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 organic or tropical 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.
Have you tried any of these exotic and rare fruits?
Called the Queen of tropical 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 rare 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.
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 from this unusual fruit. 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.
The longan fruit along are very popular exotic 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.
A very popular and cool 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.
A very popular exotic Asian 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.
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.
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. This Central American fruit is grown in tropical environments but is starting to pop up in Hawaii, Florida and many other Asian countries.
Soursops are very strange and prickly fruit that are usually about 6 inches up to almost a foot for a really large and uncommon 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. A large tropical fruit that 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.
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.
Native to Latin America primarily Brazil to Paraguay, passionfruit can be found in almost any tropical zone around the world. Unlike most tropical plants that grow from tropical fruit trees or shrubs, passionfruit grows from a vine and the passion flower. 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.
By Hannes Grobe 21:22, 5 November 2006 (UTC) – Own work, CC
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 looking out for in local farmers markets when this fresh fruit is in season and available. With a interesting mixture of sensation and flavor I consider cherimoyas one of the best fruit in the world in terms of overall fruit taste.
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.
Native to China, India and Sri Lanka, the wood apple fruit is an acquired taste with a funky smell. Wood apples are definitely an odd fruit and 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.
A mostly green to yellow 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.
Of all the interesting fruit names, 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.
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 with an exotic fruit name. These fruits 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.
By ProjectManhattan – Own work, CC0, Wikipedia
Snake Fruit or Sala
A mostly Southeast Asian fruit, the snake fruit is known for its reddish brownish outside that has a snakelike skin with a rough scaly exterior. Can be sour tasting like diluted pineapples and limes with a sweet taste of crunchy honey when it is more ripe. This rare to find fruit is rich in vitamin B2, iron and is a natural cure to nearsightedness and promotes general body health.
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