Exotic Fruits You Never Knew Existed

There are an estimated 2,000 types of fruits in the world, but the western world only uses about 10% of these. As a result, there’s a good chance there are more than a few exotic fruits you have never heard of. If you are ready to expand your horizons and learn about some of these interesting fruits, keep reading. Here you can learn about some of the most interesting fruits that you have never heard of.

1. The Jackfruit

This fruit is native to the Southeast Asia area. It is the biggest tree-borne fruit in the world and there are reports of Jackfruit’s weighing more than 80 pounds. When jackfruit is ripe, it has a naturally sweet and subtle flavor that some compare to a combination of the banana, mango, pineapple, and apple. You can eat the seeds from ripe jackfruit, and they have a sweet, milky taste that is similar to Brazil nuts. While Jackfruit is often used in Southeast and Southern Asian cuisines, it has also become popular in the U.S. as a vegan meat substitute. That’s because when jackfruit is unripe, it has a meat-like taste.

2. Garcinia Cambogia

This is a tropical fruit that is also called the Malabar tamarind and that is native to Indonesia. The fruit looks like a small pumpkin and it ranges from a pale yellow to green in color. It is popular for weight loss, with some claiming it can help to block the body’s ability to make fat while putting the brakes on your appetite. You can learn more about how long does it take for garcinia cambogia to work here.

3. Sugar Apple

This fruit is common in southeast Asia and South America. In the Philippines, it is often referred to as a custard apple and in Jamaica and the Bahamas, the sweetsop. Almost every country has a name for this fruit. It has a lumpy, greenish outer shell that can be broken open and that contains a yellow or white sweet flesh that has a similar taste to custard. This fruit can be made into wine, and it’s an excellent source of both vitamin B and C.

4. Durian

This fruit can grow to be six inches around, 12 inches long, and it usually weighs between two and seven pounds. It is husk green or brown in color, and the flesh is red to pale yellow (based on the species). The fruit is native to Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. The most interesting part of durian is the taste-smell contrast. The smell is putrid, but even though this is the case, it tastes similar to a custard.

5. Rambutan

Thanks to the spiky outer skin, this fruit looks like a hairy little creature you would see in video games. Inside, there’s a small fruit that tastes similar to a grape. Even though the fruit looks exotic, it can be found in Vietnam, Borneo, and Malaysia. It’s usually sold fresh, but you can also find jellies and jams made from rambutan.

6. Ackee

While the ackee is technically a fruit, it is cooked and used as a vegetable. The fruit is ready to be used for cooking when the pods have turned bright red in color and begin to split open. Before you cook it, make sure to clean and wash the ackee arils. Once cleaned, you can boil the arils for about five minutes and discard the water. If you don’t prepare this fruit properly, it can actually make you sick, so use caution if you plan to try it.

7. Marang

This is the cousin of the jackfruit and found in South America and Southeast Asia. The marang features a spiny outer shell, but when you crack it open, you will find sweet arils that are perfectly bite-sized. The meat that is inside the fruit will taste like a juicy banana, but it should be eaten fast to avoid oxidation, similar to an avocado or banana. You can also eat the seeds if you boil or roast them.

8. Miracle Fruit

The official name of the miracle fruit is synsepalum dulcificum. The berries of this plant, when eaten with other sour foods (i.e. limes or lemons), make them taste sweet. This is thanks to miraculin, which is a taste modifier. If you eat the fruit alone, it won’t be very impressive. However, if you mix the juice with lime or lemon juice, you will get a sweet flavor, rather than a sour one.

9. Lucuma

This fruit is popular in Costa Rica and Peru; however, it was first seen in Ecuador in 1531. There are some who have tried to grow it in Florida, but these efforts were unsuccessful. When this fruit is eaten raw, it is dry and has a strange aftertaste. However, it can be used for making juice, milkshakes, ice cream, and other desserts.

10. Physalis

The physalis is an herbaceous plant that is like the common tomato. Not all these species offer an edible fruit; however, there are some species that are chosen and cultivated for their edible fruit, which is similar to a firm tomato. They have a similar taste to pineapples or strawberries and have a mild acidity. You can eat the fruit raw or use it in salads.

What Exotic Fruits Do You Plan to Try?

When it comes exotic fruits, there are more than a few to try. Consider some of the options on this list if you want to expand your food options and try something new. If you are looking for other informative and interesting news and information, be sure to check out some of our other blogs. We are dedicated to sharing information and resources about an array of topics.