Exotic Fruits from Around the World


exotic fruit


While once they were seen as exotic fruits, apples, pear, plums and even bananas are now commonly sold in supermarkets and on market stalls in most regions of the UK. However, there are plenty more fruits out there that you probably haven’t tried yet. In this week’s blog we take an adventure of flavour, looking at some of the diverse exotic fruits available across the globe.


ackee fruit


The national fruit of Jamaica and in the same family as the better known lychee, the ackee fruit originated in West Africa and was taken to the Caribbean on slave ships during the 1700s.

Despite its popularity, ackee can actually be toxic if consumed before fully ripe, and was once referred to by the US publication TIME Magazine as one of the most dangerous foods in the world. When mature, the segmented fruit has a red rind, which opens to reveal shiny black seeds, along with edible pinkish coloured flesh. Ackee is at is best in the traditional Jamaican dish of Salt-cod and Ackee, which makes the most of its subtle flavour and texture to contrast with the fish in the recipe.


black sapote fruit

Black Sapote

Related to the persimmon and native to Mexico and Central America, the black sapote is known for its unusual chocolatey flavour. In season from around August until January, the fruit is similar to a tomato in appearance with a green skin and soft, dark brown flesh. Although not widely cultivated, this fruit is growing in popularity as many people seek out healthy alternative to sugar-filled sweets and desserts. Recipe ideas include using it to make smoothies, puddings and even to make ice-cream.


natal plum


Natal Plum

Native to coastal regions of South Africa, the natal plum or sarissa, is a low-growing shrub with white star-shaped blooms and oval shaped red fruit. High in vitamin C and a surprising good source of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, the natal plum is an important cultivated crop in Africa, however in other countries, it is grown mainly for its attractive appearance in gardens. Natal plum is eaten whole without peeling or removing the small seeds, and has a tart flavour which is often likened to strawberries or cranberries.


yangmei fruit


Also known as the chinese strawberry, the yangmei is native to China and has been cultivated there for thousands of years. Unlike the strawberries that we know and love, yangmei grows on trees and is a round-shaped fruit turns from a yellow colour to red when ripe. This fruit plays an important part in Asia medicine and is said to be helpful in the treatment of arthritis, be beneficial for the function of the heart and the digestion, as well as containing many powerful anti-oxidant vitamins. The flavour is sharp but sweet, rather like a blackcurrant or pomegranate, and it is delicious served on its own, or in juices and preserves.


Has this given you a craving to try something new? Is there any fruit you’d like to tell us about?


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