Exotic Fruits With Pictures are the ones you don’t hear of every day. They’re fruits that are not normally seen or heard of in regular life, but they grow in tropical climates and are popular in some parts of the world. There is a range of exotic fruits including pictures, descriptions and videos to give you an insight as to what they smell and taste like.
Exotic Fruits From Around The World (With Pictures!)
For most of us in the Western world, a trip to the fruit section of the grocery store is pretty mundane. Bananas…apples…maybe a mango if we’re lucky. Even some trendy farmer’s markets are pretty limited to whatever is local.
But there is an absolutely massive number of exotic fruits out there than you may have never seen before! I’ve listed 66 of them here. Even if you do recognize a few of them, some of these guys you can only get on certain continents, or cost a crazy amount of money and are only available from specialty stores in trendy US cities. For example, I bought a single Kiwano fruit the other day for $6.00 USD!
If you could pick just one to try, which one would it be? I’d love to try the cucamelon because it looks just like a mini watermelon
BONUS: Fruit Of The Month Club!
Are you a fruit fanatic? Tired of the same old stuff? Try one of these fruit of the month clubs and get fresh, organic, weird or just plain tasty fruit delivered to your door every month. You could even experiment with ordering exotic fruit online and have it shipped straight to your door.
After my trip to Peru to see Machu Picchu in May 2017, I discovered a bunch of new fruits. It just goes to show you that even these 66 fruits (now 68) is just cracking the surface of what’s out there.
According to Peruvians, most people don’t actually eat this fruit, but they really enjoy the flavor of it in other things. The texture isn’t very pleasant according to the people I asked, but it’s sweet!
They put it in cakes, pies, pastries, puddings, ice creams, and other sweets. Actually, my first time learning about it was in a local Starbucks! You can’t get this in the USA for sure! I usually don’t drink Frappuccino’s, and it was way too sweet for me. I couldn’t finish it. But I saw tons of people order it, so it must have been popular. The chirimoya (white one) is featured lower on this list as well.
#2: Pacay / Guama (Ice Cream Bean)
The other fruit, which really impressed me, was the ice cream bean, also known as pacay. The first time I saw this fruit was in the famous restaurant called Centrale. It’s one of the most popular restaurants in the world, and you normally have to make a dinner reservation 4 months in advance. Well, I snuck in at lunch and found a spot. Lucky me! One of the courses was an ice cream bean.
Unfortunately, it was shockingly expensive there, and cost me about $150 for the whole meal, meaning my single “bean” cost about $20 (not even the whole pod!)
Then I continued to travel, and had it for breakfast again at a small hostel. There, it cost me about $0.20 for three beans. The consistency is a bit weird, but delicious. It looks like a styrofoam packing peanut, but has a cotton candy texture. It’s sweet, but not overly so. It kind of squishes in your mouth similar to cotton candy as well.
Big List Of Exotic Fruits!
Chayote belongs to the same family as squash, melons and cucumbers and the plant is native to Mexico, where it grows abundantly. The fruit can be eaten raw and is sometimes used in salsas or salads, although most of the time it is marinated in either lime or lemon juice first.
Most of the time however, the fruit is lightly cooked, which helps to keep the texture of the fruit. The skin does not need to be removed prior to cooking.
Persimmons are often referred to as ‘the fruit of the gods’ and there is a fair amount of history and mythology that surrounds the fruit. However, it can also be a bit controversial, because many varieties need to be very soft before they can be eaten.
The Fuyu persimmon is the most accessible variety of persimmon because it is non-astringent. This means that it is sweet and tasty when the fruit is firm.
Durian one of those foods that people either love or hate. Inside the thorny exterior is a soft creamy fruit that has an extremely intense aroma. In fact, you can often smell the fruit even when the shell is intact.
Descriptions of the taste vary considerably, but one example is that the fruit tastes like ‘rotten mushy onions’. Despite this, there are many people who are fanatical about the fruit and even competitive eating contests that focus on its consumption.
As appearances suggest, pomelo is a citrus fruit and it originally comes from Southeast Asia. When ripe, the fruit is yellow or pale green and tends to have white flesh and thick rind.
The taste is like a sweet grapefruit and it lacks the bitterness normally associated with grapefruit. However, the fruit does still have the potential to interact with some medications in the same way that grapefruit does.
Starfruit is a type of tropical fruit that is rapidly becoming popular in the United States. The shape of the fruit means that when it is sliced, the section form five-pointed stars (although in some cases fruits may have a slightly different shape).
The flesh of the fruit is crunchy and juicy, and the taste can vary considerably across the fruit. Ripe fruit can be eaten raw (in their entirety), while unripe fruit are sometimes used in cooking.
Kiwano, AKA African cucumber/horned melon
Even from the outside, the kiwano looks a little odd, and from the inside the fruit is even more confusing. The flesh itself actually tastes a combination of kiwifruit, zucchini and cucumber, which is an odd combination that also seems to be quite appealing.
Eating the fruit is simple, you simply cut it in half and squeeze the green ooze out, or you can eat it with a spoon. The pulp is also good as a garnish, in fruit salads or in drinks.
The atemoya is actually a hybrid of two different fruits, which are cherimoya and the sugar-apple, although most people probably haven’t heard of those either.
Even though it looks resilient, the fruit is easily damaged, so it needs to be handled carefully. While the flesh of the fruit is edible and delicious, the seeds are not safe to eat and should be avoided.
For just about any other fruit, a brown or black interior indicates that the fruit is past its best, but that’s not true for the black sapote.
Instead, the interior looks like this when the fruit is ripe and ready to eat. The texture, taste and color of the fruit have all been associated with chocolate pudding, which makes the fruit both appealing and highly unusual.
While a real chocolate pudding might still be more appealing, the fruit has the advantage of being much better for you.
Multiple different varieties of Buddha’s hand exist, often with considerable variation in the way that the ‘fingers’ are held. In some varieties, the fingers are close together (as in the images), while in other varieties they are splayed out in an open hand pattern.
The use of this fruit is largely ornamental, both because of its appearance and because of the aroma of the fruit. However, the fruit can be eaten, and is sometimes used in desserts and in savory meals.
Canistel AKA Tiesa
Canistel is one of a few fruits in the world that isn’t juicy or particularly easy to eat. The fruit has a very chewy consistency that borders on chalky, and it is easy for some of the fibers to get stuck in your teeth.
At the same time, the taste of the fruit is reminiscent of a sweet potato, although it does tend to be a more intense flavor. When eating this fruit, you want to be sure that it is ripe.
This occurs when it gives in easily to a little pressure from your thumb (much like an avocado) and when the skin is entirely yellow.
Cucamelons are incredibly cute tiny fruit that look like baby watermelons from the outside. They are considered savory fruits and taste more likely cucumber with a little lemon juice than like an actual melon.
The fruit works well in savory dishes, like stir-fries, and they also work well raw in salads or salsas. Or, you can just pop them in your mouth as-is.
Feijoas mature in autumn and are a sweet fruit with flavors of mint, pineapple and apple. They are commonly eaten but cutting in half and scooping out the interior with a spoon, although the fruit is also a particularly good in smoothies because of its complex taste.
Feijoas are most commonly cultivated for food in New Zealand and they tend to be hard to find and expensive in many other parts of the world, including the United States.
Soursop AKA Guanabana
The inside of the soursop has white pulp along with black seeds that cannot be digested.
The flesh itself tastes like a combination of pineapple and strawberry, along with some more sour citrus elements. This makes it a common choice for smoothies and fruit juice drinks.
Debate has focused on the potential health benefits of the fruit, including its potential to reduce stomach pain, inflammation, help relieve respiratory issues and even for fighting cancer. However, most of these claims need much more research before they can be verified.
Cherimoya is thought to be one of the best tasting fruits in the world and has a creamy texture. This texture also means that the fruit is enjoyable when chilled and then eaten with a spoon.
Descriptions of taste vary, but most focus on cherimoya tasting like a combination of other fruits, including banana, strawberry and pineapple. The fruit has a very short shelf-life, which is one reason why it is so hard to find.
Jabuticaba is an unusual case of a fruit that grows directly on the trunk of the tree. The fruits can be eaten straight off the tree and grow to around 1.5 inches in diameter.
Often the fruit is used in a similar manner to grapes, which is why some parts of the world also have jabuticaba wines and liqueurs.
This is a tropical fruit that is most commonly produced in Vietnam and Thailand, with a flavor that resembles a mix of other fruits, including banana, mango and pineapple.
Sometimes the flavor is also described as similar to Juicy Fruit gum. The fruit is also high in vitamin B, potassium and protein, making it a particularly healthy but severely underutilized crop.
Gac AKA Baby Jackfruit
From the outside, gac does kind of look like a baby jackfruit, but visual appearance is where the similarity ends. The fruit has a very short harvest season, making it a relatively rare food.
Because of this, it is often used for festive or ceremonial occasions, rather than as an ingredient. One common dish from the fruit involves cooking the flesh and the seeds in rice, resulting in a bright orange rice dish.
Dietary supplements from the fruit have also been produced as it offers a high amount of phytonutrients.
Calamansi limes are best described as a mix between a lime and an orange. This gives them a strong citrus fragrance and they also tend to have much more juice than limes typically do.
Despite this, they still have that sour tartness of limes and they can be used in the same way as a lime. The limes are often green and tend to be relatively small, however, you can also find them with orange skin, which causes no end of confusing for the unwary shopper.
The cempedak is a close relative of the jackfruit, and interior structure of the two fruits is similar. The individual pulpy pieces can be eaten straight out of the fruit as-is, and the flesh is a less sweet version of the jackfruit.
The fruit also has a very strong smell and you can smell it from quite some distance away. Opening a cempedak needs to be done with care, as doing so releases a sticky juice that you need to use an oil-based product to remove.
Langsats are orb-shaped fruits that look a little bit like a small potato when the skin is on, although the inside of the fruit is an entirely different matter. When ripe, the fruit is sweet and tastes a little bit like a grapefruit.
The simplest way to eat the fruit is to peel off the skin and eat it out of your hands, although the fruit can also be cooked. Two main varieties of langsat exist. One of these is thick skinned and the other is thin skinned, although both taste good.
The lychee is a sweet summer fruit that comes from the soapberry family. The outer rind of the fruit is inedible, but it is easily removed to allow access to the white flesh inside.
The fruit is known for its floral scent, although this scent is lost when the fruit is canned, making the fresh fruit a more popular option. Lychees are also common across a number of different desserts.
The loquat resembles an apricot, and like an apricot, the yellow flesh of the fruit is the part that is eaten.
Unusually, loquat trees flower in autumn or the beginning of winter and fruits ripen in winter itself or at the start of spring. The fruit is best if picked when the fruit is entirely yellow, but before it starts to go orange, as the yellow stage is where the flavor is the most intense.
The fruit does also have a very thin skin, which can be removed. However, removing the skin can be challenging and messy, so most people simply don’t bother and use it as-is.
The mangosteen has an interesting history. Despite the fruit’s popularity, it was illegal to import them into the United States for a long time, because there were fears that the fruit contained the Asian fruit fly.
They are now available and the best place to source them tends to be Asian specialty food stores. At the same time, there has been a growing interest in the juice from the fruit, which has been associated with a number of health benefits.
How many of these are real remains to be seen, as research into the fruit and its juice continues.
Monstera deliciosa is another tropical fruit, although this one looks a lot more like an ear of corn than it looks like a fruit. The green scaly exterior of the fruit is tough and inedible, and it is the white flesh beneath this that people eat.
That flesh has a similar texture and taste to pineapple, although there are also some similarities to the jackfruit in terms of taste. The fruit should only ever be eaten when it is completely ripe, as the unripe fruit can irritate and cause adverse reactions.
The noni fruit is a native of Australia, Asia and the Polynesian islands. The fruit is roughly the size of a mango and is normally eaten for its potential health benefits, rather than its taste.
Many different health claims have been made about the fruit, although little has been proven. Nevertheless, the high antioxidant content of the fruit suggests that it may offer some benefits. The juice from the fruit is bitter, so people tend to use it as part of a fruit juice or smoothie, so the taste can be masked.
10 Exotic Fruits You Should Try
Star Fruit (Carambola)
A waxy, sweet/tart fruit that tastes of citrus, apple, and plum, star fruit hails from Southeast Asia. It turns golden yellow when ripe. Each has less than 40 calories but plenty of fiber and vitamin C. Just wash, slice, and eat — no need to peel or seed. It’s a stellar addition to salads and shines as a garnish. But avoid it if you have kidney problems. Star fruit has kidney stone-forming oxalic acid.
Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berries grow on palm trees native to South America. The fruit is about the size of a blueberry, has a large, inedible seed, and tastes like chocolate and wild berries. You can buy acai in smoothies or “bowls” (thick smoothies with toppings), or dried and mixed with granola. Some grocery stores also sell frozen acai puree. Like all berries, it’s rich in fiber and antioxidants.
Jackfruit is the world’s largest fruit, tipping the scales at up to 100 pounds. Originally from India, it has gained popularity as a meat replacement in foods like tacos. Its stringy flesh mimics the texture of pulled pork. It can taste neutral or sweet, depending on how ripe it is. It’s rich in vitamin C, B vitamins, and potassium. Some health food stores carry ready-to-prepare jackfruit in cans or pouches.
Dragon Fruit (Pitaya)
Dragon fruit grows on a cactus that originates in Central and South America. Don’t eat the skin, which is scaly (like a dragon’s) and yellow or pink. Scoop out the crunchy, pink or white flesh with a spoon. It’s full of tiny black seeds and tastes like kiwi or pear. Eat as is, or add to cocktails or desserts. Dragon fruit offers plenty of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and may even help keep your gut bacteria healthy.
A Pacific island staple for thousands of years, this football-sized fruit gets its name from the bread-like texture it gets when roasted. It lacks a strong flavor, but it can be eaten mashed or fried in place of potatoes. Fat-free and gluten-free, it’s rich in complex carbs, fiber, and potassium. Buy it at Caribbean markets and farmer’s markets. Before cooking, cut off the stem and place stem-side down to drain any sap.
Guavas are thought to have originated in Central and South America. Juicy, sweet, and acidic, they might remind you of strawberries and pears. The edible rind can be white, yellow, pink, or red. Some guavas are seedless. Others have pale, edible seeds. One guava has more vitamin C than an orange, along with vitamin A, fiber, potassium, and phosphorus. Use them in juices, jams, and desserts.
Fragrant and purple, red, or yellow, passion fruit hails from South America. Spanish missionaries named it for its plant’s five-petaled flower, which they saw as symbols of Christ’s injuries in the crucifixion. It tastes similar to guava. It’s rich in potassium and fiber, with just 17.5 calories per fruit. Slice one in half, then scoop out and eat the seeds and pulp. Or strain the pulp and enjoy as juice or in a sauce.
Durian is a southeast Asian fruit you either love or hate. It’s nicknamed the king of fruits due to its custard-like flavor and size (up to 18 pounds). It’s also called corpse fruit, thanks to its super-stinky smell. The spiky fruit is rich in iron, vitamin C, folic acid, and potassium. But it also has about 357 calories per cup. Eat durian fresh or use in desserts like ice cream. Look for it in Asian markets.
Horned Melon (Kiwano)
This striking-looking fruit of African descent is a member of the cucumber family. You eat the bright green jellylike interior, complete with the soft seeds. Its mild flavor has been compared to cucumber or lime with a hint of banana. Use it in salads, stir into yogurt, or turn into smoothies or juice. Horned melon is rich in antioxidants, including vitamin A, and low in calories.
This tangerine-sized fruit from the Asian tropics can be pricey and hard to find in the U.S. It has hard purple skin and soft white flesh, whose unique flavor hints of banana and peach. Eat it fresh, or try it in juice or jam. Mangosteen fruit is rich in xanthones, which are antioxidants thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
9 Unique Fruits from Around the World
Fruits are a nutritious staple in many peoples’ diets.
Which specific types you regularly eat likely depends on your geographic location and access to grocery stores.
What’s considered a common fruit for someone living in Southeast Asia or India may seem peculiar to someone living in North or South America, and vice versa.
Whether you’d like to diversify your diet by trying different fruits or are simply curious about the types of fruits found in other areas of the world, this article is for you.
Here are 9 unique and delicious fruits from around the world, some of which you may be able to find at your local specialty grocer.
Durian is native to Southeast Asia, growing in countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In some of these regions, it’s referred to as the king of fruits
It has a spiny, thick rind protecting its flesh, which has a creamy texture and sweet, slightly bitter taste. It can grow up to 1 foot (30 cm) long and 6 inches (15 cm) wide, but even so, it typically only offers around 2 cups (486 grams) of edible flesh
Ripe durian has a strong, recognizable aroma that some people find overwhelming. This is due to the presence of compounds like esters, aldehydes, and sulfurs
The flesh of durian is highly nutritious, as it’s a rich source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and B vitamins. It’s also packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds like quercetin, kaempferol, and luteolin
Depending on where you live, durian can be hard to find. In the United States, you may be able to score it at specialty stores like Whole Foods. You can enjoy durian’s flesh in both sweet and savory dishes alike, such as soups, ice cream, cakes, or even side salads.
Rambutans are native to Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, though they’re also grown in other parts of the world, including Africa and Hawaii
Rambutan’s flesh has a sweet, slightly tart flavor and grape-like texture. Size-wise, the fruit resembles a small kiwi fruit, and it hides a small pit within. Its skin is red and covered with spines called spinterns
This fruit contains a number of nutrients, including vitamin C and manganese. When it comes to nutrition, keep in mind that certain varieties, such as rambutan sold in syrup, can be high in added sugar
Rambutans are easy to find in certain areas of the world like Malaysia and Indonesia but can be extremely hard to come by in others. They’re highly perishable, so in the United States, you may only be able to find them fresh or tinned in specialty stores.
You can enjoy the flesh, but avoid eating the skin or the pit. It’s a great snack on its own but also works well in ice cream, fruit salads, cheese platters, or as a tropical addition to your next smoothie or yogurt breakfast bowl.
3. Pitaya (dragon fruit)
Dragon fruit is native to Mexico, Central America, and South America but is grown in many parts of the world, including India
It’s a sight to behold, with bright pink outer skin covered in green horn-like projections. The flesh is white or pink and contains tiny, edible black seeds. It has a mild sweet taste and kiwi-like texture. The fruit is about the size of a large apple.
Dragon fruits are known for their high concentration of antioxidant compounds, including flavonoids and carotenoids. Plus, research suggests that dragon fruits may have antidiabetic effects, though more studies are needed
Dragon fruit can be purchased in many areas of the world, including the United States. Some specialty stores carry them both fresh and frozen. Try enjoying dragon fruit fresh in a fruit salad or adding frozen dragon fruit to smoothies.
Loquats are the fruit of the Eriobotrya japonica tree and native to Southeast China. Today, they’re also grown in many other areas of the world, including Japan, Brazil, Turkey, Italy, India, Pakistan, Israel, and Spain
These 1–2 inch (2.5–5 cm) fruits have a sweet, bright, citrusy taste and texture that varies from crisp to peach-like depending on the stage of ripeness. The skin is also edible and ranges in color from yellow to red.
Loquats are a rich source of provitamin A carotenoids, including beta carotene. Carotenoids function as antioxidants and some, like beta carotene, can be converted into vitamin A by your body. Vitamin A is needed for immune health, vision, and more
If you’d like to try loquats and they’re not available in your area, you can try to order them online. Loquats can be enjoyed fresh, grilled, cooked into baked goods like pies, or made into jam.
5. Lychee (litchi)
Native to southern China, lychee is cultivated in many parts of the world, including Asia, Africa, Central and South America, and the United States
They’re small, ranging from 0.75–1.3 inches (2–3.5 cm), and covered in bumpy, red skin that should be peeled off before consuming the semi-translucent, white flesh. Lychee fruit features a grape-like texture and sweet, floral flavor.
Besides being a delicious addition to your diet, lychees are a good source of vitamin C, and studies suggest that they may have antioxidant, antidiabetic, liver protective, and heart-health-promoting properties
However, they can cause anaphylactic and inflammatory reactions in some people, so take caution when trying them for the first time
Depending on where you live, lychees may be readily available. In the United States, you can find them in specialty grocers and Asian markets. Lychees are best eaten fresh and can be enjoyed on their own or added to fruit salads.
6. Goji berries
Goji berries are native to China. This is also where most of the world’s goji berries are produced
They’re typically sold dried or powdered. Dried goji berries have a chewy texture and sweet, slightly tart flavor. The berries have a reddish-orange color and are the size of large raisins.
Whether they’re dried or fresh, goji berries are high in fiber, vitamin C, and provitamin A carotenoids. They likewise contain minerals like selenium and magnesium
They’re also a concentrated source of antioxidants like polysaccharides, carotenoids, and phenolic compounds. Promisingly, human research suggests that eating them may improve antioxidant defenses and blood fat levels in some people
Because they’re typically sold dried, you can find goji berries in many specialty food stores, including Whole Foods and other natural markets. They’re a convenient snack food and becoming a popular addition to trail mixes and other snack foods.
Mangosteen is a fruit native to Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. Today, it’s grown in many tropical areas around the world
Mangosteens are round and the size of a small orange. When ripe, their skin turns a deep purple color. The edible part of mangosteen is white and divided into segments. It has a sweet, tangy taste and soft, delicate texture.
This tasty fruit is high in many beneficial compounds, including procyanidins, as well as xanthones like alpha- and gamma-mangostin. These compounds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and may help protect your body’s cells from oxidative damage
Unless you live in an area where mangosteens are grown, it may be difficult to find these tropical fruits locally. However, you may be able to purchase them online. Mangosteen can be eaten fresh or used to make desserts like sorbets and Thai tapioca pudding.
Jackfruit is thought to be indigenous to India and Malaysia. Nowadays, it’s cultivated in many other areas of the world including in Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America
It’s considered the largest edible fruit in the world. In fact, these fruits can grow as large as 110 pounds (50 kg). They’re covered in tiny spikes and green to yellow-brown in color
When ripe, they have a sweet taste and soft texture. Unripe jackfruit is also edible and used to make savory products like vegan jerky or other meat alternatives. For example, some products resemble pulled pork in texture
This fruit is high in a number of nutrients, including magnesium and potassium. It’s also rich in powerful antioxidants like vitamin C and carotenoids
While whole, fresh jackfruit is harder to find, you may be able to find several dried jackfruit products like jackfruit jerky or tinned pulled jackfruit at specialty stores or even in supermarkets if they have a plant-based foods section. You can also order whole jackfruit online.
Carambola or starfruit is the fruit of the Averrhoa carambola tree, which is native to Southeast Asia. Today, it’s grown in other areas of the world, including tropical areas of the United States like Florida
The fruit gets its name from the star-like shape it takes when cut. When ripe, the edible skin turns yellow. The flesh has a sweet yet tart taste and crunchy, grape-like texture. They range between 2–6 inches (5–15 cm) in length.
Star fruits are high in some nutrients like vitamin C and copper. They also provide a number of antioxidants, including proanthocyanidins and gallic acid. Plus, they’re a good source of insoluble fiber, which promotes digestive health and helps you feel full for longer
Depending on your location, star fruits can sometimes be found in specialty stores. If you’d like it but can’t find it in your area, you can order it online. Starfruit is delicious in dishes like fruit salad and can be added to savory recipes like curries and stir-fries, too.