11 Exotic Fruits From Around the World You’ve Never Heard Of

By Jim Liao, Epoch Times
July 29, 2014 3:09 pm Last Updated: June 24, 2015 8:03 pm

Our earth is renown for its diverse variety of plants and vegetation, which can sometimes bless us with fleshy, edible products that we call fruits.

Though we are already very familiar with fruits such as apples, oranges, and strawberries, nature’s diversity encompasses much more.

Below are 11 more exotic fruits from around the world.

 

Carambola/Star Fruit

Carambola fruit” by SMasters – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Origin

Ceylon and Moluccas. It has also been cultivated in Malaysia for centuries.

How’s it Taste?

The best way to describe the taste of starfruit is though the combination of other fruits. Some link it to a mix of papaya, orange, and grapefruit. Others liken it to a combination of plums, pineapple, and lemons.

Interesting Fact

Starfruit comes in sweet and sour tastes. Sweet starfruit is eaten plain, while sour starfruit can be cooked in meats such as pork and seafood. Starfruit is known to improve digestion, sunburns, and hangovers.

 

Ugli Fruit 

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Scott Veg

Origin

Jamaica

How’s it Taste?

Ugli is actually a botanical cross between grapefruit, orange and tangerine, and tastes as such.

Interesting Fact:

The fruit is pronounced OO-gli , not ‘ugly’. Ugli is high in vitamin C and is a popular ornament in fruit salads.

 

Pitaya Fruit/Dragonfruit/Strawberry Pear

Pitaya cross section ed2” by SMasters – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Origin

Southern Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador. Also commonly cultivated in West Indies, Bahamas, Bermuda, southern Florida.

How’s it Taste?

The Dragon fruit is often compared to a kiwi due to the tiny black seeds within the fruit. Hence, most attribute the taste to be kiwi-like, but with added tangs of pear or watermelon.

Interesting Fact

Dragonfruit is low on calories and high-fiber. Also, it is a cactus!

Pitaya in Israel” by איתן טל Etan Tal – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Miracle Fruit/Synsepalum dulcificum

Synsepalum Dulcificum - Miracle Fruit Farm

Origin

Tropical West Africa.

How’s it Taste?

The Miracle berry is relatively tasteless, but makes up for it with a very special quality (see below).

Interesting Facts

Miracle fruit has an amazing side effect where upon eating one miracle fruit, anything that normally tastes sour and bitter will now taste sweet. For example, if you eat a miracle fruit and then eat a lemon, the lemon will not taste sour at all, but sweet. This effect can last for over an hour. This quality makes miracle fruit one of the most potent natural sweeteners in the world, and yet it is still relatively unknown.

 

Purple Mangosteen

Mangosteen“. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Origin

Sunda Islands, Moluccas, possibly Thailand or Burma.

How’s it Taste? 

The taste of mangosteen is very hard to describe. It tastes a little bit like any fruit you’ve ever eaten, including but not limited to peach, strawberry, banana, lychee, and pear.

Interesting Facts

Mangosteen is the national fruit of Thailand. The number of petals on the bottom of the fruit indicate the number of fruit segments inside. To eat the fruit, make a skin-deep slice around the middle of the fruit. When you open up the fruit, look for the garlic glove-looking white segments thats’s what you can eat.

 

Pomelo/Pummelo

Citrus grandis – Honey White” by uploader – uploader’s creation. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Origin

Southeast Asia and Malaysia, also grown on banks of Fiji and Friendly Islands.

How’s it Taste? 

Pummelo is basically grapefruit without the bitterness. So it is a nice alternative to those who don’t prefer the bitterness of grapefruit.

Interesting Facts

Pomelo is important for Chinese New Years, as it symbolizes family unity and good health. It’s the largest of the citrus fruits, and can be yellow or orange. It also promotes faster healing wounds.

 

Breadfruit

Origin

Area extending from New Guinea to Western Micronesia, and through the Indo-Malayan Archipelago

How’s it Taste?

The taste of breadfruit is more of ‘bread’ than ‘fruit’. It is often described as tasting like potatoes or moist bread.

Interesting Facts

Breadfruit is like a vegetable in a sense that it has a variety of different uses. It can be baked, boiled, fried, or roasted. steamed. Eating breadfruit is known to be good for arresting major diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

 

Passionfruit

Purple passionfruit“. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Origin

Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina

“The purple passionfruit is native from southern Brazil through Paraguay to northern Argentina.”

How’s it Taste? 

Passion Fruit is sweet, juicy, and most discernibly very tart.

Interesting Facts

Passion fruit comes in many colors; there are sweet purple and orange fruits, as well as sour yellow fruits.  The yellow fruits are too sour to be eaten alone, so they are usually eaten in cocktails or cooked in meats. The fruit consists of mainly seeds with an outer membrane sac of sweet juice. They are easy to open, so there is no need for a knife. All of the passion fruits lower blood pressure. The flowers of passion fruits are also remarkably beautiful (below).

Passiflora edulis forma flavicarpa“. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Rambutan

Origin

The rambutan is native to Malaysia and commonly cultivated throughout the archipelago and southeast Asia.

How’s it Taste?

Rambutan is eaten in very much the same way as a lychee, where the fruit is obtained after peeling the outer shell. The taste is somewhat similar, but more acidic — more channeling the flavors of a grape.

Interesting Facts

Rambutan are grown on trees, and can be incorporated into smoothies, ice cream, sorbets, and yogurts.

 

Pacay 

‘Huabas / Pacay’  by Véronique Debord-Lazaro, https://www.flickr.com/photos/debord/879219078/. Licence at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/.

Origin

South America

How’s it Taste?

Pacay is often lauded for being sweet and refreshing.

Interesting Facts

Pacay is also known as the ice cream bean. This fruit looks like a bean, but when opened up there are beans that look like they are covered with cotton balls. The white juicy “cotton balls” are consumed and have a very juicy, fluffy texture. This fruit has a lot of dietary fiber and is rich in vitamins and minerals.

 

Rose Apple

 ‘Rose Apple or Wax Apple (Pini Jambu)’  by Hafiz Issadeen.

Origin

Taiwan

Hows it Taste?

It doesn’t taste anything like a normal apple. It is very sweet, and both smells and tastes a lot like rose water.

Interesting Facts

The fruit is used to treat fever and halt diarrhea. These fruits are delicate and bruise easily. They also come in green and red colors.