Everyone is familiar with the apple, banana, and orange, but what about the pomelo, rambutan, and cherimoya? These are three weird and exotic fruits from around the world. They aren’t commonly seen in America but are staples in many diets in various parts of Asia, Central America, and South America.
Perhaps one of the weirdest looking plants on the planet, the rambutan is a tropical fruit grown primarily in Malaysia and Indonesia. Its name comes from a word in the local language that translates to hair. It earned this name because it is covered in a large number of soft spikes that resemble a head of hair.
This fruit has spread throughout many parts of Asia, Africa and even, Central America. There are also a small number of rambutan plants growing in India. Some determined gardeners have even managed to grow these fruit trees in America. They grow best in climates that stay between 71 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
The fruit is usually red on the outside. Once the leathery skin is peeled away the white, egg-shaped core remains. In terms of taste, it is often compared to a grape. The fruit features a pleasant combination of sweet and sour.
Rambutan is widely regarded for its many health benefits. It is high in iron content as well as manganese, calcium, and Vitamin C. It also has useful antioxidant properties.
Scientifically known as Citrus maxima, the pomelo is the largest citrus fruit in the world. It greatly resembles a large grapefruit in some ways, which is thought to be a hybrid of the pomelo and the orange. It is slightly larger and much sweeter than the grapefruit. It can grow anywhere between 6 and 10 inches in diameter.
This fruit was originally grown in Southeast Asia. It is often covered in salt and eaten raw in those areas. It’s also a popular staple of many salads, drinks, and desserts.
Though it looks similar to a grapefruit, it is not nearly as bitter as its relative. However, the internal membrane that surrounds the segments can be pretty bitter and is rarely eaten. The skin is often used in various recipes as well, including marmalade and candies.
The fruit has since been introduced to various other parts of the world. It is thought to have traveled to Japan around 1772. It was brought to Jamaica nearly a century prior to that.
Native to South America, the cherimoya is an exotic fruit that Mark Twain claimed to be the most delicious fruit on the planet. It is also widely known as the custard apple because of the creamy flesh of the fruit.
This fruit can grow in differing shapes. They are usually oval and slightly stretched near the ends. They can grow between 4 and 8 inches long with a diameter between 2 and 4 inches. The skin is green and tubercular when ripened. On the inside are several large, brown seeds.
It is the taste that makes the cherimoya such a beloved fruit. It is described as a blend of several different fruits packed into one. The combined fruits being pineapple, strawberry, peach, banana, and papaya. Anyone who loves those fruits is sure to love the cherimoya.
Many people leave the fruit in the freezer overnight and then eat it the following day with a spoon. The cherimoya is sometimes called the ice cream fruit because of this. It is also a part of many different ice cream flavors as well as yogurts, especially in Peru.
The world is full of weird and exotic fruits. Fruits that are large and small, sour and sweet, are all waiting to make their way into your diet. If you have the green thumb and the right climate you could even try bringing them into your garden.