient in some exfoliating skin products.
"I know this just looks like a bunch of bushes, but every one has a story," park manager Chris Rollins said.
The 35-acre garden, owned and operated by Miami-Dade County Parks, is billed as the only tropical botanical garden of its kind in the United States. It has more than 500 varieties of fruit, vegetables, spices, herbs and other plants.
The gift shop at the park frequently offers a tantalizing selection of exotic fruits to taste, as is pictured here.
-- Associated Press
FYI: 24801 SW 187th Ave., Homestead, 305-247-5727