Best Exotic Fruits You've Never Heard Of | Inquirer

Best Exotic Fruits You’ve Never Heard Of

/ 11:14 AM December 15, 2022

Certain pictures or ideas pop into our minds whenever we think of fruits. You might have been so used to some kinds of fruit that you never knew or thought of trying new exotic fruits out. Apart from apples, pineapple, watermelon, orange, cashew, mango, pear, pawpaw, and others, there are fruits you’ve never heard of.

There are over 390,000 plant species on our planet, out of which 2,000 are fruits. But only 10% of them are used in the Western Hemisphere. Little wonder why we know and munch on a few fruits, whereas there are other fruits. And though they might look weird, they are delicious.

Even though you’ve been across all 7 continents, there are some exotic fruits you’ve never come across or even knew existed. When it comes to fruits, there seems always to be something new to try.


9 Exotic Fruits You’ve Never Heard Of



The fruit has a thick purple rind measured about six to ten millimeters, making it look like a giant blueberry, and in it is a white flesh that makes one remember apricot, pineapple, or lychee because of its sour and sweet taste.

Though it is best eaten raw, this fruit tastes great with meat, rice, tropical fish, desserts, or poultry dishes. It was used for many years by traditional healers in Southeast Asia to treat different conditions, and there has been a bit of hype around it in this world too.


The mangosteen fruit is sweet, tangy, juicy, and fibrous and grows mainly in Southeast Asia. You have to score the shell with a knife to open this fruit.



Star fruit, also known as carambola, has a five-point star shape. It was known as one of the best fruits for promoting health, and due to its antioxidant levels and nutrient density, people sought it. Star fruit is a long fruit about three to six inches long, and its edible flesh changes from greenish-yellow to yellow.

It majorly comes in two types, which are either large and sweet or small and sour. Generally, this fruit tastes tart and crisp. This exotic South American fruit is native to Southeast Asia and was referred to as Thambaratham, Ambanamkaya, Kamaranga, and Kamrath.

The starfruit or carambola has slightly brown ridges and is light yellow when ripe. And though it is unpleasant to eat because of the sour taste, the bigger and yellow ones are much sweeter and tastier.



Jackfruit is a special fruit because of how large the tree is. It may even be considered the largest tree with fruit in the world because it sometimes weighs up to 80 pounds (35kg).

When ripe, the jackfruit is sweet and has an indirect flavor; we can compare it to the combination of mango, pineapple, banana, and apple. Compared to Brazil nuts, the seed from the ripe jackfruit is edible and has a sweet, milky taste.

The aroma of this fruit is distinct and makes you feel as if you perceive a banana-pineapple combo. It is often sold as a substitute or alternative for pulled pork. Why?

Unripe jackfruit tastes like meat that, when cooked, sucks other flavor ingredients. It was used to replace pulled pork in dishes and was popular in the United States. People also use it in Southeast and South Asia.


Pomelo exotic fruits

Pomelo is a non-hybrid, natural citrus fruit native to Southeast Asia. This fruit is the largest citrus fruit, and because of its juicy and big citrus flesh that has a similar taste to sweet grapefruit, it is known as the principal ancestor of the grapefruit. 

Throughout Southeast Asia, the pomelo is commonly eaten and used for festive events. Just like the grapefruit, the pomelo has the ability for drug interaction because of the phytochemicals in it.


Longan exotic fruits

The longan fruit is also called dragon eye fruit, and its flavor looks like the rambutan fruit. The main difference is that longan fruit has more tartness. It is an important part of traditional Chinese medicine because people say it is a natural aphrodisiac and has properties for anti-aging.

Like lychee, the white white-fleshed are sold fresh, canned in syrup, or dried. This juicy flesh has a musky flavor and is mildly sweet. It is a fruit that is spherical and surrounds a single dark seed.


Rambutan exotic fruits

The rambutan fruit is found across south East Asia, and its weird look would make you wonder if it’s indeed a fruit. The name “rambutan” originates from the Malaysian word “rambit,” which means “hairy” because this fruit is covered in thin, red, or pink long hairs.

The appearance doesn’t mean the fruit isn’t tasty. It has a sweet, creamy, and sour taste that looks like grapes and is often eaten with fruit salads. When peeled, the fruit has a similar appearance to longan and lychee fruit, and it has health benefits like better digestion and weight loss.



Durian is also weird-looking and banned from public areas, public transport, restaurants, and some hotels because of its disgusting smell. This fruit stinks, but we can describe its flavor as sweet, creamy, and savory.

Researchers from Singapore have it that the volatile sulfurous chemical compounds are responsible for the fruit’s disgusting and stinking smell. The fruit looks like a volleyball in size and is greenish with plenty of conical thorns. It has different species causing the color to vary from brown to orange-red.


Sapodilla exotic fruits

Sapodilla, also known as naseberry, is a fruit that does not look attractive or edible on the outside but is exceptionally sugary and sweet. It is one of the best raw desserts you can find in the world because its flavor, best described as a caramelized pear, sweet potato, or brown sugar, can be served without any other addition.

When consuming this fruit, it is necessary not to swallow the seed as it can be dangerous because of the spikey hook that sticks out from one end of the seed. The fruit is best enjoyed when ripe, as the unripe sapodilla can give an uncomfortable chalky mouthfeel.


Tamarind exotic fruits

Tamarind is a fruit that originates from Africa but also grows in Pakistan, India, and other tropical regions. It is used in cooking or making dishes in different parts of the world. Tamarind looks like a giant peanut, but it isn’t similar.

Sometimes referred to as the “date of India,” the juicy pulp of the tamarind, as it ripens, looks paste-like and tastes more sweet and sour. The fibrous pulp makes the fruit edible as it covers the seeds.

What are Rare Exotic Fruits?

Fruits are known for their different health benefits and how sweet and tasty they are, but there are exotic fruits you have yet to see or hear of. Before talking about rare exotic fruits, you should have an idea of what exotic fruits are. 

Exotic fruits are mostly tropical fruits, unique, and taste differently. They are the weirdest, greatest, and rarest tasty treasures on this planet. Not all these exotic fruits look admirable or sweet, but they are exotic in flavors and tastes. They are cultivated and mostly exported fruits from their place of origin.

Rare exotic fruits are the fruits mentioned above. The likes of pomelo, starfruit, jackfruit, tamarind, sapodilla, etc., are not found easily around. They are rare and worth looking for to consume and enjoy the taste and benefits it gives

Where to Buy Exotic Fruits?

There are many wonderful fruits around us that we’ve grown accustomed to and have not heard of before. You must know where to buy or look to get any of these fruits. 

With the growth and civilization, don’t be surprised if you’ll get an exotic fruit displayed at the farmers market, grocery store, or local supermarket. You can buy or purchase these exotic fruits there.

However, you won’t find every exotic fruit in the market because many rare nutritious fruits grow in specific regions worldwide. You can buy them online and have them delivered to you. 


Fruits are among the healthiest foods for our bodies, including rare and exotic ones. Despite their shapes, spines, or unusual colors, they are tasty and healthy. So, if you come across any of the above-mentioned exotic fruits, don’t hesitate to try them. You’ll enjoy every moment of munching them.

According to Karen Hemmes, a registered dietician at the Banner – University Medical Center in Phoenix, “Each fruit has an abundance of fiber, minerals, vitamins, and health-promoting substances. So it’s important and beneficial to incorporate a variety of fruits in your diet.”

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