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10 Sweet Tropical Fruits You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

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Exotic fruits are becoming increasingly popular. After successfully introducing unique fruits like Shine Muscat grapes, Red Kiwi, and Calypso Mango into the domestic market, distributors are now searching for exotic fruits that deliver a distinctive taste. Consumers are also eagerly exploring and sharing their experiences with unusual-looking fruits new to the market. In this feature, we will introduce a variety of exotic tropical fruits that, while somewhat unfamiliar, offer unique flavors to explore.

Ice Cream Bean

Inga is a fruit with an unusual shape named after the Tupi Indians in the Amazon basin of South America. It’s also called ice cream bean because the texture, taste, and aroma of the fruit’s flesh are similar to ice cream. The Inga fruit resembles a bean; the flesh is dense and smooth. The flavor is reminiscent of vanilla and has a moderate sweetness many people enjoy. The seeds can also be dried and roasted for consumption.

Canistel

Canistel is a fruit in southern Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador. It is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions and lowlands. The size of the fruit is about the size of a fist, and the end is slightly curved and pointed. It has a shiny yellow color, and the inside is also yellow. A well-ripened fruit can be split in half with your hands. It has a slightly grainy texture and a sweet, savory taste, similar to a steamed pumpkin.

Soursop

Soursop can be harvested in the tropical regions of America. The flowers have a strong scent, and the leaves are long and oval, with a pointed end and a glossy surface. The fruit, also known as graviola or guanabana, is oval-shaped and green, with a fragrant aroma and spikes on the outside. The flesh is white and tastes similar to mango or pineapple, but it has a strong sour taste compared to other fruits. Even locally, the fruit is often soaked in sugar before consumption.

Greengage Plum

Greengage is a group of cultivars of the common Middle Eastern plum. Most greengages have sweet green or yellow flesh. They are mainly consumed in European regions and are round. Compared to other European plum varieties, they are relatively smaller. Based on the color of the skin, one might expect a tart taste, but when eaten, it is surprisingly sweet.

Buah Merah: “Red Fruit”

Buah Merah is a plant native only to Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. It’s an oval-shaped fruit with leaf-covered buds; its weight approaches 2 kg (4.4 lbs). It bears brown and yellowish-brown fruits but turns red when ripe. In New Guinea, it is also called the King of Red Fruits due to its intense red color and large size. While the color is intense, the taste is not so stimulating, so people of all ages can enjoy it without any aversion.

Breadfruit

Breadfruit translates to bread tree and is widely cultivated in tropical regions. The fruit is large and round with a pale green color, and all stages of fruit, from immature to mature, can be consumed. The immature fruit can be cooked by peeling off the skin with a knife, and its taste is similar to that of a potato. It has a soft texture, sweet aroma, and taste when mature. It is mainly used as an ingredient rather than eaten as raw fruit.

Abiu

Abiu is a species native to the upper Amazon region of western South America, extending from southwestern Venezuela to the eastern Andean foothills of Peru and the northwestern Amazon basin of Brazil. The fruit is consumed in South America, including Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. It is about the size of an adult fist, with a smooth and firm surface. When the fruit is cut, translucent flesh and seeds slightly larger than a persimmon can be seen. It has a sweet taste and a jelly-like texture.

Jabuticaba

Jabuticaba is a tropical fruit native to Brazil. The fruit opens from the main stem, and the dark purple fruit, which is brown, is attached to each stem and branch like a mushroom. It can be harvested annually, and the fruit is borne twice to five times a year. The skin is tough, and the fruit looks like a grape. The flesh is white and tastes similar to grapes. It can be eaten raw and used as an ingredient for jam, wine, and alcohol.

Wood Apple

Wood Apple is a fruit of a plant widely distributed in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and more. The wood apple is round and oval, opening as if hanging from a branch. After about a year, it ripens to a light yellow color. The skin is hard and woody, and it needs to be hit with a hammer or stone to break it. The flesh is yellow or red, emits a rich rose scent, and has a soft texture with a refreshing tartness and sweetness.

Feijoa

Feijoa is a variety found in Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, and more. It is also called pineapple guava, and the fruit is a bumpy cylinder shape. One fruit is about 10 cm(3.9 inches) in size and looks like a small avocado. Inside the semi-transparent center are slippery seeds coated on the outside, and the flesh is soft. It tastes like a mix of pineapple and guava, with a slightly sour aftertaste.

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