There’s nothing quite like sinking your teeth into a perfect peach or cooking up your next curry with deliciously ripe tomatoes.
Everything from the taste to the texture is so much better when your food is fresh and organic.
So, it’s no wonder that the demand for this kind of produce is higher than ever, despite the difficulties of growing fruit and veg in the desert.
Luckily, though, there’s plenty of seasonal foods (fruit included) that you can get your hands on in autumn - particularly in October.
Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best that you’ll find in a Dubai fruit market this season.
Playing a key role in culture and agriculture across the region, dates are so sweet and delicious - and they’re packed with goodness, too. They may be high in calories, but they’re bursting with iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium, and they’re a great source of fibre, to boot.
So, whether you bake them into cakes and muffins, eat them with meat and cheese, or add them to stews and marinades, they’ll not only taste great, but they’ll be good for you as well.
It’s worth bearing in mind that many dates found in Dubai may be imported from areas like Saudi Arabia, but the fruit is perfectly adapted to the weather in the UAE - in fact, the date palm will thrive in hot, arid climates.
When you’re choosing the fruits, just make sure you pick the ones that look plump and feel tender. And remember, before you eat them, you’ll need to remove the stone first.
One of the most popular fruits around, oranges are another type that thrives in a warmer climate.
Known for being full of vitamin C - an antioxidant which protects cells from damage - they also have countless health benefits, from supporting digestive health to potentially protecting us from heart disease and cancer.
Oranges are so delicious eaten whole or in juice, but it’s worth remembering that the latter can be high in sugar and doesn’t contain the natural fibre found in the fruit.
It’s also said that orange zest contains more nutrients than the flesh, so it’s always beneficial to use it in recipes. Try putting it in biscuits, cakes or marinades for an easy way to get it in your diet. 3. Melon
Tasty and refreshing, melon is another fruit you’re likely to find in a fruit market at this time of year.
They grow on climbing plants and need plenty of warmth and sunlight in order to ripen - something we have bundles of here in Dubai.
When you’re looking for the perfect melon, you want to go with the one that’s firm with no bruising. Make sure it’s heavy too - that means it’s juicy!
Whether you eat it alone, add it into smoothies, or grill it, they’re said to be great at maintaining healthy levels of blood pressure because they contain potassium and have such a high water content.
Bursting with flavour, limes are another fruit grown here in Dubai Again, they can withstand the hot, humid conditions in the UAE, and they’re very nutritious too - they’re said to help boost immunity, promote healthy skin and reduce heart disease.
You’ll want to choose a lime that’s firm and unblemished, but that feels heavy - like with a melon, that simply means it’s a juicy fruit.
They’re so versatile as well, you can use the juice and the zest in a range of recipes from salsa to curry, and marinades to desserts.
But, to get the most juice from the fruit, make sure it’s at room temperature, then roll it on your worktop under your palm a few times before squeezing it. And, voilà!