The world is an exceptionally vast and diverse place, and its fruits are no exception. From the tart and refreshing rambutan to the sweet and creamy durian, there is a wide assortment of fruits to be found all over the globe.
If you want to expand your culinary horizons, take a bite out of one of these exotic fruits.
Rambutan has spiky-looking hairs on the outside that might be off-putting to some. However, there’s no need to worry because their spikes won’t hurt you. Also known as “chôm chôm,” which means “messy hair” in Vietnamese, Rambutans have a similar flavor and texture to lychee, with a juicy and soft interior. Rambutans can easily be eaten by peeling back the thin outer layer and enjoying the delicious fruit inside.
Longan is a superfood that resembles lychee with its juicy translucent interior. Longans grow in grape-like clusters, meaning you can enjoy eating a whole bunch at once!
Durian is a fruit with a unique aromatic scent. While some people flee the scene when a durian appears, others find these smells intoxicating and intriguing. Want to figure out what group you belong to? Take a bite (or two) of this fruit’s creamy and custardy flesh and find out. If biting this fruit doesn’t sound appealing, you can try durian in alternative forms, for example, in delicious desserts like durian ice cream.
True to their name, star fruits are shaped like a star when you cut them, which is why they’re so popular, especially among children. Besides their fun shape, star fruits are tasty and subtle, resembling flavors similar to plums and citrus fruit. Star fruits are also entirely edible; you can eat this whole fruit from their skin to the flesh to their seeds.
Pomelo is like grapefruit, but seven times the size, often weighing around 2 to 4 pounds. Pomelos have a thick outer layer, and once you get through it, you’ll be rewarded with a massive juicy surprise that will convince you this exotic fruit is the best citrus you have ever tried.
Kumquats are bite-sized mini citrus wonders that are more tart than other citrus fruits and have an edible peel! Eating a kumquat’s peel tastes like an orange peel but sweeter and more tender. Whether you like eating fruit peels or not, it is nice to pop the whole fruit in your mouth without worrying about peeling. You can find kumquats seasonally on supermarket shelves.
Dragon fruit is another stunning fruit with a surprisingly subtle flavor. They have a sweet and sour taste similar to kiwis, and you can find them in fruit bowls or smoothies. Fun fact: Dragon fruit is Vietnam’s national fruit!
Sapodillas are unamusing with their sunset-colored flesh but have a sugary interior with a tasty punch. This exotic fruit is native to Central America and tastes like a sweeter version of caramelized pears, making it the perfect healthy dessert.
Persisimmons look like a tomato on the outside, but they have a completely different internal texture. Persimmons have a sweet firm flesh that will surely please every person who takes a bite of it. You can slice up your persimmon and enjoy it alone or let it ripen until it’s softer and has developed a sweetened flavor, almost like a cantaloupe.
Guavas can be an exotic apple replacement thanks to their incredibly refreshing and mildly sweet flavor. It can be enjoyed by itself or added raw into different dishes like salads. Native to Mexico and Central America, this tropical fruit brings an exotic touch to everyday meals.
Passionfruit bursts with a delicious tart and sweet flavor. This exotic hidden gem should be a pantry staple based on its taste alone. Passionfruit can be easily converted into a component for savory dishes and desserts, bringing a fresh zing to any recipe.
Unlike other fruit on this list, mangosteens have a unique sweet and tangy flavor. This exotic fruit has a bright white flesh under its hardy outer skin. Once you try mangosteen, you’ll find yourself loving it quickly, which is excellent as it offers many health benefits.
This originally appeared on Planet Natural.
Melissa Pino is a biologist, master gardener, and regular contributor for Planet Natural. Melissa's work focuses on promoting environmentally-friendly practices, helping people create healthy gardens and finding ways to achieve overall health and wellness.