CRAZY Fruits You’ve Never Heard Of!

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There are lots of bizarre rare fruits out there that taste really amazing. Let's explore a list of weird fruits you'd love to taste!

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Fruit: it’s admittedly not the most exciting topic. But there’s a lot more to the fruit family than your basic apples, oranges, and bananas. Join me as I take you around the world for a variety of weird fruits you’ve probably never sampled - or even heard of.

MONSTERA DELICIOSA

Monstera Deliciosa

This fruit is native to Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, and Mexico. Its scientific name translates to “delicious monster” which is appropriate since it's highly toxic when unripe, containing a substance called oxalic acid, which is commonly used for cleaning rust off metal and stripping wood. Biting into an immature piece of monstera causes extreme skin and throat irritation, but once ripened, it's safe for human consumption and delicious.

The edible fruit is underneath the scales which peel as it ripens. Its taste is often described as a delicious medley of tropical flavors including pineapple, coconut, and banana. Monstera is popular in its native countries as a jam or on its own and is also incorporated into desserts such as ice cream and fruit cups.

ACKEE

Native to West Africa, ackee migrated to Jamaica in 1778 and eventually became the country’s national fruit. It’s also part of the Jamaican national dish, ackee, and codfish. Eating unripe ackee can cause Jamaican Vomiting Sickness, which can result in coma or death and is caused by the presence of a poison called hypoglycin.

After the ackee’s protective pods turn red and open naturally, its inner yellow arils, which surround the seeds, become edible. The fruit’s black seeds are always toxic, however. As for its taste, it has a buttery, creamy texture, and a mild taste.

©Be Amazed

ZAPOTE

The term “zapote” includes various fruits of the Rutaceae family. Zapote Blanco, or the white sapote, is the most common, and a distant relative of the citrus family. It’s grown all over Central and South America, the West Indies, India, and the Mediterranean.

The taste of its custard-like flesh is similar to that of a peach or a banana, with a tinge of bitterness. White sapote does not ship well due to its low acidic content, so it's sold strictly as a fresh-market fruit and not exported. This fruit is considered “quintessential” to Latin American cuisine and is typically eaten fresh in its native regions. It’s also ideal for ice cream, smoothies, and simple custards.

TUNA

In Mexico, the term “tuna” doesn’t refer to the fish; rather, it’s the name of a pear-sized fruit that grows on wild cacti throughout the country. Also known as “prickly pear cactus fruits,” these refreshing treats are commonly sold by street vendors.

Tunas are eaten raw and used as an ingredient in various sweets, including drinks, jams, and candies. They’re also incorporated into tarts, salads, or anywhere one would use an apple. There are hundreds of varieties of tunas, which reach maturity during the summer. Their taste profiles range from brisk and tart to sweet and creamy.

DURIAN

The large, thorny durian ranges in color from pale yellow to red. It’s native to Southeast Asia and is especially popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Its main claim to fame is its pungent odor, which is typically compared to things like sweaty gym socks and sewage. Due to its rank stench, the durian is banned on many public transportation systems across Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan.

This past May, two University libraries in Australia were evacuated due to the presence of a durian, which students initially mistook for a gas leak. In 1856, British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace described the durian’s taste as “a rich custard highly flavored with almonds,” with occasional wafts of things like cream cheese and onion sauce.

JABUTICABA

The Brazilian grape tree, a slow-growing evergreen, features a small, round fruit that grows all over its trunk. It evolved this way so animals who can't climb can access the fruit, which is also enjoyed by humans and is packed with potent antioxidants and anticancer compounds.

The trees flower two to three times annually, with the fruits appearing green at first and darkening as they ripen. Native to Brazil, the Jabuticaba also grows in Argentina, Chile, and Peru. If you live in a tropical or subtropical climate, you can also grow this tree in your own garden.

RAMBUTAN

Native to Southeast Asia, the rambutan is a golf-ball-sized fruit with a red and green shell. It gets its name from the Malay word for “hair” because of its appearance, which is often likened to that of a sea urchin.

The rambutan contains sweet- and creamy-tasting translucent white flesh and is highly nutritious. When peeled, it has a similar appearance to its relatives, the lychee, and longan fruits. The rambutan grows in a tree that thrives best in tropical climates, such as Malaysia or Indonesia, and which grows up to 80 feet, or 27 meters in height.

KIWANO

The exotic and strange kiwano melon hails from southern and central Africa and is also a popular snack in Australia, New Zealand, and parts of the U.S. Commonly known as the horned melon or the African horned cucumber, it looks somewhat like an oblong, horned orange.

It’s one of the juiciest fruits on the planet, containing a seedy, gelatinous flesh ranging in color from yellow to lime green. Its taste is described as a cross between cucumber, zucchini, and kiwifruit, and as the fruit ripens, it becomes more like a banana. Kiwano melons are often eaten plain, or the flesh is scooped out and added to salads or used as a garnish. They’re also known to be delicious in cocktails.

MANGOSTEEN

Originally from Southeast Asia, the mangosteen grows in tropical regions throughout the world and has a deep, purple rind when ripe. Its flesh is juicy and bright white, with a slightly sweet and sour taste. This relatively obscure fruit is commonly eaten fresh, canned, or dried, and is roughly the size of a small orange. The fruit offers many health benefits due to its rich supply of nutrients, fiber, and unique antioxidants.

MIRACLE BERRIES

Miracle berries are native to West Africa and were eaten for hundreds of years by Africans before being introduced to western foods. By all appearances, the small, red fruit seems rather ordinary. However, miracle berries contain a chemical called miraculin, which temporarily suppresses the tongue's sour and bitter taste receptors.

After eating the fruit, anything else a person consumes tastes uncharacteristically sweet, and this effect can last for hours. Many people take advantage of miraculin's taste-altering properties by using miracle berries to curb their sugar cravings. Others eat them for the sheer fun of sampling different foods afterward.

HALA FRUIT

The hala fruit grows in Australia, Hawaii, and other South Pacific islands and is enjoyed mainly by the region's inhabitants and visitors. Its bizarre appearance is often described as resembling an exploding planet, a mutant pineapple, a giant pine cone, or a Pokemon.

©Be Amazed

The fruit is made up of dozens of segments called “keys,” which contain pulpy innards that taste like a mixture of sugar cane and mango. The green outer flesh of the hala fruit is so fibrous that it can be used as dental floss. Typically, the flesh is ground into a paste, boiled with grated coconut, made into a fresh juice, or eaten raw.

©Be Amazed

CHERIMOYA

Native to the Andes, the cherimoya was originally grown by Inca farmers in Ecuador and Peru. It also thrives in a Mediterranean climate. The green heart-shaped fruit looks as if it’s covered in flower petals or roof shingles. Inside, there's a creamy white flesh with a custard-like texture and large black seeds throughout.

Mark Twain once referred to the cherimoya as “The most delicious fruit known to man.” Its taste is typically likened to a combination of pineapple and pear, along with notes of other tropical fruits, including bananas, pineapples, mangoes, strawberries, and lemons. Some even say that the cherimoya tastes like bubblegum. The flesh is typically eaten raw but beware of the seeds, which contain poisonous alkaloids that are used for killing lice.

©Be Amazed

SOURSOP

The soursop, also called the guanabana, is the cherimoya’s cousin. It's native to Central and South America but grows in tropical climates throughout the world. Soursop production has increased in recent years due to a rise in demand, especially in the North American and Chinese markets. Colombia is among the world’s biggest producers of soursop, exporting around a million dollars' worth of the fruit annually.

This spiky, green, oval-shaped fruit can easily reach a foot in length and weighs between 10 and 15 pounds. Although it’s often eaten on its own, the soursop is more commonly incorporated into desserts, beverages, syrups, smoothies, and ice creams. Its flesh has a creamy feel similar to coconut or banana, and its distinctive flavor resembles a mix of apple and strawberry, with a sour, citrusy undertone.

DRAGON FRUIT

Also known as pitaya, this fruit is indigenous to Central and South America. In addition to its popularity throughout its native region, it's commonly grown in Malaysia and Vietnam due to its popularity among Asian consumers.

It’s also called the dragon fruit because its skin resembles dragon scales. Underneath its exterior, the pitaya looks like brains, owing to its slimy, vibrantly-colored innards. If you can get past its texture, you might enjoy its sweet and juicy flavor, which differs slightly in taste, depending on the variety.

AGUAJE FRUIT

The aguaje fruit originates in the Amazon rainforest. This oval-shaped, fig-sized fruit has a scaled, chestnut-colored exterior and bright yellow or orange flesh. It tastes like a carrot and is mostly eaten raw.

This tropical fruit has a controversial reputation as a superfood that helps women achieve a larger behind and fuller lips. Unfortunately, the fruit’s popularity threatens its availability to native populations who rely on it as a dietary staple, including the 400,000 or so residents of Iquitos, Peru, who eat around 20 tons of aguaje fruit daily.

PHYSALIS

Also known as the Cape gooseberry, this fruit is native to Peru. Between 80 and 90 species of this fruit are grown throughout the Americas and Europe. It grows easily, even at altitudes above 10,000 feet.

It's a bright orange berry covered in loose leaves, resembling a lantern, and is related to the tomato. This fruit has a sweet-tart taste slightly resembling a pineapple, and is eaten on its own, made into jams, or added to salads and desserts.

JACKFRUIT

Native to southern India, jackfruit is grown in tropical regions throughout the world. It’s related to the fig but has a much stranger appearance, with a green or yellow spiky outer skin. It's the largest tree fruit in the world, reaching up to 80 pounds, which is 35 kg.

The texture of the jackfruit’s sweet and fruity flesh resembles shredded meat, making it an ideal meat substitution for vegetarians. Its distinctive sweet and fruity flavor is said to resemble a combination of fruits such as apples, pineapples, mangoes, and bananas.

HUAYA FRUIT

Indigenous to Central America and the Caribbean, the huaya fruit is especially popular in the Yucatan Peninsula – in fact, it’s only available in the regions it grows in. It’s grape-like in appearance, with a tough green outer skin.

The flesh is creamy, white, and jelly-like, and tastes juicy and refreshing, yet a tad sour. Huayas are typically eaten raw; the skin is easily removable. In Mexico, they’re often eaten with lime juice and chili.

BANANA PASSION FRUIT

Native to the South American Andes, the banana passionfruit is far less common than, well, “regular” passionfruit. This elongated yellow fruit contains a sweet, juicy, orange pulp that has a reputation for being rather tasty. Its black seeds are edible but tend to taste bitter. The banana passionfruit is eaten fresh and is used throughout its native region as a flavoring for drinks, cocktails, and ice cream.

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