tricked out rainbow frutas platter

tricked out rainbow frutas platter
preferably Cara Cara if available
powdered sugar
coconut palm sugar
We made this frutas (Tagalog word for fruit) platter for our daughter's 3rd birthday party. We wanted to cut up all the fruit to make it as easy as possible for the children to enjoy. While we originally thought we'd simply make a fruit salad, we landed on this dramatic presentation instead. We use a breakfast-in-bed tray in our home (hence the built-in vase), but any rimmed platter would work!
shopping strategy
Buy the papaya and mangoes a few days in advance to give them time to ripen.
Buy the berries, grapes, watermelon, and oranges the day before. Don't be shy to taste the berries and grapes before buying.
To keep the arrangement looking as fresh as possible, we assemble it right before serving time. Depending on the time of the event, we prep the fruits the day before or morning of. Keep the original containers for the blueberries and grapes and line them with paper towel to store the washed fruit. For the rest of the fruits, store them in plastic bread bags once they're washed and processed.
Wash all the fruits. Lay them on a clean dish towel after washing. We typically wash all the large fruits first - watermelon, papaya, mangoes and oranges.
Then remove the calyx (green top part) from the strawberries while washing each of them.
Wash and dry the grapes, blueberries, and blackberries in a salad spinner. Pull the grapes off the stem to make them as easy as possible for guests to enjoy.
Peel and cube the mangoes, papaya and oranges. Cube the watermelon.
Cut the strawberries into coins (see notes), then macerate them to deepen their flavor and bring their juices to the surface. Use the tiniest bit of powdered sugar on the strawberries. Macerate the blackberries with a very light sprinkling of coconut palm sugar.
Determine the arrangement in advance. Arrange the fruits in contrasting colors, but also by wetness. The strawberries and blackberries are placed next to the oranges since any residual orange juice would taste OK with the macerated berries. The mangoes are next to the watermelon for the same reason. The fruits that are best enjoyed dry are placed in the middle.
Estimate the approximate width needed to evenly fit all the fruit in the platter. In the photo above, the 7 different fruits each needed about the width of 4 fingers to fit.
With the sequencing and spacing figured out, set the fruits in place from left to right, using a slotted spoon for the wet ones to minimize the amount of runoff liquid. Share and enjoy! :)
It felt wasteful to throw out the tops of the strawberries after cutting them into coins, so we saved them to make strawberry mezcal.

The papaya is missing from the photo. It didn't ripen in time for the party.