Fruit that grow in Mexico, like berries, seeds, leaves, roots and even meat?! There’s a huge variety of fruits growing there and people tend to use them in their everyday life. The fruits and plants growing there have got many uses. Some enterprises plan on delivering the Mexican plant nutritional supplements to the world.
List of Foods That Grow in Mexico
Mexico’s warm climate makes it the perfect place to grow food year round and large amounts of available land is cultivated to grow large crops. Many different crops grown in Mexico are often exported to the United States, Canada and Japan. Exporting these different foods is excellent for Mexico’s economy
1. Grain Crops and Legumes
Popular grains grown in Mexico include corn, wheat, rice, sorghum and beans. They are popularly used in Mexican cuisine, but are also frequently exported to other countries. Corn is commonly used in Mexico to create tortilla wraps and chips, and beans are used in many Mexican dishes.
Fruit is one of the most valuable exports for Mexico’s economy. A large variety of fruit is grown in Mexico due to its fertile soil, which is ideal for fruit trees, and a climate that allows the production and harvest of fruit almost year round. Popular fruit grown in Mexico include apples, oranges, grapes, tangerines, tomatoes, grapefruits, pears, bananas, lemons, limes, mangoes, watermelons, peaches, nectarines, pineapples, strawberries and avocados.
3. Other Crops
Mexico also exports a large amount of coffee, sugar cane and cocoa. While many Mexican cultures use these crops as part of their food source, they are also exported. Coffee is an important export from Mexico to the United States as many U.S. states don’t have the right climate or type of soil to grow coffee plants. Sugar cane is another crop whose export has greatly improved Mexico’s economy over the years.
Where does the food in grocery stores come from? With increased consumer consumption and demand, the food on the shelves may be imported rather than domestically produced. In the United States, the amount of imported food continues to increase as Americans consume more products that are either not locally available or not grown fast enough to meet consumer demands. The United States (U.S.) imports a wide variety of foods, including fish and shellfish, fruits and nuts, vegetables and red meat. Because of cheaper labor costs overseas, buying an imported apple may be cheaper than buying one grown domestically.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. imports billions of dollars worth of seafood from China each year. Farm-raised seafood such as tilapia, shrimp, salmon and catfish is shipped directly from China. Because these fishes are commonly frozen even when farmed and sold domestically, shipping from China doesn’t diminish perceived quality of the fish. Other imported foods in this category include grouper, haddock, whiting fish, red bream, squid, flounder, Atlantic cod, crab and lobster.
2. Fruits and Nuts
Imports of fresh fruits and nuts steadily increase each year, with Costa Rica and Mexico being the top suppliers to the U.S. This is due in part to their proximity to the U.S. and ability to import fruits closer to their picking time. Nuts come from many different regions: Brazil nuts from South America; cashews from Africa, India and Vietnam; Guatemalan macadamias, and Spanish or Chinese pine nuts are a few. Fresh fruit arrives daily into the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru. The list of fruits that are frequently imported from these countries include produce like bananas, pineapples, avocados, apples, honeydew melons, blueberries, cantaloupe, mangoes, nectarines and lemons. Importing fruit items from other countries can be more cost-effective because of lower labor costs. Additionally, tropical and sub-tropical countries also have longer and more temperate growing seasons allowing for imports nearly year-round, even to parts of the U.S. where weather prevents growing fresh fruit.
As is the case with other foods, the U.S. imports billions of dollars’ worth of vegetables from other countries. Mexico dominates the supply of imported vegetables, supplying peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, pinto beans, broccoli, cabbage, onions, lettuce, celery, squash and spinach, to name a few. Other important suppliers like Canada and Peru supply carrots, cauliflower, asparagus, mushrooms and potatoes.
4. Red Meat
Each year, Canada exports millions head of cattle and pigs to America. Although the U.S. is one of the world’s largest exporters of beef, the country still imports beef from New Zealand, Uruguay and Australia. The importation of veal, pork, lamb and mutton has increased rapidly over the past several decades. The USDA has stated that the driving force of the growth in importing meat includes rising incomes and the preference of U.S. consumers for a greater variety of red meat.
7 Exotic Types of Fruit in Mexico You Must Try
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If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you know we’ve traveled throughout Mexico extensively (especially Los Cabos).
One of the best things to do in Mexico is trying the local food and drinks.
The fresh guacamole – which tastes sooo much better in Mexico.
The flavorful shrimp tacos (with plump shrimps caught just hours before).
The real lime and tamarind Mexican margaritas.
This leads us to the fruit in Mexico…
There are so many delicious, interesting – and, yes, sometimes strange – Mexican fruits that we’re boggled by the variety!
Weird and wonderful Mexican fruits
Is it safe to eat the fruit in Mexico?
Let’s first get this out of the way.
We eat raw fruits and vegetables in Mexico and have never had a problem. So we’ll order salad when eating out at, say, Puerto Vallarta restaurants (PV is geared to tourists) and recommended restos in Mexico City.
If buying food at Walmart or a farmers’ market to cook in our condo, we’ll give the produce a wash and then we’re good to go.
(You can wash lettuce, tomatoes, apples, etc. with a little dish soap, then rinse them off with cooled boiled water or bottled water.)
You don’t have to worry about fruits with skins that you peel off – like oranges. There’s no danger getting sick from them.
If you have a sensitive stomach or are worried about getting sick in Mexico, you can try taking Dukoral before you go.
Dukoral is an oral vaccine for traveler’s diarrhea. We’ve taken it a couple of times. And you don’t need a prescription to get it in Canada.)
Pause to see our Mexican food video!
Here’s a look at 17 types of Mexican fruit you should try when in Mexico.
You can find some of these fruits in your local grocery store, so you can also try the flavors of Mexico at home.
A good fruit knife is oh-so-useful when cutting fruit.
1) Dragon fruit (pitahaya)
The fruit that causes a frenzy in Mexico?
Mexican pitaya fruit (also spelled “pitahaya”) – or dragon fruit.
One reason is its short season.
The fruit is only available between April and June. The other is its taste and texture – sweet (sort of like a kiwi fruit) and crunchy.
Dragon fruit was probably originally native to Mexico and Central America. Now it’s especially popular in Asia; it’s also cultivated in the Caribbean, Australia and elsewhere around the world.
About the size of a baseball, pitaya grows on a type of cactus.
Because of the hot pink color of the outside skin, it’s also sometimes known as “strawberry pear.” The flesh of Mexican dragon fruit is white, with tiny black seeds (which you can swallow).
How to eat dragon fruit?
Simply cut it in half and spoon out the fruit.
It’s delicious in fruit salads. It’s also used in desserts and ice cream.
2) Soursop (guanabana)
The soursop or guanabana is a large pear-shaped fruit from Mexico, with a dark green skin covered with big thorns.
Inside, the soft creamy flesh is white.
It smells a little like pineapple, but it tastes more like a combination of strawberries, oranges and bananas.
Be careful not to eat the big black seeds though (they’re toxic).
Soursop is said to reduce inflammation, treat diarrhea and have other health benefits.
But you might want to be a little skeptical about these health claims and just enjoy the fruit for what it is.
You’ll find it growing anywhere more tropical in Mexico (like Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit) and in Mexican grocery stores.
How to eat soursop?
Cut it in half and scoop out the flesh. Eat it raw as is, or add it to a fruit smoothie.
This red hairy fruit, the size of a golf ball, is commonly seen in southern Mexico.
They’re deliciously sweet, tasting a little like lychees.
Pick up a bag of rambutans from a roadside stand to nibble on when visiting the Mexico’s Mayan ruins!
How to eat rambutans?
If you have a knife handy, slice the rambutan in half and pop the slippery white fruit in your mouth.
You have to kind of suck on the flesh, which surrounds a big seed, then spit the hard seed out (too big to swallow).
In Mexico, you’ll also find rambutan turned into agua fresca (light fruit juice).
Ahhh! The Mexican lime!
Admittedly, they’re not as exotic as other Mexican fruits. But they sure are plentiful!
We buy bags of them when in Mexico. When taking an airport transfer in Cabo, we always ask to stop quickly at a grocery store on the way to our hotel to stock up on limes (and tequila) – they’re a food essential!
Anyway, the limes are smaller than what you find in Canada and the U.S., and soooo inexpensive.
We use them to flavor so many dishes – from salads and veggies to guac and baked chicken.
George has gotten so addicted to limes that he now squeezes the juice on practically everything savory when back home too.
How to eat limes in Mexico?
Squeeze them over whatever you want. Place a lime wedge on every dish. And suck on a lime when drinking tequila!
Mmmm… Mangos are one of our favorite fruits!
We love eating this fruit in Hawaii. And we love eating this fruit in Mexico too!
While native to Asia, mangos grow very well in Mexico.
The health benefits of mangos are many. They’re low in calories, high in fibre and rich in vitamins A and C.
Best of all, the orange-yellow flesh is unbelievably juicy and sweet.
We could eat mangos all day long and never tire of them.
How to eat mangos?
Dice them up and eat them for breakfast. Use them in salsas. Try mango juice – or a mango margarita!
All sorts of cakes and desserts use mangos too.
6) Zapote negro (sapote)
Chocolate pudding fruit?
That’s the best way to describe zapote negros (or sapote negros).
You’ll understand why as soon as you see inside this fruit.
While covered with a dark green skin, the flesh is dark chocolate in color (when ripe). And it’s so custard-like that it looks like a melted brownie.
Some people swear that it also tastes a little like chocolate, but in truth the flavor is more akin to prunes.
Whatever, it’s definitely one of the most exotic Mexico fruits!
How to eat zapote negro?
Cut the baseball-size fruit in half, scoop out the soft inside and press the flesh through a fine sieve to get rid of the seeds. Whip lightly with a fork.
Maybe add some whipping cream?
Now you’ve got a very decadent (but healthy) dessert!
Do you remember your Greek facts and mythology from school?
Hades, the god of the dead, tricked beautiful Persephone into eating four pomegranate seeds, which condemned her to live in the underworld for four months every year.
Anyway, pomegranates were brought to Mexico by the Spanish and are now widely cultivated in the country.
The pomegranate season is autumn (late August to November).
How to eat pomegranates:
Cut off the flower from the top of the pomegranate, then score the sides (make shallow slices) with a paring knife.
Now crack it open by pulling the fruit apart.
All those juicy red fruit-covered seeds inside are delicious to eat as is!
Or sprinkle them in a creamy dessert.
Pomegranates are also a key ingredient in chiles en nogada.
This traditional dish, from Mexico’s Puebla state, is made of poblano chiles stuffed with ground beef (or pork), goat cheese and diced pears, apples and peaches, then topped with a walnut cream sauce (called nogada) and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.
Not your typical Mexican food, right?
Top 6 Special Mexican Fruits To Discover 2022
There are many exotic Mexican fruits that I bet some of you have never heard about (or tried) before? So are you curious about them? If your answer is yes, the article will show you the colorful photographs of Mexican markets with many types of fruits.
Mexico is famous for many tropical fruits like mangoes or papayas, but there are more. Some fruits play essential parts in many delicious Mexican foods, and some are so distinct that you might only find them in this country.
So follow me to expand your horizon about these fruits. And if possible, let’s try them someday in Mexico to know how delicious they are.
6 Tasty Mexican Fruits In Stone Or Drupe Group
But first, let me explain a little bit about stone (or drupe) fruits. They are, generally, a type of fruit that consists of 1 big stone in the center, covered by fruit’s skin and flesh.
Aside from jocote, this fruit with a J as a starter has various other names: hog plum, red mombin, etc. Overall, this is a common fruit in the tropical areas throughout America, and Mexico is one of these areas.
You can also find them in Central American countries, like Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, etc. Jocote has been an important food that the Central American natives use for eating or taking medicine.
They have thin and waxy skin with a wide range of colors, from yellow-green when they are young to red or purple when they mature. Jocote fruit’s flavor is similar to plum – sweet with a bit acidic aftertaste.
In fact, the term “jocote” derives from the word “xocotl”, which refers to an acidic or sour fruit in Nahuatl. There are up to 50 jocote varieties in Mexico. And Chiapas is one of the best places to offer good trees with high-quality fruits.
Season: From July to October (in Mexico)
Healthy Nutrients: Fiber, calcium, iron, phosphorus, high in antioxidants, B-complex vitamins, carotene, and various amino acids
Best Way To Enjoy: You can eat both the skin and flesh (remember to remove a pit inside). The unripe fruit is also edible, but they will be more bitter and tart. In Costa Rica, the locals also eat them with salt.
Nanche or nance is a cluster-style fruit that can grow from 10 to 20 inches. They are mostly found in Central and Latin America; some are also in Caribbean regions.
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Its name is also different based on where they grow, like yaca is how Colombians call them, or Jamaican use the name hogberry. Matured nanche fruits might look like round small yellow-orange cherries less than 1-inch in diameter.
You can remove their skin easily. And the flesh inside is relatively oily with white color. They are also seeded fruit with 1 to 2 small white seeds. Regarding the flavor, ripen nanche is famous for its unique taste with combined hints of lychee, banana, pear, and an acidic note.
With high oil content, their aroma is strong and somewhat has a soap-like smell. The texture of nanche is starchy and quite coarse. When the fruits are fully mature, they can fall from the tree, so people usually collect and submerge them in water to limit their astringent tastes.
Season: Start to bloom from April to July, then sold in September to October
Healthy Nutrients: Include dietary fiber, vitamin C, K, E, and antioxidant compounds
Best Way To Enjoy: Can be eaten raw, cooked, or make juice. You can eat with or without their skin.
Here is an honest review about the taste of nanche fruits.
Watch this video: Will This Cheesy Fruit Taste Good in Ice Cream? (Nance Fruit)
Tejocote (aka Mexican hawthorn, or manzanita) is a mountain fruit in Mexico. The root of this name is from a Natuatl term “texocotl” to refer to “stone fruit”. On the other hand, tejocote can be understood as “little apple” in its another name, manzanita.
Overall, they have similar in size to cherry tomatoes with bright yellow peel. Tejocote’s taste can be sweet or sour, and some are even bland. Thus, many people prefer to enjoy them in cooked dishes rather than in fresh form because they can get sweeter after cooking.
Besides, these fruits are a big hit in Mexican Christmas and New Year’s eve as people use them to make ponche – a traditional Christmas drink in this country. Mexicans also use them to make candy or as altar decorations to celebrate the Day of the Dead – another Mexican special holiday.
Another tropical fruit that all Mexicans love is mango. In 2020, Mexico was the 4th top country producing mango with 2.4 million tonnes. Moreover, when walking on the street markets or outdoor vendors in this country, you can find many hawkers selling this delicious fruit.
Mango is also a well-loved fruit worldwide, thanks to its sweet flavor from the juicy and soft pulp. The skin is very smooth and firm. And they can continue to ripen at room temperature after harvest.
The culinary uses of mango are also varied. People can eat them fresh when they are still green. These unripe fruits are a perfect ingredient to make chutney – an iconic Indian spread. With ripe ones, you can make various tasty mango desserts, like candy, jelly, fruit leathers, etc.
In Mexico, Sinaloa, Jalisco, Veracruz, Nayarit, and Chiapas are some significant place that grow mango. There are numerous mango cultivars in Mexico, but one of the most widely-grown types is the Manila mango – a fresh Mexican street food with a buttery texture, sweet flavor, and a vibrant yellow look.
Season: Mostly available all-year, especially from January to October (in Mexico)
Healthy Nutrients: Vitamin C, A, fiber, antioxidants, and digestive enzymes
Best Way To Enjoy: Cut them in haft, remove the pit, and use a spoon to scoop the flesh out. Or you can cut them into slices. Mango skins are typically safe to eat, but I prefer eating the pulp only.
When traveling to Mexico, you can buy a mango-on-stick at a very affordable price.
Watch this video: Sweet Mango Cut Like a Flower on a Stick!
The scientific name of capulin is Prunus salicifolia, which refers to a wild cherry fruit native to several places in Mexico, including Veracruz, Chiapas, and Sonora. They can be found in other Central American nations like Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, etc.
Capulin is an erect tree that can develop more than 30 feet. And capulin cherries’ colors vary from green to dark red (or purple) when they are mature, which is pretty attractive. The ripening season of capulin can be impacted by its varieties or climate, usually from mid-May to mid-summer.
People can eat them fresh or cook them with other food. They can turn capulin into jams, sweets, or canned fruits. If you consume them raw, you can see the aroma and juicy, slightly sweet flesh. However, their pits are typically large compared to the pulp.
Season: Flowers bloom from January to March and can be harvested from July to August
Healthy Nutrients: Fiber, calcium, vitamin C, and phosphorous
Best Way To Enjoy: Eat ripen fruits raw or make jams with them. You can mix them with other ingredients (milk or cream) to make many delicious desserts.
The last fruit in the drupe classification is a fruit beginning with R – rambutan, which is a red-haired fruit with translucent flesh and a big pit in the middle. Though the root of rambutan is Southeast Asia, particularly in Malaysia and Indonesia, their popularity in Mexico is also huge.
Why are they called rambutan? This name is from the word “rambut” in Malay, which means “hair” to imply the hairy skin of this fruit. In Vietnam, the locals call them “chôm chôm”, and it also means messy hair.
Rambutan trees can grow from 49 to 66 feet and provide round (or oval) fruit with a single drupe inside. The fruit itself is 1 to 2-inch broad and around 1 to 2.4-inch in length. Under the thick red-haired peel is white, juicy, and sweet flesh with a mild scent of acidic flavor similar to grapes.
Rambutans are widely grown in the south of Mexico, like in the state of Chiapa. In the country, their season might be from summer to November.
Season: Peak season is from August (or September) through November
Healthy Nutrients: Vitamin A, B, C, choline, calcium, potassium, and folate
Best Way To Enjoy: Use your fingers (or a knife and cut a slit) to remove its hairy peel. Enjoy the flesh and remember to discard its seed.
If you are still not so sure about eating rambutan correctly, check this instruction for more information.
Watch this video: How to Eat Rambutan Fruit
Wonderful Berry-Classified Fruits In Mexico
The next section is about the berry fruit, which is the soft, fleshy fruit with seeds produced from an ovary or flower. So keep reading to learn more about Mexican berry fruits with these 9 awesome examples.