There are tons of fruits available around the globe that you have never heard of, but are absolutely mind-blowing. After reading these exotic treats, oranges, bananas and apples will surely look ordinary to you.
Pawpaw trees are the largest edible fruit trees native to North America. This fruit is usually three to six inches long, and the flesh is pale to bright yellow. It has flavour notes of pear, melon, mango, and banana. The blowflies or carrion beetles pollinate it because its flowers smell like the rotting meat.
Pawpaw has a high level of B-6, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin C, magnesium, folate, niacin, potassium, phosphorus, and iron. The creamy texture and exotic flavour make it great for use in jams, ice cream, jellies, and desserts. With tons of hidden benefits for hair, skin, and health, coupled with sweetness, this tropical fruit-tasting treasure now ranks as the best gift of nature has blessed upon us. For the best pawpaws, always look for the green and unblemished fruits.
Durian is a strange blend of sweet, creamy, and savory all at once. This Southeast Asian snack grows in the tropical areas around the globe mainly in Southeastern countries of Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia and is globally recognized as ‘king of fruits’ in many South-East Asian countries. There are usually 30 types of durians. It is generally oval in shape and covered with tarrying looking spikes. This unique tropical fruit can weigh between two to seven pounds which is heavy enough to hold it on your hands. They have a strong smell that pass through the outer shell and lingers long after it has been eliminated.
‘Due to this, it has been banned on many public transports across Hong Kong, Japan, and Thailand. In spite of its bad smell, durian is healthy than other fruits. Naturally rich in vitamin C, iron, and potassium, it enhances skin health, muscle strength, and lower blood pressure. Also, one small durian has 23 gram of dietary fibre that equals to the daily nutritional requirement. However, it is advised not to eat it in an excess amount.
3. Miracle Fruit
Miracle Fruit (Synsepalum dulcificum) is an evergreen shrub which grows in West Africa. It has several names like asa, taami, miracle berry, etc. It is believed to be consumed by African people hundreds of years before its introduction to the western world. The berry of this fruit plant has a mildly sweet flavor with a firm pump surrounding the bitter seed is used as medicine.
It has the ability to make sour food taste sweet for nearly thirty minutes, thanks to the presence of miraculin. It is a compound that binds to taste buds of the tongue and blocks the receptors when the PH level of the tongue gets neutral. In food, it is used as a low-calorie sugar-free sweetener. It provides tons of benefits to your body including enhanced vision, vision loss, immunity boost, etc. Some restaurants use this miracle fruit as a complement to their dishes. People consume this miracle fruit to cure chemotherapy-related taste issues and diabetes. However, there is not sufficient evidence to prove this fact.
4. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter fruit (Bunchosia Armeniaca) is a small tropical fruit tree native to South America that smells and taste like peanut butter. It grows in the farms and gardens of Hawaii primarily as an alluring ornamental plant. The most impressive part of this plant is that it grows in any kind of soil in all seasons.
It is shaped as a quail egg and is green when raw and become red when ripe. It is ablong and petite and is nearly the size of a big olive. Its turns from orange to deep red shade when fully ripe. The inner pulp of peanut butter is thick and slightly sticky. Usually, jams and jellies are made of this fruit because the shelf life is very long.
5. Black Sapote
Black Sapote (Diospyros nigra) is a softy edible fruit native to the Caribbean, Central America, Eastern Mexico, and into Colombia. It has several names like chocolate pudding fruit, black soap apple and zapote prieto. It has taste and consistency same as that of chocolate pudding when ripe.
This tomato-like berry fruit is low in fat and acts as a great source of Vitamin C containing about four times as that of orange. It is consumed either raw or is most of the cases blended with juices or milk. This fruit is added to several smoothies, liquors, and ice creams. Some people also combine them with lemon juice and yoghurt for a refreshing treat.
6. Monstera Deliciosa
The genes Monstera gets its name from the strange-looking leaves of the plant. For this reason, it is nicknamed as Swiss Chinese plant or delicious monster. One the skin is peeled, it looks like the ear of corn. When it becomes ripe, it provides an exciting blend of powerful tropical flavor such as banana, coconut, pineapple.
In the native countries of Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, and Costa Rica, it is usually consumed on its own or prepared into jams. It usually takes about one year to get ripe. Although it’s safe to eat, it can be deadly if unripe. All the parts are poisonous except the ripe fruit. Unripe fruit usually has a high level of oxalic acid that can cause skin and throat irritation when consumed.
7. Blue Java
Blue Java banana (also known as Hawaiian banana, Ice Cream banana, Krie, Ney Mannan, or Cenizo) has a taste and consistency like that of ice cream, and for this reason, it is known as ice cream banana. Most of the people compare its taste to that of vanilla pudding and vanilla ice cream. Grown as a shade and ornamental plant, this fruit is unique in its look as it looks like blue bananas when unripe.
8. Snake Fruit
Snake Fruit (or Salak) is the fruit native to Indonesia but is now grown and most commonly found around Southeast Asia. It grows on Salak palm tree growing of the base of palm in little clusters. These frits are about the size of figs and may look like big garlic clove when peeled. The outside of the fruit is scaly as that of the snake and prickly like that of a cactus.
However, the inside part is sweet like honey and sour like pineapple. It is a famous snack on the streets of Bangkok. The texture of salak is same as that of garlic. Due to its strange flavor, it is a popular ingredient in plenty of different kind of cultural dishes in South Pacific and neighbouring regions. In many areas, it fermented and made into wine.
9. African Horned Cucumber
African horned cucumber (also known as spiked melon, Cucumis metuliferus, horned melon, or kiwano) grows in the wild all over Southern Africa. People enjoy this fruit in the powder form, raw, roasted, or as juice. This soft-shelled fruit is ten centimetres in length and turns orange-yellow when ripe.
Caution: Wild versions sometimes contain harmful compounds, however commercially cultivated ones are safe to eat.
Rambutan is a strange-looking tropical fruit is native to Malaysia, Indonesia, and Southeast Asian regions. Although it comes from Southeast Asian areas, it is now it grown in a warm climate all over the globe. Due to its exterior, its name is derived from the Malay word “hairy”.
11. Custard Apple
Custard apple (also known as sitaphal, sugar-apple, or sweetsop) is a fruit native to West Indies, South America, and some parts of Asia. It is famous for its sweet and slightly tangy flesh is white in color and has a creamy texture. Its pulp has shiny black seeds that are not safe to eat. The natural sugar and high calories act as a nutritious snack and an excellent dessert. It is an excellent alternative to dairy products, thus making it ideal for those who are allergic to dairy products.
12. Buddha’s Hand
Buddha’s Hand (or fingered citron) is a unique fruit of citron family. It has no pulp, flesh, or seeds inside. The best part of this fruit is that the entire thing is edible. Historians believe that Buddhist monks brought it to China via India. Its flavor is that of the lemon peel but without any bitterness or sourness. Historically, the strong lavender smell made this plant alluring for ornamental purposes.
13. Hala Fruit
Hala Fruit is fruit from Hawaii hala tree. It is native to Eastern Australia, Pacific Island, and Malaysia. Usually, it grows in the coastal regions and easy to spot in the areas near the ocean. There are hundreds of dozens of colorful wedges inside the fibrous husk, and each one of them has seeds. Like other fruits, it posses natural vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants. It can be consumed as raw, cooked, or can be used as a natural dental floss.
Longan (often called as dragon’s eye) is a small, sweet, round and watery fruit that look like lychee. It has a brown-yellow shell that gets hard as it ages. This yummy tropical fruit is grown widely in Taiwan, China, Vietnam, and Thailand.
Local people use them in desserts, puddings, salads, sorbets, and jellies. Besides being an ornamental plant, logan can be used for construction purposes. In Chinese medicine, this fruit is used as a beauty and sex tonic and also to boost Qi of heart.