Remembering the ‘Kiwi Queen’ Who Revolutionized American Produce Aisles
Lovely story from Gastro Obscura honoring the late, great Frieda Rapoport Caplan.
Most Americans have never heard of Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan. But any American who has enjoyed a kiwi, mango, or blood orange has tasted her legacy.
A veritable pioneer in the world of produce passed away on Saturday at the age of 96. As the founder of Frieda’s Specialty Produce, Caplan revolutionized American cuisine and supermarkets by ushering guavas, passionfruit, shallots, endives, kumquats, Asian pears, radicchio, and kiwi, among many others, into a broader culinary lexicon. She transformed a male-dominated industry at a time when few women were business owners at all.
But she always insisted she was just in the right place at the right time.
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