Where to get tropical fruits in South Florida – Redland Market Village

The covered pavilion near the entrance of Redland Market Village houses the produce vendors, with many tropical fruits available. (You can see litchi and mamey next to me here.)

South Florida grows a lot of tropical fruits. Drive south from Miami into the agricultural areas around Homestead, and you’ll see commercial groves of mango, avocado, litchi, mamey, atemoya, banana, papaya and much more. But sometimes it’s not obvious when you’re a visitor to the area just where you can actually buy some of that tropical fruit bounty to take home with you.

Ciruela, also known as jocote or hog plum, is Spondias purpurea. It’s a distant relative of mango with an excellent fruity flavor. This was the first time I’d ever seen the fruits for sale anywhere. (After I took this photo, I realized the box says “Product of Costa Rica”, but it also says “Ananas comosus”, which is pineapple – I think they just re-used a pineapple box for locally-grown ciruela fruits)

So I am doing a series of posts about where to buy tropical fruits in Florida.

I recently visited one of those places: Redland Market Village, a combined flea market and produce market located right on South Dixie Highway in Homestead, close to the tropical fruit-growing agricultural areas of the Redland.

The produce vendors all seem to be concentrated in one area of the market, under a large roof near the entrance, selling a huge variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, even spices and dry beans in bulk.

Mamey, rambutan, and litchi for sale at the Redland Village Market. Rambutan trees don’t fruit well in Florida, so those fruits were almost certainly imported. Mamey and litchi are major crops around the Homestead area and this was their season, so I’m assuming they were locally grown. If it’s important to you whether fruits are locally grown or imported, be sure to ask the vendor.

If you walk further out there are restaurants, and in the open-air booth spaces the market turns into more of a flea market, with vendors selling everything from hats and sunglasses to cooking appliances and even automotive supplies. (Note: the market’s website says, “The market is haggling-focused, so be sure to arrive negotiation-ready.”)

One thing I enjoyed about this market is how south-of-the-border it feels – there are lots of Hispanic foods for sale, Latin music pulses everywhere you walk, and probably 80% of the conversations I heard were in Spanish. (My own command of Spanish is pretty weak, but fortunately for my sake, every vendor I talked to spoke excellent English.)

Fresh cacao fruits are an excellent eating experience that’s difficult to find in the US. These were almost certainly imported. Soursops are grown in Homestead, so that fruit might have been local.

I visited in early June, and there was an excellent selection of tropical fruits in the produce area. The kinds available will shift with the seasons, but on the day I visited, some of the fruits I saw for sale were mamey, jackfruit, mango, litchi, a number of kinds of bananas, cacao, tamarillo, ciruela, guanabana, rambutan, and Malay apples. Some of these fruits were grown locally (probably within just a few miles of the market), and some were definitely imported. If it’s important to you that you’re getting local produce, be sure to ask.

Beans and spices are for sale in bulk at the market. I didn’t notice it until after I left the market, but the stuff in the sack in the center foreground looks like cacao beans – I’ve never seen those for sale outside of very expensive packages in natural food stores in the US.

Several vendors had green coconuts, which they’ll chop open on the spot for you and insert a straw so you can drink the delicious coconut water. Once you’ve emptied the liquid, bring the nut back and they’ll chop it in half, so you can eat the young coconut jelly.

Redland Market Village is open Wednesday, Thurday, & Friday from 9 to 5, and on Saturday and Sunday it’s open from 6am to 6pm.
Address is:
24420 S Dixie Hwy
Homestead FL 33032

I had a great time visiting the Redland Market Village, and picking up some tropical fruits there. Do you know of any other good places to buy tropical fruits in Florida? A roadside farm stand, a farmers market, a grocery store, a pick-your-own farm, an Asian or Caribbean or Latin market with a good selection of fruits, or places that will ship tropical fruits? I’m looking to profile any and all of these, both to help support these businesses, and also to make Florida’s tropical fruits accessible to as many people as possible. So if you’ve got any suggestions, leave a comment on this post, or send me a message.

#wheretobuyfruit


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