10 Rare Exotic Fruits That Are Worth Trying
We’ve all heard of apples, oranges, peaches, pears, bananas and plums, and some of us have even heard of “exotic” fruits, such as mango, pomegranate and kiwi fruit.
But these fruits are just par for the course, when it comes to supermarket stock. If you want to get clued-up on some really rare fruits that are worth your tastebuds, let’s take a look at the top 10 rare exotic fruits from around the world that are well worth trying.
1. Africa Horned Cucumber
The African horned cucumber derives from – you guessed it – Africa, and has a rather unusual nickname: it’s known as The Blow Fish Fruit.
Fortunately, this nickname has everything to do with the fact that it looks like a blowfish and nothing to do with being as poisonous as a blowfish! Phew! Indeed, the African horned cucumber is actually very good for you, and is rich in both fibre and vitamin C.
Taste-wise, it’s reminiscent of cucumber with a pinch of zucchini.
What, you’ve never tried a piece of zucchini?
Ackee, is another one of exotic fruits, which is found in West Africa, and it doesn’t have a very appealing nickname: it’s known as The Vegetable Brain. It cultivated this nickname thanks to its brain-like shape, but you shouldn’t let this put you off.
You see, ackee, which is also found in a handful of Caribbean islands, such as Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti, is super-flavoursome and also super-healthy. Plus its gorgeous pink hue makes it look very appetising!
Durian is the ugly duckling of the fruit world. If you substitute the “u” for an “or” it would have been called Dorian.
And how glum a name is Dorian?!
Durian, you see, is a real downtrodden fruit. No one wants to it because it’s the size of a football and smells foul. And because everyone ignores it, it’s also gone and developed a load of spikes as a defence mechanism. Poor old Durian!
But Durian is actually a real sweet fruit with a lot to give us. Full of flavour and a warm heart, Durian is ready to open its creamy custard centre to you at any moment. Sweet and well textured, Durian might look odd and smell odd, but it tastes divine. You’ll find it in southeast Asia.
4. Miracle Fruit
Continuing the African theme, next up is the miracle fruit. Wonderfully named, it is also known as miracle berry, miraculous berry and synsepalum dulcificum. The reason it is so named is because miracle fruit can actually “alter the perceived sweetness of foods.”
So what basically happens is that you could eat a sour fruit, only for this tiny miracle to then make it taste sweet! Perhaps for this reason, the pulp from miracle fruit is often used to sweeten wine, whilst it is also now being used in Africa to treat diabetes.
You may have heard of papayas, or you may not. If you haven’t, papayas were described by seafarer Chris Columbus as “the fruit of the angels”.
Obviously, he hadn’t tried a banana yet.
Papayas, though, are tasty and they look a bit like a watermelon from the outside. You can eat the skin, which has a tart-like flavour, and the fruit overall is non-acidic which is both unusual and fantastic. It is also loaded with antioxidants, which means it’s good for your health.
Another one of wonderful exotic fruits is rambutan. What a magnificent name! Or so you’d think. You see, “rambutan” actually means “hairy” in its original translation. But don’t let that put you off; far from eating a mouthful of hairs, it’s simply the exterior of the fruit that resembles a beard. Once you open it up, you’ll be met by a sweet taste that isn’t entirely dissimilar to grapefruit.
Rambutan is native to Hawaii, looks like a hairy, fiery strawberry, and can also be found in Malaysia.
Mark Twain wrote about cherimoya as he went about his infamous travels. His exact description is that “cherimoya is the most delicious fruit known to men.”
Not quite the fruit of angels then, Mark.
Unfortunately, taste is subjective. One woman’s “most delicious fruit known to men,” might be another’s “Most. Foul. Taste. Ever.”
Its actual taste is something of a cross between a banana, creme-brulé and a pineapple – if you can imagine such an amalgamation. It sounds like an assault to the senses, with some tasters even saying that it tastes like bubble gum! One thing is for sure: cherimoya is an all-out assault on the senses.
8. Star Fruit
Fruit doesn’t come much brighter than star fruit, which you can even see from space.
Okay, you can’t see it from space, but perhaps the reason your local general store doesn’t stock it is, because its extreme yellow glow will blind you.
Either that, or the owner has never heard of it.
Star fruit is found in India and southeast Asia, is shaped like a star, and is loaded with fibre and not much calories. Unfortunately, if you stare at it too long, you could lose your eyesight. Maybe.
Kumquats look pretty much like tangerines, but the skin is much, much sweeter. Found in China, kumquats are now also grown in the U.S. and for good reason.
See, these little orange balls contain as much vitamin C as an orange. Because they’re much smaller, you also ingest less acid for your buck. Totally orange, kumquats come with stems.
You simply won’t find sweeter looking fruit than cloudberries, no matter where you go. They look as pretty as flower, and as sweet as a smiling child. In fact, they’re so pretty that you won’t want to eat them!
But if you do decide to eat them, it’s recommended that you mix them into a desert or a cake. Found mostly in colder climates, such as Norway, Scotland and Siberia, cloudberries are also mixed with seal fat in order to make something called akutaq.
Or you can just grow your own and spend your days looking at their prettiness. They’ll probably even curtsy for you.
What are your favorite exotic fruits?
Stay happy and healthy!