Of course everyone is familiar with apples, oranges and strawberries, but what about those ethnic fruits that are native to each country? The fruits that appear in this list are not going to be at your local grocery store. In fact, you may not even be able to recognize them. Have you ever even heard of lychee, pomelo, persimmon or durian? Well, here are some crazy fruits that look like they are from another planet but are in fact from planet Earth.
Nicknamed “the king of fruits”, Durian is extremely popular in Southeast Asia. The fruit is high in nutrients and smells like “turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock”. The strong smell is not enough to keep the locals away though, since they favor them. Those who have tried the fruit describe its taste as eating cheese, almonds, garlic and caramel, all at once.
These little sea urchin looking fruit are exotic to southeast Asia and has a flavor and texture similar to lychee. Thailand is the largest producer of rambutan followed by Indonesia and Malaysia. The small, plump fruit has a sweet, creamy flavor with a hint of floral. They are also bought and used as decorations around the house.
Originating in Southeast Asian countries, the Mangosteen is a popular super fruit. The fruit that tastes like a mix between the orange and peach only flourishes in tropical climates that are very humid, and the seeds can take anywhere from 8 to 10 years to fully mature. Also known as the “queen of tropical fruit”, the Mangosteen produces dark-purple or red-purple fruit with soft, thick rind on the surface.
4. Red bananas
There are over 1,000 different varieties of bananas around the world. The red banana is extremely popular in Asian countries, and are known to be soft and have a sweet flavor when ripe. They’re often used in desserts but are also used to make savory dishes. Those who have consumed it say that it has a flavor that resembles with sweet and creamy with raspberry highlights.
5. Dragon fruit
Another stunning example in the fruit kingdom is the dragonfruit that is surprisingly subtle in flavor. A little sweet, a little sour with a creamy texture, those who try it are known to easily fall in love with it. It is the national fruit of Vietnam and is also known as strawberry pear or pitaya.
The pomelo is basically grapefruit’s cousin that is the biggest grapefruit you will ever see. Once you get through the thick outer layer, you’re rewarded with big and juicy citrus segments. It originated in Southeast Asia and is still very popular in Malaysian, Chinese, Cambodian, Thai, Vietnamese, Filipino, and Tahitian cuisine, among others.
They might look somewhat similar to durian but they smell 1,000 times better. As the largest tree borne fruit in the world, a jack fruit can weigh as much as 77 lbs (35 kgs). Once ripe, a jackfruit smells like a mixture of pineapple and banana. A jackfruit has a mango, pear, peach and pineapple flavor while jackfruit seeds taste like chocolate when fried.
8. Miracle Fruit
The “miracle fruit” or “miracle berry” is something out of the ordinary. The fruit contains taste-altering properties that modify the food we are currently eating. For instance, if you consume the miracle berry and then eat something sour, it will taste sweet. The effect can last for as long as two hours and is utilized by many around the world.
9. Snake fruit
Snake fruit (Salak) is a species of palm tree native to Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. Its scaly appearance gives an impression of dragon eggs, but beneath its surface lies a delicious combo of sweet, sour and juicy. According to some, it has the consistency of peeled garlic cloves, with a sweet and acidic taste.
The tamarind tree produces pod-like fruit, which contain an edible pulp that’s used in cuisines around the world. It is native to Africa but also grows in India, Pakistan and many other tropical regions. Today, India is the largest producer of tamarind.
Yes, it has a strange name and you most likely haven’t heard of it before. The gac fruit is a beautiful red fruit originating from Vietnam, where it is harvested in December and January. The fruit is cultivated throughout Southeast Asia and China and is also known as Chinese bitter cucumber, cundeamor and bhat karela.