16 Exotic Fruits You Must Try At Least Once In Your Life


A man is spoilt for choices when it comes to food and fruit. A casual look-in at the fruit section in the mall will give you the impression that you have a wide variety of fruit choices. But in reality, the abundance of mother nature’s bounty far exceeds the sampling you see in the mall or in the fruit market. The world is full of fruits that will stagger you with its size, shape and colors. Here are 16 exotic fruits that will challenge your imagination and make you salivate.

1. Ackee

Image source: opm.gov.jm

Ackee or Ackee apple belongs to the soapberry family. The fruit is informally called as “vegetable brain”. As the name suggests, the only the fruit’s inner, brain shaped, yellowish arils are edible. Though originally from West Africa, the fruit migrated to Jamaica in 1778. It is now the national fruit of Jamaica. Apart from Jamaica, Ackee is cultivated in Haiti, Barbados, and Cuba. The fruit is also used in Caribbean cuisine.

Consumption of unripe fruit can cause Jamaican Vomiting Sickness which can lead to coma or death. (source 12)

2. Rambutan

Image Source: healthybenefits.info

Rambutan derived from the Malay-Indonesian word ‘Rambut’ means “hairy.” In Vietnam, it is called “Chom Chom.” The fruit is native to Malay-Indonesia and few other Southeast Asian countries. The hairy outer skin is peeled away and the tender, fleshy fruit is consumed by the fruit connoisseurs. Its taste is to grapes – sweet and sour. Rambutan has migrated all around the world. They are now cultivated in Mexico and Hawaii.

According to Purdue University, Rambutans are eaten raw but can be turned into a dessert by stewing it in a clove infused sugar syrup.(source 12)

3. Physalis

Image Source: pinterest

Physalis are part of the nightshade family. Its fruit, structure and even its acidic taste remind one of tomato. The taste is mild and refreshing and can be substituted for tomatoes. The unusual lantern-like fruit makes it popular among the gardener’s. Physalis goes by many names such as Inca berry, cape gooseberry or simply golden gooseberry. The fruit is native to the Americas and can also be found in South Africa.(source 1,2)

4. Jabuticaba

Image Source: eatrio.net

The unusual fruit appears to sprout directs from its tree barks and trunks. This makes it look as if the tree is covered in purple warts when fully in season. The fruit is native to Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru, and Bolivia. it is also known as Brazilian grape tree, jabotica, jabuticabeira, guaperu, guapuru, hivapuru, sabará and yvapurũ (Guarani). it is a thick skinned berry. The purple outer skin encloses a soft, gelatinous white or rose colored flesh. Embedded in the pulpy flesh or 2-4 large seeds. Their popularity is  compared to that of grape in America.

The fruit is largely eaten raw or made into tarts, jams, wines and liqueurs.

5. Horned Melon

Image Source: lynnchyi

The fruit has horn-like spines on its body, hence the name ‘Horned melon’. Commonly called as  kiwano,  African horned cucumber or melon, jelly melon, hedged gourd, melano, the ripe fruit has yellow-orange skin and a green jelly-like flesh. It has a tart like taste and texture to cucumber. The fruit can be eaten at any stage but when it over-ripens, the fruit forcefully bursts  and releases its seeds. The fruit is a native of Sub-Saharan desert and is one of the few sources of water during summer in the Kalahari desert. The fruit has migrated to  California, Mississippi, Chile,Australia, and New Zealand.

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16 Exotic Fruits You Must Try At Least Once In Your Life

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