What are some of the strangest fruits you have ever eaten? Is the bitter gourd one of them? Maybe the Physalis? While you may have had the exotic privilege of eating exotic fruits, what you may not realize is just how many exotic fruits there are exist. Well, first of all, let’s backtrack. Many of the things that you would consider to be vegetables are technically fruits. Why technically? Because “vegetable” is not a scientific word. It has no precise definition. It is a culinary word that more or less describes a savory food originating from a plant. This can be a root (like a carrot) or the plant itself (like a cabbage). A scientist would most likely divide these “plant centric” foods into fruits, roots, leaves, etc. A chef, on the other hand, would most likely just use the terms “fruit” and “vegetable”. Now that we have that out of the way we are going to focus on fruits.
Assuming that you live in an English speaking country that isn’t in Africa or Asia (India, Nigeria, etc) the fruit you are about to see aren’t your everyday fruits. While Europeans and North Americans are exposed to what they see as your “standard fruits” (bananas, apples, blueberries, etc), people in many other countries have very little knowledge of such fruits. To them, apples and blueberries are extremely exotic. The point, however, is this – that exoticism is relative. At any rate, for most of you these will be 25 of the strangest fruits you have ever seen!
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Native to Indonesia, this is one of the best known fruits of southeast Asia. (But if you live in the west, you’ve probably never seen this fruit).
Originally from West Africa, it was transported to Jamaica via the slave trade and today is an important component of Caribbean cuisine.
Sometimes just known as “Jack”, this is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world.
Also called the fingered citron, this fruit is often used in Asia for perfume, medicine, and various rituals.
Native to China, records indicate that this fruit has been cultivated for over 2,000 years.
Used to make oil, jam, ice cream, and even wine, this South American fruit is known for its multipurpose nature.
This Asian fruit has also been called a kaffir lime but the term “kaffir” is offensive in some cultures so The Oxford Companion to Food recommends using the term markut lime instead
Also known as the ice cream fruit because the inside has a similar texture, Mark Twain described this South American delicacy as the “most delicious fruit known to man”.
First documented in Italy, the shape of this fruit has led to the name broccoflower (cauliflower).
A major source of nutrition in Micronesia, this fruit has many uses and can even be used as dental floss!
Valued for its juicy, delicate texture, this fruit has been cultivated in southeast Asia for thousands of years.
Do you want even more exotic fruits? Check out these 25 Fruits That You Probably Have Never Eaten But Should.
Although it is considered invasive in several US states, the akebia is popular in Japan. Some older people will likely recollect how they foraged for it in the hills as children.
Found in Java and Sumatra, this fruit is also called snake fruit due to its scaly outer layer.
Found primarily in the America’s, this fruit is like a tomato in texture but more of a strawberry in taste.
Grown in subtropical regions, to eat this fruit you simply cut it in half and scoop out the white flesh.
Because this Vietnamese delicacy has a very short season, consisting mostly of December and January, gac is usually just served at ceremonies like weddings.
Although it is native to Sub-Saharan Africa, this fruit is grown around the world and in the United States it is known as blowfish fruit for potentially obvious reasons.
Originally from Mexico, this well-loved fruit grows on a cactus and only blossoms at night. It is commonly known as dragon fruit.
With an exceptionally sweet and malty flavor, these Caribbean trees die extremely fast if the temperature drops below freezing.
Another Caribbean fruit, this one is popular for its use in milkshakes, smoothies, and ice cream. It particularly popular in Central America, South Florida, and the Caribbean.
Although it looks like an orange, its actually much hardier. These citrus fruits can withstand temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit)
Cultivated throughout the Amazon Basin, this fruit is known for its unique aroma which is said to be a blend of chocolate and pineapple. Its taste, however, is more like pear with a bit of banana.
Not all fruits are sweet. This one is grown throughout Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean for its extremely bitter taste!
Also known as starfruit due to their shape after cutting, carambolas are said to taste like a mix of apple, pear, grape, and citrus.
In spite of the fact that it is known for its incredibly pleasing taste, this fruit smells awful. In fact, it smells so bad that in many Asian establishments (and public transport) it is banned.