1 Aug

5 Weird Fruits

Ever wondered what those strange looking fruits at your local grocer are? In this post, we take a look at five fruits from around the world you might not have heard of. 

1. Jackfruits

Jackfruits are one of the most versatile fruits. Known as the largest tree-borne fruit in the world, they are much more than a tasty snack. It is said the leaves from the Jackfruit can cure a range of health problems such as diabetes and asthma, and the jackfruit heartwood is used by Buddhist monks in Asia as a dye for their light brown colours. More commonly, Jackfruit is used to flavour ice cream, yoghurt and curries. 

The pulp of a jackfruit smells sweet like a mixture of banana and pineapple. However, if you smell an unopened jackfruit you might never want to try one. An unopened jackfruit has a very strong smell similar to that of decayed onions.

2. Rambutan

If you are a lychee fan, you will love rambutans. Often referred to as hairy lychees, rambutans are mainly available between September and May and are best enjoyed fresh in salads or on their own. During the cooler months, when they are not in season, they are often found in cans or speciality jams. 

Rambutans grow on large clusters on tree and are excellent for decorative purposes because of their bright red, leathery skin.

3. Mangosteen 

Despite its name, mangosteen is not related to mango. Mangosteen is native to Southeast Asia and has a citrusy taste with a hint of peach. 

Known as the Queen of Tropical fruits, it is said Queen Victoria offered a reward to the one that brought her a mangosteen during her reign.  

Like the jackfruit, the mangosteen is not just tasty, it also has health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants and some scientists claim it can lower the risk against cancer. Mangosteens are best eaten fresh, or added to fruit salads. They may also act as an exotic addition to champagne or sparkling wine.

4. Kumquat

The kumquat closely resembles that of an orange, but is much smaller in size. Kumquats can be eaten raw, made into jelly or fermented to make alcoholic drinks such as liquor. Additionally, as the rind of the kumquat is sweet, it is sometimes added to cakes and sweet desserts for flavour. 

When cooked with sugar, or boiled into teas, kumquats can also be used as a remedy for sore throats. 

5. Jaboticaba

Jaboticabas resemble grapes, but instead of growing on a vine they are borne directly onto the main trunks and branches of the jaboticaba tree. They have a thick, purple skin that covers a sweet, white or rosy pink gelatinous flesh. The flesh is sweet and slightly aromatic with a peasant grape like flavour. 

The fruit can be eaten raw, made into jelly or even fermented to make wine. They possess several antioxidants and anti-inflammatory anti-cancer compounds. 

Which exotic fruits do you love? Tell us why you love them in the comments below. 

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