Think you’ve tried every fruit option at the local grocery store? Well you probably have, but that doesn’t mean that you’ve tried all the fruits that exist out there. There are actually a ton of exotic fruits from around the world that are tasty, delicious, and actually new and exciting. Here are some that you’ve probably never heard of before. (Or at least never tried.)
The ackee is sometimes referred to as a vegetable brain because its yellowish arils look like a brain and is the only part of the fruit that is edible despite having a pod/nut looking thing on the inside. (In fact eating it wrong can make you very sick.) The fruit is native to West Africa but imported to and popular in Jamaica, Haiti, and Cuba.
The rambutan is native to the Malay Archipelago but is important around the world and can sometimes be found in Mexico and Hawaii. The fruit has an outer shell that is quite hairy looking, but when split open there is a soft fruit inside that supposedly tastes something like a grape. It is usually eaten raw but sometimes served with sugar and cloves to sweeten it up as a desert.
The physalis is in the nightshade family so it shares some similarities with the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants of the world. They are surrounded by a husk and inside there is an orange fruit that mild in flavor and slightly acidic like a tomato. They are usually imported from South America but you can grow them in your yard.
The jabuticaba fruit grows right on the bark of its tree trunk which sort of makes it look like a horrible disease. But a delicious one! The fruit sort of look like grapes with dark outer skin and light flesh inside. They can be eaten raw but are often turned into jams. They usually grow in South America.
African Horned Cucumber
The African horned cucumber is sometimes referred to as a blowfish fruit or a kiwano melon. The outside of it is yellow and super spiky, while the inside is green and juicy. The fruit tastes like something between a cucumber and a zucchini, and it’s a great source of vitamin C and fiber. The fruit is native to Africa but it is exported all over the world and once was even featured on Star Trek.
The durian is another spiky looking fruit from Southeast Asia which you probably won’t often find in the U.S. The outside of it is thorny and smells a little weird which doesn’t sound super appetizing, but the flesh inside has been described as something like “a rich custard highly flavoured with almonds.”
The miraclefruit from West Africa got its name for having a special talent. When the fruit juice is paired with the juice of sour fruits like lemons and limes it can actually make them taste sweet. Pretty interesting. Basically how it works is by distorting the shape of the taste buds that taste sweet things, so essentially it just tricks your mouth. On its own it’s actually not super interesting.