Exotic and unusual fruits around the world

Exotic and unusual fruits around the world


Exotic and unusual fruits around the world

I love traveling and check out the local markets for exotic and unusual fruits from around the world that I love to sample. Coming from Hawaii, I’ve had my fair share of exotic fruits that grow on the islands, but I am always interested in checking out some more rare or uncommon fruits that you can only find locally. Here’s a sampling of many of my favorite exotic and unusual fruits around the world that hopefully you will recognize and try on your travels.


Try some of these exotic and unusual fruits



mangosteen exotic fruit


Called the Queen of fruits mangosteen fruit is a delicious  tropical fruit that tastes like a combination of pineapple, cherimoya and tangerine – an exotic combination of flavors. You can find this fruit mostly in Southeast Asian countries, Hawaii, Caribbean and even Hawaii. A powerful antioxidant, this is considered super fruit helps to prevent cancer, boost heart health, allergies, diabetes, antibacterial and a slew of other remedies.

Exotic and unusual Durian fruit



Called the King of Fruits, Durian unlike Mangosteen is highly prized where it can be found but comes with a scent that can scare anyone away from the foul smells of the ripe creamy and custard tasting flesh. Some people love and others hate the stinky fruit which can be found all over Southeast Asia, Hawaii and other tropical countries. Considered an aphrodisiac by many cultures, Durian also has vitamins B and C, manganese and other dietary minerals.


Tropical Longan fruits


Longan fruit

The longan fruit along are very popular fruit that can be found in many Southeast Asian countries and other tropical zones. The taste of longan fruit is jelly like, succulent in consistency with a tart to sweet taste like lychee. but the longan fruit are usually smaller and have a dry taste compared to lychees, which are wet and messy.

Delicious tropical Lychee



A very popular fruit grown throughout Southeast Asia,Hawaii and other US tropical zones, Lychee has a relatively short fruit season and when it happens, everyone seems to have lychee fruit to give away or sell very cheap.  Harvest season in Hawaii typically happens in May to June timeframe.  When the fruit is ripe and bright red, it is relatively easy to pull apart the leathery and thorny skin. Left for more than a few days and the skin gets tougher and harder to peel.  Flavor is sweet, juicy with fruity taste to the translucent skin.



Exotic Rambutan fruit



A very popular exotic fruit grown in Southeast Asia and other tropical regions, rambutan is a popular fruit that is sought after and tastes a little like lychee fruit. These colorful and hairy looking fruits are easy to open by just pulling apart the skin from the middle and then eating the white flesh from the large seed inside. Look for rambutan that are brightly colored from orange to red and avoid those that are starting to brown. Rambutan are flavorful and packed with vitamin C, manganese along with calcium, iron, potassium and other healthy minerals.


Chico sapote and sapodilla


Sapote or chico 

Called many different names depending on where you find them in Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and other tropical regions. Sapote is a soft, creamy and easy to digest fruit, the sugary pulp is made with simple sugars of fructose and sucrose.  Fresh Sapote has fantastic nutrients that includes: powerful anti oxidants, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium and filled with vitamin A, B and C and other micro nutrients. Eat fruit when it is soft and the flesh is bright pink to reddish colors.



Unusual and exotic Dragon fruit

Dragon fruit

Dragon fruit is a colorful fruit and quite nutritious, with a sweet tasting fruit with a combination of kiwi and pear flavor. When the dragon fruit is ripe, it’s both sweet and crunchy. The fruit is filled with anti-oxidants and fiber and has lots of vitamin C, phosphorus and calcium in each serving. To pick a ripe dragon fruit just look for bright red colors and no browning spots on the fruit, press the flesh for a little give just like a kiwi and you should find a nice one to eat.





Exotic soursop fruit

Soursop fruit

Soursops are very strange and prickly fruit that are usually about 6 inches up to almost a foot for a really large fruit.  Originating from Central and South America but also found in Southeast Asia and other tropical zones, the fruit is rich in anti-oxidants and vitamins and is supposed to be a cancer preventative fruit, although it has not been extensively tested for being a cancer cure. It is very popular in nectar, fruit drinks and smoothies.




When it is ready to eat and ripe, jackfruit can look menacing and heavy, in fact they can easily weight in at over five pounds or more in certain varieties. The fleshly meat covers the seeds buried inside which are also edible when it is boiled. The white fruit tastes like a combination of pineapple and lychee fruit when it’s mature. Jackfruit can also be cooked in a green state like a vegetable and is used as a meat replacement in many Asian vegetarian curries.





Usual ripe Rollinia fruit

Rollinia fruit

A strange-looking fruit with bumpy yellow to black skin, rollinia is ripe when the skin starts to just turn black and is getting soft. With white colored flesh and marble sized seeds, the fruit taste similar to cherimoya and custard apples. Rollinia fruit has a relatively short shelf life,  so when it starts to ripen, it must be eaten quickly for its soft and sweet fruit.




Tropical tasting passion fruit


Native to Latin America primarily Brazil to Paraguay, passionfruit can be found in almost any tropical zone around the world. It comes in different varieties but the fruit is mostly is a golf ball sized fruit with the insides with sweet to sour gelatinous fruit and seeds. The fruit has many benefits to include preventing cancer, boosting immunity and eyesight and enhancing digestion.




Tasty tropical Cherimoya fruit

By Hannes Grobe 21:22, 5 November 2006 (UTC) – Own work, CC

Cherimoya fruit

A relative of the Rollinia, Chermioya is soft, creamy with tropical custard overtones of peach, mango and pineapple. A native to South America and found in Mexico and some tropical USA zones, the fruit is worth look out for in local farmers markets.



tropical fejoia fruit


By Didier Descouens – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikipedia

Fejoia or Pineapple Guava

Native to Latin America mostly in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, this fruit is more common in latin countries and even subtropical USA zones. The guava fruit is similar to other guavas but the seeds are edible and the fruit is a little more tart and gritty but flavorful to the guava fruit.





Tropical wood apple from Asia

Wood Apple

Native to China, India and Sri Lanka, the wood apple fruit is an acquired taste with a funky smell. Wood apples are a little hard to open taste sour to sweet with sticky brown pulp and white seeds. The fruit aids in indigestion and constipation, Diarrhea and diabetes and fights viral infections and boosts immunity.





Tropical Star fruit for sale

Star Fruit

A fruit of Southeast Asian origin in mostly Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Starfruit can be found and sold in many tropical areas including US tropical zones. A five angled fruit that is ripe when it is yellow to orange/green and soft and taste like a mix of orange, pineapple and pineapple. The fruit has powerful antioxidants, reduces inflammation and rich in vitamin C and other nutrients.



Fresh Surinam cherry on the tree

Surinam Cherry

Surinam cherries are called many names including, Pitanga, Brazilian or Cayenne cherry and they have a cherry-like taste ranging from sweet to very sour. The red or black color fruit tends to be sweeter and the yellow or orange-colored fruit is usually sour. These cherries are eaten raw or  made typically into jams or jellies.  The fruit is also packed with vitamins A and C and is a good anti-inflammatory,  relieves hypertension and stomach pain.





 tropical Jabuticaba_fruto

By Alexandre CampolinaCampola – Own work, CC BY 3.0, Wikipedia

Jabuticaba or Brazillian Cherry

Native to Latin countries primarily Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, Jabuticaba are part of the guava family and grow in many tropical environments in the US tropics and latin countries. Look and taste like a grape with large seeds and purple color, the fruit is popular to making jelly and marmalades.




Snake fruit from Southeast Asia

By ProjectManhattan – Own work, CC0, Wikipedia

Snake Fruit or Sala

Snake fruit is known for its reddish brownish outside that has a snakelike skin and has origins in the Southeast Asian countries. Can be sour tasting like diluted pineapples and limes with a sweet taste of crunchy honey when it is more ripe. The fruit is rich in vitamin B2, iron and is a natural cure to nearsightedness and promotes general body health.


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Exotic and Unusual fruits from around the world



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19 Responses to Exotic and unusual fruits around the world

  1. alison abbott February 18, 2018 at 6:13 pm #

    Oh yum! I love trying new fruits and vegetables when traveling and you obviously do to! As a vegetarian, I’m a big fan of jackfruit and often use it in a “pulled pork” recipe I love. have even fooled the hard core carnivores in the group. Wood apple looks interesting. I’ll look for it on my next trip to India.

    • Noel February 18, 2018 at 7:31 pm #

      Yes jackfruit is used for a meat substitute here in Hawaii…I’m sure all these exotic fruits are right up your alley.

  2. Lisa Chavis February 18, 2018 at 5:21 pm #

    My mouth is watering…well, maybe except for the durian, I definitely haven’t developed a taste for that one yet! Awesome photos as usual 😉

    • Noel February 18, 2018 at 7:31 pm #

      Yes I love all these exotic fruits except for durian which is my least favorite

  3. Rhonda Albom February 15, 2018 at 11:10 pm #

    Wow. That’s a lot of fruits. I thought I knew about most tropical fruits but you showed me I need to learn a bit. I love cherimoyas (and they are grown here) so I think I should try mangosteen. I have seen them in the store occasionally. And, I love durian fruit but I just can’t find it in New Zealand.

  4. traveluv@berkeleyandbeyond February 15, 2018 at 4:57 pm #

    There were a number of fruits in your collection that I have never even seen before, but I especially love your image of the tasty mangosteen.

  5. Cathy Sweeney February 15, 2018 at 11:37 am #

    I’ve never had the (dis)pleasure of tasting or smelling durian and I think I’ll keep it that way. But I love the looks of many of these other exotic fruits. I’ve actually seen jackfruit a few times in my local market here in Arizona. I’ll have to try it sometime.

  6. Lyn (aka) The Travelling Lindfields February 15, 2018 at 1:14 am #

    I am surprised at how many of these I don’t recognise.

    • Noel February 15, 2018 at 8:06 am #

      There’s quite a few of these exotic and unusual fruits that aren’t all from Southeast Asia

  7. kemkem February 14, 2018 at 12:10 am #

    Wow! Amazing collection of exotic fruits, some of which l have never heard of. I think the one l would like to try the most would be the Mangosteen. It sounds delicious and l will definitely be on the lookout for it. Guava is also a favorite of mine, so l would lean towards that as well :-).

    • Noel February 14, 2018 at 7:42 am #

      These are all delicious exotic fruits, mangosteen is definitely one of my favorites

  8. Danial Ariff (@dansontheroad) February 13, 2018 at 6:45 pm #

    As a Malaysian, I’m blessed to have tried more than half the fruits in your list. I’m pretty excited to try the rest when I get the chance to travel to Latin America!

    • Noel February 13, 2018 at 9:22 pm #

      I’m glad you’ll get a chance to try more of these exotic and unusual fruits from around the world, you might have a few more to tell me about to add to this list 🙂

  9. Doreen Pendgracs February 13, 2018 at 11:31 am #

    We are so fortunate to be able to find so many of these incredible fruits these days right at our home markets. Not that long ago, the supply of exotic fruits was quite limited in many Canadian markets, but we can now get a very high percentage of these and I love it! Thx for the great guide.

    • Noel February 13, 2018 at 11:55 am #

      Wow, that’s fantastic that you can get many of these exotic and unusual fruits in your markets, especially in Canada. I’m sure you’ve already tried most of these Doreen.

  10. jcmatt February 13, 2018 at 8:04 am #

    Only a few of those I haven’t had. Worst part about moving away from East/Southeast Asia is that I can’t get those fruits anymore.

    • Noel February 13, 2018 at 9:32 am #

      Yes it’s hard to find some of these exotic or unusual fruits in an urban environment, unless you go to an ethnic market or specialty market.

  11. myVideoMediaUrsula (myVideoMedia) February 13, 2018 at 7:47 am #

    Thanks for this post. Some of these fruits, like the Fejoia or Jabuticaba were totally unknown to me.
    But I am curious and would love to taste them all 🙂

    • Noel February 13, 2018 at 9:33 am #

      Those come from latin America, but I’ve seen them in specialty markets that import many of these unusual and exotic fruits at high prices.

I look forward to hearing from you and continuing our discussion with any comment you would like to add

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