Monday, March 30, 2009

Exotic Fruit

One of the books I am reading is about exotic fruits and vegetables. It's fascinating all the different types and varieties there are.. so many.. I wonder if I will ever get to know all of them. I don't think so, not in one lifetime. Here are few very interesting ones..

The Cherimoya - aka Custard Apple - unusual scaly heart shaped fruits which are pale green and almost impossible to cut when unripe. As it ripens the skin develops brown patches and it looks over-ripe when it is just right with creamy white flesh which has a flavor of pineapple and banana with slight vanilla overtones. At this point they will keep in the fridge for a couple days. (to ripen put in a paper bag in a warm place) They have plenty of seeds, up to 20 in each.


Babaco's are from the same family as the papaya, but they dont have the seeds inside like the papaya and the flesh of the babaco is edible. The flavor is not as intense as the papaya and actually quite bland.
They are green when unripe and as they ripen develop yellow/orange patches and when fully ripe they are yellow all over. At thios point they should be used right away or kept in the fridge for a day or 2. The babaco also has the enzyme papain, like the papaya, and are highly beneficial to digestion.
The flesh is good in both fruit salads and in savory salads. It can also be blended into a sauce, like applesauce, with lime.

The Ugli Fruit

The ugli fruit is a member of the citrus family and similar in taste to the grapefruit, sweeter but still slightly tart, delicious.
The peel can be candied.. I have to try this. This fruit sounds amazing.
When ripe it is firm and heavy for its size.
It has huge nutritional benefite, lots of vit & minerals and the juice is noted for healing bruises when applied externally.

The Kiwiano - is a bizarre prehistoric looking fruit with bright orange horny skin on the outside and translucent melon looking green seeds on the inside. The kiwiano is also called a jelly melon, and African horned melon or a cucumber melon, for its slight cucumber flavour. The flavor is actually that of melon-cucumber-banana-lime. The seeds can be spooned over ice cream or deserts or salads with cucumber or tomato or salty cheeses.. they can also be blended with sweeter fruits or agave or other sweetener.


The Tamarillo looks almost inedible, something like a plum tomato, or painted egg .. it is also called a Java Plum or Tree Tomato as it grows in bushes.

When ripe the fruit gives a little when pressed. The thin skin is inedible and the inside is acidic and bitter and needs to be sweetened. They are more commonly eaten cooked than raw, but I would like to experiment with them!

The Feijoa is native to South America, and is also known as pineapple guava or a guavasteen. It is a distant member of the guava family and the flavor of the feijoa is of an aromatic strawberry.
When unripe it is green and tastes like a banana but when it ripens it turns a mottled redgreen or yellow color and it becomes more aromatic. The creamy white flesh is lightly jelly-like and it contains many hard seeds at its center, which should be scooped out and discarded.
These are best eaten raw!!
Kumquats are tiny fruits about the size of olives. They have a thin skin, like an orange, but the skin is edible. You can pop the whole thing in your mouth and eat it.. but there are seeds inside that you may want to spit out. They taste like orange and orange blossom and leave you with a refreshing zingy energy feeling. These are great with both sweet & savory dishes.

Pithaya, aka yellow dragonfruit, is another pre-historic looking fruit. Like it's cousin the fuschia colored dragonfruit, it is filled with a juicy white flesh and thousands of edible tiny black seeds. They have a mild flavoured watery flesh which is lightly perfumed and similar to unsweet melon.

The Sapodilla looks somewhat like a potato with a buff brown skin & grows on trees which are usually overladen with fruit. When ripe the skin should be slightly wrinkled and give a little when pressed. When unripe they are greenish and hard with a strange grainy texture and mouth puckering flavour. As they ripen they turn yellow-orange in color and have an aromatic flavour of vanilla and bananas. The shiny black seeds in the center should be scooped out and discarded.
They are best eaten raw. The flesh can be scooped out of the inedible skin with a spoon and eaten as is, or with a squirt of lime or added to a smoothie.
The Caruba is known as the banana passion fruit because of its elongated shape. The skin is yellow with a hint of green and inside it is filled with seeds like in a regular passionfruit/The flavour is similar to a passionfruit but even more powerful. It is very popular in it's native Columbia. ..and is best served with a sweetener to overcome the tartness.


The Pepino is also known as the tree melon. It is a narive of Peru and has smooth goldn skin with purple-red markings. The flesh is pale yellow with a tart, lemony flavor with hints of melon and pineapple. The seeds are edible and sweetly flavored.
To eat - cut in half, peel away the skin, remove the seeds and eat raw.

The Pepino Flower

Aswad - Shine


Lauren said...

My mouth is salvating! Right now I am reading 80-10-10 and between this blog post and that book I AM DYING FOR SOME TROPICAL FRUIT! Yummmm!

Organic Gardener said...

Thanks for an amazingly informative blog. It's hard to know when these exotic fruits are ripe if they're new to you. I love all the pictures you post. Also checking into the MMS you mentioned in a previous post.

debbiedoesraw said...

Gorgeous stuff! Are you reading "the Fruit Hunters"?
I love that book, even gave raw model Anthony a copy for his trip to Bali!
keep up the great work, your blog is pure art!

Robin 'Keiko' Gregory said...

Hi Lauren.. 80-10-10, interesting!
yes, goes well with all the fruit!! : )

Hi Organic Gardener, so nice to meet you at Rawlicious today! Thanks for the comments and the positive vibes.. and great to meet another 'rock' person! Hugs!! All the best with the gardening, hope to see you again soon!

Hi Deb.. just looked up the book - looks amazing!! Thanks for recommending it! Hugs!! xo

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. "Journalist Gollner's debut is a rollicking account of the world of fruit and fruit fanatics. He's traveled to many countries in search of exotic fruits, and he describes in sensuous detail some of the hundreds of varieties he's sampled, among them peanut butter fruit, blackberry-jam fruit and coco-de-mer—a suggestively shaped coconut known as the lady fruit that grows only in the Seychelles. Equally intriguing are some of the characters he has encountered—a botanist in Borneo who spends his life studying malodorous durians; fruitarians who believe that a fruit diet promotes transcendental experiences; fruitleggers who bypass import laws; and fruit inventors such as the fabricator of the Grapple—which looks like an apple and tastes like a grape. The FDA and the often dubious activities of the international fruit trade, multinational corporations like Chiquita, come in for scrutiny, as does New York City's largest wholesale produce market, in a chapter with more information than one may want on biochemical growth inhibitors, hormone-based retardants, dyes, waxes and corrupt USDA inspectors. Gollner's passion for fruit is infectious, and his fascinating book is a testament to the fact that there is much more to the world of fruit than the bland varieties on our supermarket shelves." (May)

Blissfully Raw said...

Can you tell us what book you're reading? It sounds amazing. Thanks for all of your wonderful posts!

Robin 'Keiko' Gregory said...

Hi Blissfully Raw, the book is called the Exaotic Fruit and Vegetable Handbook by Oona van den Berg. Thank you. *smiles* Nice to meet you!

Blissfully Raw said...

Thank you for the book recommendation! I'll be in Toronto this weekend for the Total Health Show and am looking forward to visiting Rawlicious too. I can't wait until your DVDs come out!

Anonymous said...

Good sait, its very interesting//

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