Fruit is one of the few healthy things that actually tastes incredibly good. It can be sweet or sour, and insanely refreshing— it helps you when you're with a cold or feeling unwell, feeding the body with much-needed vitamins, and it can also be stunning to the eye! There is no wrong choice when it comes to selecting a fruit, especially if you're thinking of improving your diet and need stimulating, healthy snacks.
However, there are some types of fruits that you just won't be able to drive to your local supermarket and snatch to get a taste. These 25 exotic fruits we'll be talking about today are unique, some almost unattainable, but they are a beauty to behold and we just had to share them with you. Discover an incredible world beyond apples, oranges and grapes— these ones will blow your mind!
Ackee is an interesting fruit, mostly because it's normally cooked and used as a vegetable. When its pods are bright red, they split open, revealing edible fruit inside. Before being cooked, the arils are cleaned and washed, only then boiled for 5 minutes. Now, you must be wondering why this fruit is boiled. In fact, if eaten raw it can cause sickness, so be careful if you find it during a trip to West Africa. It can also be found in Jamaica, Haiti, and Cuba.
Funnily enough, physalis are herbaceous plants similar to the common tomato, and they actually feature similar shapes, despite a difference in color and size. They are edible and an interesting mix between a strawberry and a pineapple, paired with a slight acidity that makes them so special. They are often added to desserts for an extra touch of beauty and taste.
23 Miracle Fruit
This miracle fruit gets its name due to its taste modifier called miraculin that when mixed with sour foods makes them sweet. When you eat the berries of miracle fruit by itself, you won't find it that interesting, but when you mix with lemon or lime juice, or even various beverages and foods such as beer, cocktails, vinegar, or pickles, it becomes a whole different story. Its sweetness will surely make you fall for it. However, in 2011 the United States Food and Drug Administration banned this fruit from being imported, declaring it as an ‘illegal undeclared sweetener.’
These Brazilian jabuticaba berries look like dark purple grapes with a white gelatinous inside. Normally, it is eaten raw, but it can also be turned into jams, wines, and even liqueurs. You can find it in Brazilian markets and you can be sure they are always fresh because the fruit begins to ferment 3 to 4 days after harvest, making it available immediately after cultivated. If you ever go to Brazil, these sweet delights should be on your list of fruits to try.
Before cutting, this fruit may look like an orange, with its outside looking exactly like one, but as soon as you cut it, you'll find a much different texture and color. Its green-orange tomato texture inside may look odd, but it's what makes lulo such a special fruit. The fruit has a citrus flavor, a combination between an orange and a lime, and you can find it in Ecuador, Panama, and Colombia. It's a must for fruit lovers!
20 Star Apple
Star apple, also named milk fruit, is a small fruit, looking very similar to passion fruit but with a unique, curious texture and color inside. You'll find that if you cut it in half, the seeds inside leave a star-like shape that is gorgeous to look at. As for the taste, it's sweet and best served chilled. Although it's native to the West Indies, it spread to Central America and even to Southeast Asia, so it's not that hard to find this fruit and taste it.
This fruit is common in China and it's from the same family as lychee, as seen from its shape and consistency, but with a more aromatic taste. When open, it looks oddly like an eyeball, reason why it's also called 'dragon eye', and it's often used in Asian soups, snacks, and sweet-and-sour foods. It can, of course, be eaten raw or even preserved in syrup.
Traditionally found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, rambutan features a leathery reddish skin, covered with pliable spines. Inside, you'll find a white flesh with a sweet and mildly acidic flavor, similar to grapes. It looks similar to dragon fruit, but it's actually from the same family as lychee and longan. You can eat it raw or make it into a jam.
17 Purple Mangosteen
Purple mangosteen is not only extremely beneficial to health, with it being full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, but it's also a beauty and extremely unique. It's a sweet, juicy, and fibrous fruit that you have to taste. Its shell has to be removed with a knife but it's worth it when you taste the citrus flavor of the fruit. It grows in Southeast Asia, southwest India, as well as Puerto Rico and Florida.
Lucuma is a popular fruit in Peru, Ecuador, Chile, and Costa Rica, and it has quite an interesting shape. It looks almost like the color of a mango inside, but it's incredibly dry when eaten raw. However, it's commonly used as a flavor in juice, milkshakes, and ice cream, with people saying it tastes like sweet potato, maple syrup, or butterscotch.
15 Sugar Apple
The average sugar apple doesn't even look like an apple, rather taking the shape of a smaller pineapple with knobby segments. It's typically green with a white-ish inside, resembling custard. Its taste also resembles sweet custard and it's one of the reasons it can be made into a sweet wine. It's a little dry inside, but you'll find that its sweet taste makes up for it. It's commonly found in South America, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Bahamas, Jamaica, India, and Australia.
Kiwano is one of the exotic fruits on this list we're sure most people haven't heard about. It's from the same family as cucumber and melon, and it looks exactly like a mix of both. It showcases horn-like spices on the exterior and a cucumber-like flesh inside. The juice has the texture of a jelly with a lime-green color and some people say it tastes like a combo of banana and passion fruit, which by itself is enough to convince most people to try it. You can find it in Africa, the United States, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand.
Tamarillo can be eaten like a kiwi, with a spoon. The fruit features a yellow, orange, and red mix of colors, and a small & round shape. The taste is a mix of passion fruit and a piquant tomato. In New Zealand, it's used as a jam to spread across toast in the morning, which sounds absolutely delicious if you ask us. The tamarillo is native to South America, but it's also cultivated across Asian and Australia.
12 Buddha’s Hand
Buddha's hand has a weird hand-like shape (with a lot of extra fingers!) and its skin has a lemon-like texture, even resembling it in color. It's normally in season during winter and, when open, it reveals a juiceless and seedless flesh. It's loved due to its beautiful fragrance, often used to make jam and marinades, even perfuming clothing. It's also beloved in Japan, used as a good luck totem for New Year's.
11 Monstera Deliciosa
Funnily enough, this beauty is normally grown for ornamental purposes, but its corn-like shaped fruit is said to taste like a mix of pineapple and banana, often served with a scoop of ice cream on the side. However, it also takes a year to be fully ripe, but it's very worth it once you get a taste of it. It's native to Mexico and Central America, so you might have to visit the tropics for a taste of it.
Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, salak is also known as snake fruit due to its exterior texture and color. It's the size of a fig but with a pointy tip at the end, and its flesh is yellow-ish with a dark brown seed. Its flavor is sweet and crispy, making it perfect for fruit salads, soups, and custards. If you haven't given it a try yet, it's time you do so!
9 Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit is one of the most beautiful fruits of this list and one that many people know about, even if they haven't tasted it yet. It has pink skin with white flesh inside, adorned with small seeds that make it look like a kiwi. The taste is sweet but subtle and it's usually found in Asian markets. However, you might also find it across Latin America and Mexico.
This one is weird, to say the least. The durian fruit can weight up to 2 to 7 pounds (1 to 3 kilos) and what's interesting is that, although its smell is foul, its creamy flesh tastes of a mix of custard, caramel, blue cheese, vanilla, and banana according to people who have tried it. It looks very similar to jackfruit, but don't be fooled. You'll find durian's smell will set it apart from any other fruit.
7 Black Sapote
Black sapote gained its name due to its black flesh, but it actually only gets that color once it's ripe. It resembles chocolate pudding, no matter how weird that sounds, not only in color but in texture and even taste. It's a great and healthier alternative for chocolate lovers that are afraid of calories and the over-sweetness of normal chocolate pudding.
Akebia is a Japanese fruit that tastes like a raspberry, even though it looks nothing like one. Its skin is soft purple and the inside looks almost like dry, white kiwi flesh. Normally, it's eaten for dessert and the skin is stuffed with meat. Weirdly enough, it's also known as 'chocolate vine' even though it looks or tastes nothing like chocolate. You'll find it in Japan, China, and Korea, primarily.
Cupuaçu might have a strange name and look like a potato from the outside, but its exterior is actually quite tough with a dry white flesh. It's the same family of cocoa and it also acts as a replacement for it, with a more complex taste of chocolate. It's a fruit typically found in Brazil and the Amazon rain forest.
4 Melothria Scabra
Melothria scabra looks like a tiny watermelon from the outside and a cucumber on the inside. Although its exterior could lead to some believing its flavor will be sweet, it's actually more like a cucumber with a hint of lemon juice. It's commonly found in the United States and Brazil, becoming popular due to how tasty and healthy they are, not to mention being easily portable for a work break snack.
3 Noni Fruit
Weirdly enough, noni is actually related to coffee! It's normally found in Southeast Asia and Australia, and its also known for its foul smell, much like durian, but it has incredible medical purposes, according to Polynesian cultures. People usually eat it raw with salt or cooked with spices— its seeds also being eaten after roasted.
2 Australian Finger Lime
This is one of the most interesting fruits on this list, mostly due to how much it resembles having fish eggs inside. It comes in various colors, from green to red, and its small, juicy "eggs" pop when chewing, containing a juice similar to lime, making it a near-bubble-tea-experience. It can be found in Queensland, New South Wales, Australia, and although it may be far for some people, it should be added to your bucket list.
1 Hala Fruit
Hala fruit is a species of screwpine native to Polynesia and it fascinates with its fleshy beauty due to, when ripe, looking awfully similar to the inside of a planet. The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked and, weirdly enough, even used as dental floss. Don't ask. Its leaves are usually used for mending and for its medical properties. Many say its taste resembles “a mixture of sugar cane and mango.”