By Jason Tromblay. September 1, 2010.
When people think of fruit shopping, they rarely consider the possibility that someone could mail fruit, but for those wishing to try new flavors, exotic mail order fruit may be the way to go. Citrus fruits, such as oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, honeybells (a cross between a tangerine and grapefruit), temples, and tangelos can be shipped much easier than some of the softer fruits like peaches or pears, and mail order fruit may be the way to go to get hold of fruits that are difficult to get in your local grocer.
Citrus fruits in particular aren't commercially feasible to raise in the United States outside of areas like Florida, where the climate is right for tropical fruits, so exotic mail order fruit may be your best option. Still, due to the potential problems with fruit shipping there are relatively few options for mail order fruit out there, at least in bulk or in the way you might buy fruit at your local grocer. There are, however, many companies out there who offer exotic fruit baskets by mail order, and fruit-of -the-month clubs. These can be excellent sources for trying new flavors of exotic fruit, sending four or more pounds of fruit each month and including such varieties as blood oranges, mangos, star fruit, kiwi, kumquats and pomegranates.
When ordering by mail, it's important to consider shipping. Discount shipping is never your best bet. Always go for overnight or two-day shipping to make sure your fruit arrives fresh and is protected from conditions that could damage the fruit. Express shipping is more expensive than traditional, but the cost will be worth it in the end, who wants fruit that has been in a truck or on a plane for a week before it arrives?
Mail-order can be great for exploring exotic varieties and flavors, which you can then continue to enjoy through further mail order or other, more traditional sources. Some people even attempt to grow their own tropical fruit in greenhouses; there are mail order companies that specialize in sending specimens for planting, and this is an excellent resource for gardeners wishing to grow their own exotic fruits, but unable to find tropical fruit trees in their areas due to the local climate. Florida is a hotbed of providers for such exotic citrus fruit trees, and contains many options to those wishing to grow their own fruit.
There are a lot of things to keep in mind when exploring mail order for fruit, but as shipping speeds increase and ordering becomes more efficient, this style of produce shopping may only get more popular as more and more people discover the possibilities of exotic mail order fruit.