10 unusual fruits we bet you haven’t tried
Last week, we brought you “10 unusual vegetables we bet you haven’t tried,” so this week we thought we’d introduce you to some funky fruits to liven up your fruit salads, smoothies and more. Go on an adventure to your local well-stocked grocery store, or wherever fruits in weird shapes are sold, and perk up your plate with new flavors and a nutritional boost.
Easily the cutest fruit on this list, kumquats are citrus fruits only a little larger than grapes with edible skins and a sweet flavor. Enjoy them in this salsa from Simply Recipes for a low-calorie treat.
2. Dragon fruit
Don’t let the spiky scales of this Asian and South American fruit scare you. Beneath the skin, these fruits are juicy, sour, and refreshing. Top seared scallops with dragon fruit salsa in this tasty recipe from the Food Network, or try it with chips.
Common in Caribbean dishes, this fruit offers a crisp taste and lots of vitamin C to stir-fries. While they taste the same, the female plant has smooth skin while the male plant has prickly skin. Try it with braised chicken in this recipe from Chow.com.
Mark Twain called this South American fruit “the most delicious fruit known to men.” Thanks to its sherbet-like texture and bubblegum taste, it’s popular to eat it uncooked, fresh from the freezer, giving it the nickname “ice-cream fruit.” Or add its sweet taste and boost of fiber to this tart recipe from SuppitySup.com.
Maybe you’ve heard of this one — it always seem to be an ingredient on those cooking competition TV shows. Though very popular across Asia, durian has a distinctive smell that many people describe as reminding them of rotting flesh. If you can get past that, the fruit is silky, sweet and delicious in smoothies like these from IncredibleSmoothies.com.
Did you know that the grapefruit is a hybrid of the orange and this Asian fruit, the pomelo? It packs a similar amount of vitamin C and has pink flesh similar to the grapefruit, but it’s less sour. Drink it up in this pomelo mojito from Food and Wine.
These South and Southeast Asian fruits are known as “dragon eyes.” Even if that doesn’t sound appealing, give them a try for their sweet taste — they’re not too hard to find canned at Asian supermarkets. For a serious twist on chicken sandwiches, try longan in these chicken wraps with radicchio.
The juicy fruit around the seeds has a taste similar to pineapple. One of the largest tree-borne fruits in the world, they’re common in Asia and Australia. Try its meaty texture as a vegetarian or vegan alternative to pulled pork, like in this barbecue pulled jackfruit sandwich from Chow Vegan.
9. Star fruit
Also known as carambola, these visually appealing fruits are full of vitamin C and fiber. Enjoy their sweet taste and let their pretty shapes shine by making these star fruit chips from Epicurious.
10. UGLI fruit, aka Jamaican tangelo
The trademarked name for this grapefruit relative is “UGLI,” and for good reason: The rough green and orange skin makes a ripe fruit look past its prime. If you get through the skin, however, the fruit is very juicy and sweet, with a fragrant rind. When they appear in supermarkets in the winter, try them in this Thai shrimp salad recipe from the UGLI website.