For most of us in the Western world, a trip to the fruit section of the grocery store is pretty mundane. Bananas…apples…maybe a mango if we're lucky. Even some trendy farmer's markets are pretty limited to whatever is local.
But there is an absolutely massive number of exotic fruits out there than you may have never seen before! I've listed 66 of them here. Even if you do recognize a few of them, some of these guys you can only get on certain continents, or cost a crazy amount of money and are only available from specialty stores in trendy US cities. For example, I bought a single Kiwano fruit the other day for $6.00 USD!
If you could pick just one to try, which one would it be? I'd love to try the cucamelon because it looks just like a mini watermelon 🙂
After my trip to Peru to see Machu Picchu in May 2017, I discovered a bunch of new fruits. It just goes to show you that even these 66 fruits (now 68) is just cracking the surface of what's out there.
Bonus #1: Lucuma
According to Peruvians, most people don't actually eat this fruit, but they really enjoy the flavor of it in other things. The texture isn't very pleasant according to the people I asked, but it's sweet!
They put it in cakes, pies, pastries, puddings, ice creams, and other sweets. Actually, my first time learning about it was in a local Starbucks! You can't get this in the USA for sure! I usually don't drink Frappuccino's, and it was way too sweet for me. I couldn't finish it. But I saw tons of people order it, so it must have been popular. The chirimoya (white one) is featured lower on this list as well.
Bonus #2: Pacay (Ice Cream Bean)
The other fruit, which really impressed me, was the ice cream bean, also known as pacay. The first time I saw this fruit was in the famous restaurant called Centrale. It's one of the most popular restaurants in the world, and you normally have to make a dinner reservation 4 months in advance. Well, I snuck in at lunch and found a spot. Lucky me! One of the courses was an ice cream bean.
Unfortunately, it was shockingly expensive there, and cost me about $150 for the whole meal, meaning my single “bean” cost about $20 (not even the whole pod!)
Then I continued to travel, and had it for breakfast again at a small hostel. There, it cost me about $0.20 for three beans. The consistency is a bit weird, but delicious. It looks like a styrofoam packing peanut, but has a cotton candy texture. It's sweet, but not overly so. It kind of squishes in your mouth similar to cotton candy as well.
Continue the official list of the original 66 fruits on the next page!