There are more than 1,000 types of bananas, 7,000 varieties of apples and thousands of varieties of citrus fruit cultivated in our world. So why is it that we so often find ourselves eating the same old cavendish bananas, navel oranges, and gala apples, day in, day out?
Be curious, discover more, and eat fresh. Here's a list of strange fruits from around the world to help you get yourself out of a fruit rut right now.
8 Unusual fruits from around the world
1. Blue banana
Do you remember the banana that broke the internet? The blue Java banana, widely known simply as the blue banana or ice cream banana, has a flesh with the consistency of ice cream and is flavoured with hints of vanilla. This banana gets its name from its blue-green skin when it is unripe, which gradually turns into a pale yellow, with a show white coloured flesh that can be eaten raw or cooked.
Many compare its taste with that of vanilla ice cream or vanilla pudding. Find blue banana growing tips and recipes here.
2. Buddha's hand
This bizarre looking fruit stands out from its citrus family with its odd appearance. Unlike other common citrus fruit, the buddha's hand has no juice or pulp when you cut into it, although it has a sweet, lemon blossom aroma and a mild-tasting pith meaning the fruit can be used whole.
3. Black Sapote
Pick a fruit, cut it in half, dip a spoon in it and have the sensation of tasting a good chocolate cake. That's the promise of the black sapote, a delicious fruit from Central America that tastes like chocolate pudding!
Black sapote is a green-skinned fruit with black, sticky pulp, commonly called chocolate pudding fruit. It is popular in Central America, and it is found mainly in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Guatemala.
This fruit is delicious in desserts, such as mousse, cake and smoothies. Read more about it here.
4. Canistel fruit
Canistel is a fruit native to southern Mexico and cultivated in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. It’s commonly known also as eggfruit, because of its flesh that is bright egg yolk-yellow colour and when ripe, is smooth and custardy, similar to a hard-boiled yolk.
Try making eggnog with it! Find out how to use this fruit here.
5. Banana passionfruit
The banana passionfruit looks just like a small plump banana on the outside and is filled with passionfruit on the inside. The orange pulp is studded with numerous black seeds and tastes tart and tangy. It goes by many names - in New Zealand it’s called banana passionfruit, in Hawaii banana poka, but in it’s native land in the Andes they call it curuba, curuba de Castilla, curuba saranera blanca amongst others.
The sorbete de curuba is a typical drink made with banana passionfruit in various parts of Central America. Find out how to make it here!
6. Kino (Kiwano / Horned Melon)
This horny, alien-like fruit is from the cucurbit family which includes melons, cucumbers, and squash. Originally a native of the Kalahari desert, it tastes like a mix of banana and kiwi, with cucumber–like seeds. Eaten fresh or in a fruit salad it can also be used as a sweet addition to salsa, but we also heard that it's fantastic in cocktails - mixed with cachaca it offers a cool twist on the traditional Caipirinha.
7. Hala fruit
And this exploding planet? It's called the hala fruit, a very unique, large edible fruit made up of numerous segments called keys or cones that is found in Southeast Asia, eastern Australia, Pacific Islands and Hawaii. The hala fruit is also called the Tahitian screw pine or thatch screwpine, and the fruit itself can be up to 30 cm long, with dozens to hundreds of segments (or phalanges, keys) that are attached together by a core.
The inner ends of the segments are edible, eaten by squeezing out the sweet pulp from the inside. It has a delicate, sweet taste. Hala fruit pulp can be eaten fresh, boiled or ground into a paste, or squeezed into juice. Read more about the hala fruit here.
The atemoya is a cross-breed of the sweetsop (sugar apple) and the cherimoya, and is a manmade half-breed that was originally engineered by horticulturist P.J. Wester in 1908. It's got a taste that's like a sweet vanilla apple, but with softer flesh, hence one of its nick names: the custard apple (it's also known in Taiwan as the pineapple sugar apple). Some liken it to a Pina Colada, and it definitely works well in cocktails in general.