20 Exotic fruits you probably never tried but should
Bananas, apples and pears…they’re all good for you, but aren’t you just getting a little bit bored of the same old fruit, day in and day out? You should know by now that you should be eating five portions of fruit or vegetables a day, so why not make it a bit more interesting, and try some of these exotic fruits that you’ve probably never even heard of:
1. Dragon fruit
This, pomegranate shaped, fruit with bright pink skin and green scales has a subtle, sweet taste and is very popular in Southeast Asia. Many people say that dragon fruit has the taste of a mixture of kiwi and pear, so give it a go, it can be eaten raw or it can be juiced, so enjoy!
2. Buddha’s Hand
This one is a citrus fruit that is native to south-western China and north-eastern India. The skin of the fruit resembles a lemon, but inside there is white, juiceless flesh that smells and tastes of violets.
Cherimoya is native to the South American countries of Columbia, Bolivia and Ecuador and is an oval fruit that can weigh up five pounds. The fruit consists of smooth green skin and a white interior that is said to taste like a mixture of passion fruit, papaya, pineapple, bubblegum and vanilla cake.
These small berries that grow on a dwarf evergreen shrub in subarctic climates, look a little like blueberries. Juicy and sweet, they keep very well and they make up an important part of Inuit diet.
5. Natal plum
The Natal plum is a native tree or shrub to South Africa and is called the Num-Num in Zulu and, in Afrikaans, is known as the Noem-noem. The fruit of the tree is plum and crimson in colour and it can be eaten raw, or is often used in pies and jams.
Sweet, with an acidic aftertaste, is how the Imbe fruit, from the tropical areas of Africa id described. The fruit comes in the form of bright orange berries that are about 3 cm in diameter and notorious for their staining ability, as well as their sweet taste.
7. Rose Apple
This is a bell shaped fruit that can range in colour from light pink, to purple. Found in Africa and Southern Asia, the fruit has a texture similar to that of watermelon and has a slightly rosy taste and scent, hence the name.
8. African cucumber
You won’t miss the African cucumber if you see one; it is bright orange on the outside and a mosaic of green and yellow on the inside. The fruit originates from the Kalahari Desert region but can now also be found in California and New Zealand. The taste of the fruit has been compared to a combination of cucumber and banana.
Rambutan is a ping pong ball sized fruit with a thin, leathery skin, which is covered in tiny pink hairs. It’s a relative of the lychee and is found in Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia. It has a sweet and juicy, white flesh and can be eaten fresh or it can be bought canned.
10. Monster fruit
You probably know the plant better as a cheese plant, but it also bears a delicious, edible fruit too. The fruit, known as the monster fruit, looks like a large, green, ear of corn and, under the green skin, the fruit has a taste that is similar to that of a pineapple.
11. Jack fruit
The jack fruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh but is also grown in East Africa and the Caribbean. It is the largest tree borne fruit in the world and a single fruit can weigh in at more than 35 kg! The fruit is very fibrous and tastes a bit like sweet, unripe banana.
12. Finger lime
Although we normally think of citrus fruits being oranges, lemons and limes, there are in fact over one hundred different varieties and finger lime is just one of those. The finger lime comes from Australia and it can be found in a variety of different colours, all of them having a citrus, tangy flavour.
13. Feijoa fruit
The Feijoa fruit is a South American fruit that is also known as the pineapple guava. In Australia, it is grown as an ornamental plant, but its fruit, which has a texture similar to that of tomatoes, can be eaten by scooping it out of the skin or even just sucking it out. The taste is said to be similar to a combination of pineapple, strawberry and guava.
14. Chinese strawberry tree
Did you know that there are strawberry trees? Well, actually, there are a number of different varieties, found in different parts of the world, and this is one of them. The Chinese strawberry tree, as you might have guessed, is native to China and the fruit has a sweet, tart taste.
Also known as the Spanish lime, Honeyberry is a tropical fruit that is green when ripe, and contains and edible seed coat inside. With a taste like a cross between a lychee and a lime, the fruit is traditionally eaten by placing it, whole, in the mouth and sucking out the juice.
16. Sugar palm
Also known as the Cambodian palm, the sugar palm is the fruit of a palm tree that is native to South and South East Asia. The fruit is protected by a tough husk, but when you cut the top off, it reveals juicy seed sockets, from which the lychee tasting flesh can be removed.
17. Strawberry Guava
The strawberry guava is a fruit that is native to Brazil and is sometimes called the Cattley guava, after the famous horticulturist Sir William Cattley. It is similar in size to a regular guava and tastes like a combination of strawberry and passion fruit.
18. Black Sapote
The black sapote fruit comes from a tree that is often called the chocolate pudding and, guess what, it tastes like a chocolate pudding! When ripe, the fruit takes on a shrivelled brown look, but the inside tastes and looks like chocolate pudding and is often used as a chocolate substitute.
The Saguaro is a massive cactus plant that is native to Arizona that bears a fruit that contains a sweet tasting flesh and thousands of tiny black seeds. The cactus is very slow growing though, so the fruit is highly prized by the locals, when they can find it.
Native to Brunei, the Durian fruit is also known as the king of fruits. Although much revered in Asia, this is perhaps not a fruit for those not accustomed to it, as it is said to smell of rotting corpses and is banned from public transport in some regions! It’s supposed to taste, though, of almond flavoured custard, not that we’ve tried it!
What are your favorite exotic fruits?