Fruits are, for one thing, extremely versatile. You can have fruit salad, fruit on pizza, and fruit mixed into a variety of smoothies. However, fruits that we use in the west are very different from some of the interesting fruits found in other areas of the world. From fruits that smell like socks to fruits that resemble a hairy egg, there’s an entire hidden world for you to explore and possibly add to your list of things to try.
Today, we’ll be looking into ten strange fruits that are noteworthy for their delicious flavor! Although some of these are (sadly) only available in select areas of the world, most are just one supermarket away from being in your fridge!
The durian fruit is definitely strange on several accounts. First of all, it’s covered all over in hard, prickly spikes that aren’t very friendly to the touch. Secondly, it absolutely reeks! Although some people find the smell endearing, most tend to agree that it resembles the odor from a dirty gym sock.
Despite these outward appearances, however, the durian is succulent and delicious on the inside, featuring light yellow sacs of buttery, firm fruit in every bite. It should be noted that it isn’t juicy or extremely sweet like other fruits are, but it definitely has an accustomed flavor worthy of praise. Give this fruit a try next time you’re at an Asian supermarket!
Named due to its striking similarity to what one might imagine a dragon egg to look like, the dragon fruit is an exotic delicacy from the world’s many tropical regions. When you slice open the vibrant pink and green exterior, you’ll find a juicy white flesh inside covered in what looks to be black sesame seeds.
With a similar consistency to kiwi, the dragon fruit is soft yet supple, featuring a milder, sweet aroma and taste. While some people aren’t fans, the majority compliments the fruit on its lighter taste and pear-like crunch. You can find dragon fruit in most Asian supermarkets, and it’s quite easy to prepare. Simply slice the fruit in half and scoop out the insides with a spoon!
Contrary to their name, waxberries taste and look nothing like wax. Sweet and sour at the same time, the berry also offers a unique tartness as you bite in. The inner flesh is a pale pink, and the fruit is characterized by one large seed in the middle. Think cherry, but with a totally different consistency.
The fruit is home only to a few select provinces of China and can only be kept fresh for a few days, meaning that it is extremely difficult to obtain in North America. However, it is also very popular both as a dried snack and as a wine, so keep your eyes out for these options in Asian markets!
7 Starfruit (Carambola)
Although the untouched shape in no way resembles a star, starfruit lives up to its name completely once sliced into serving-sized pieces. This unique fruit from Sri Lanka is very difficult to describe, and the only way to truly get to know the flavor is to try it for yourself. The best comparison for the unique texture is bell pepper, although the starfruit has a thicker consistency.
As to flavor, it actually ranges widely depending on the selection of fruit you choose, but people have compared it to a mix of citrus, apple, grape, and pear. However, all starfruits are alike in that they have a distinct tartness to their otherwise sweet taste.
These little guys look like some form of fairytale eggs and are about the size of a chicken egg as well. You’ll need to peel away the hairy looking outer skin to reveal its sleek, perfect pearl of edible fruit inside. With the consistency being somewhat tougher than that of grapes, the rambutan can most accurately be compared to the lychee fruit of Asia.
It has a delectable, faintly sweet scent and a wonderful flavor with a hint of rosewater. The rambutan isn’t known to be sour at all and is the perfect treat for children and adults alike. You can find these delights in many supermarkets for a reasonable price, so there’s no reason not to try!
Resembling a cherry tomato, this Peruvian fruit is known for its bite-sized convenience and juicy, sweet interior. Locals love it not only for its tomato-like consistency but also for its versatility. Tamarillo can be made into a variety of sauces, juices, and pastes used for cooking, and the fresh fruit can be made into dishes to boost flavor as well.
It’s also a popular treat for eating raw, just like cherry tomatoes. In fact, the only difference seems to be the black, edible seeds within the tamarillo and the slightly sweeter tangy flavor. Not many supermarkets will offer these in the U.S., so keep an eye out for them on your next visit to Peru!
4 Passion fruit
Although the coloration and general shape of the passion fruit may resemble that of figs, the similarities stop there. On the inside, passion fruits have a mix of yellow orbs with black seeds in the middle that almost look like certain species of fish eggs! Described as tart and sweet, passion fruit is not only enjoyed raw but used in a plethora of dishes and cocktails as well.
Specifically, pastry chefs love the unique flavor packed inside this fruit and use it to create all sorts of delectable pies, tarts, and other sweet treats. You can find fresh passion fruit as well as its other varieties in plenty of supermarkets and restaurants.
3 Pacay (Ice Cream Bean)
Although it resembles a regular pea pod on the outside, the pacay bean presents one of nature’s best-designed treats on the inside! Each bean resembles a small block of white, silvery cotton candy, with a similar consistency as well.
The taste has been described as similar to that of vanilla ice cream, causing the pacay to be in very high demand. Sadly, this bean is very rare outside of its natural growing countries within South America. However, in the modern world, it’ll be very soon that rare plants such as these will be able to be grown in a wide variety of conditions. For right now, keep the beans on your bucket list when you land in South America!
The kiwano, or horned melon, seems like a delicacy right out of the Shrek movie. Bright orange on the outside and bright green on the inside, the kiwano fruit is certainly a feast for the eyes before you dig in. The interior is laced with edible green seeds, and the fruit has been described as a cross between a kiwi, a cucumber, and a banana in terms of texture and taste.
Experts recommend simply cutting it in half and digging in with a spoon. You’ll be sure to fall in love with the juicy, sweet flavor! However, being native to Africa, the kiwano hasn’t made a big appearance on supermarket shelves yet.
Although loquats are originally from Asia, they can not only be found but also grown in several areas across the United States. It both looks and has the consistency of apricot but is unique in its sweet and juicy flavor. Loquats are popular for achieving a great balance between sweet and tartness, and there are several varieties for you to choose from.
Unfortunately, the best, sweetest, and largest variety is only available in Asia. These are special with their luscious, pearl white flesh and extremely sweet taste, with a hint of Jasmine flowers. If you stop by in the Jiangsu province of China, make sure to buy a basket of jade loquats!