1. Buddha's Hand - beautiful but tasteless
This fruit is commonly found in
or Northern parts of India.
It goes by a few names including Fingered Citron and Bushukan but we think Buddha's Hand is by far the coolest and certainly the most apt. This fruit is
made up of long finger like sections that all grow from the same base giving
the illusion of a multi-fingered hand. When it comes to eating it, this citrus fruit is nothing
like your average orange or lemon. It has no juice or pulp, it is essentially
made up of skin and pith. However unlike all other citrus fruit, the pith of
the Buddha's Hand is not bitter. The fruit is often candied, dried or canned and
used to complete all manner of sweet and savoury dishes. This fruit is also
extremely fragrant; many Japanese and Chinese families place this fruit around
the home as it gives off a pleasant smell.
2. Miracle Fruit - miraculously changes the way you taste....
From the name of this fruit you can tell that we’re about to fill you in on something very special indeed! The Miracle Fruit is a form of berry found in
West Africa, it has a plum red
outer and lightly sweet taste. However the real wonder occurs after you've eaten it. Miracle fruit has a miraculous effect on the taste-buds which alters
the tastes of foods we’re all accustomed to. After eating miracle fruit you’ll
find that bitter and sour foods taste sweet. Just imagine a fresh lemon
suddenly begin as sweet as a lemon drop or a pint of Guinness being as sweet as
The secret behind the miracle lies in a glycoprotein called miraculin. This binds to your taste-buds and acts a sweetness inducer when it makes contacts with the acids found in sour foods. The effects only last 30-90 minutes
3. Kiwano Melon - looks like it came from outer space
This fruit looks like it was conjured up to play the baddie in a forties B movie. The severe spiked skin and the luminous green jelly like flesh certainly set it apart as one of the most striking fruits around. Also known as the Horned Melon, Horned Cucumber and English Tomato (not sure what that name is about!) this fruit is native to
but is now grown in warm climes across the globe. The taste of the kiwano melon
is likened to cucumber and it contains many large white seeds which are
completely edible. The best way to eat your kiwano melon is to slice it in half
and scoop out the flesh with a spoon.
4. Ugli Fruit - the name says it all
It’s pretty difficult not to judge a book by its cover when its title is as off putting as this one. The look and name of the Ugli fruit doesn't fill me with much culinary confidence. However this mottled yellow-brown dry looking skin is loosely wrapped around a sweet citrus offering. The fruit is made up of generously sized segments and sports a sweet tangy flavour and a pulpy texture. The name Ugli is in fact just a trading name for what is really a Jamaican tangelo – similarly to how Pink Lady is a trading name for a pink crisp apple. The Jamaican tangelo is a hybrid of a pomelo, an orange and a tangerine. When the creators discovered this fruit, they thought it deserved the name Ugli!
5. Durian - one whiff and you'll run a mile
The durian is native to
Indonesia where it is commonly
known by the deceptive name of ‘King Of Fruits.’ The reason we've dubbed this
moniker misleading lies in the smell. The durian fruit possesses a pong which
sees it banned from hotels, bars and public places all over South
East Asia. The smell has been likened to all manner of unsavoury
items from damp clothes, gym socks, rotten onions and even turpentine.
Basically, it’s so gross no one can quite put their finger on it. The
surprising thing however is that if you can get past the smell, not only do you
deserve a medal, you will also be rewarded with a creamy texture and almond
6. Jabuticaba - we promise this has not been photo shopped
The weirdness of this fruit lies mainly in the way it grows. The jabuticaba is a form of grape which grows on the Brazilian Grape Tree. Unlike the grapes we’re used to eating in the
UK, jabuticabas do not grow in
bunches and grow directly from the trunk of the tree rather than its branches.
The fruits are dark purple and have a thick skin and have pleasant sweet taste.
Similarly to grapes these fruits are also made into jellies, jams and wine.
7. Monster Fruit - perfect if you like a challenge
The monster fruit - or monstera deliciousa to be technical - could be one of the weirdest fruits we've ever come across. It is native to tropical rainforests and has since been introduced to a range of tropical areas across the globe including
This is one of those fruits which requires a little extra effort to eat it. First you need to prise it from the surrounding leaves and vines, but be careful. The potassium oxalate content in both can be an irritant to the skin causing rashes. The fruit itself, which looks like a green ear of corn, is covered with scales which need to be peeled away or left to fall off. Once this is done you are left with a sweet fruit with a similar taste and texture to pineapple.
8. Aguaje Fruit - could this signal the end of cosmetic surgery?
Want a curvier behind? Then the aguaje fruit may be the thing for you – that is if you believe the hype. According to beauty ‘experts’ around the world, the reason Peruvian women are so curvy is because they grow up eating aguaje fruit. This has led to aguaje capsules, extracts and powders being snapped up by women around the world wanting to boost their assets.
In real science terms, this fruit does have some great benefits. It has 3 times the amount of vitamin A than a carrot and the oil from this fruit contains high levels of essential fatty acids. To get these benefits you need to peel away the dark red scales to reveal the bright yellow insides.
9. Noni Fruit - the most super fruit of them all
We've all heard the term super fruit being banded around recently, but when it comes to the noni fruit, it really is a superstar. The American Cancer Society even list it as a complementary medicine that can be used to fight cancers, heart disease, diabetes and psoriasis just to name a few.*
The noni fruit also know as Great Morinda and Indian Mulberry grows in Hawaii, Indonesia, Malaysia the Philippines and other countries with tropical climates. The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked, in sweet or savoury dishes. Like the durian it's known for having a pretty foul smell, however the numerous health benefits make it worth putting up with the pong.
10. Custard Apple - the most delicious fruit known to man?
The custard apple is native to the
and was described as ‘the most delicious fruit known to man’ by American author, Mark Twain. This fruit is the size of a grapefruit and is made up of a
soft white flesh and large shiny seeds. The seeds are inedible, but once removed make way
for an ultimate taste sensation. The flavour has been described as a cross between
strawberry, banana, pineapple papaya and peach. With flavours like that we
reckon it should be renamed the smoothie apple. Sounds delicious!
11. Bread Fruit - tastes pretty bad which means it's good for you, obviously
Another striking looking fruit hailing from
South East Asia which takes its name from the potato-like
flavour it takes on once it’s cooked. This bright green fruit is the size of a football
and grows in it’s hundreds on every bread fruit tree. It’s a starch rich fruit which is packed full of energy but when it comes to taste, it is severely lacking.
To make a decent meal from breadfruit, you need to smoother it in butter,
cheese, oil or salt making it not to healthy after all
12. Safou - a fruit to end world hunger?
The safou fruit is also referred to as an African Pear, African Plum and the more telling – butter fruit. This is because the safou is high in fat and amino acids giving it a creamy buttery texture. This native fruit to west and central
Africa has even been hailed as a key tool for preventing hunger in starving nations with non-profit groups
promoting is as a worthy crop to farmers and land owners. It is a calorie
dense fruit full of essential nutrients and vitamins. It is also very versatile
with the flavour lending itself to sweet and savoury dishes.
13. Akebi Fruit - the prettiest things often lack substance
This magical looking fruit is only found in the north of
and only appears for a few weeks a year in early autumn. Once thought of as scavenger
food, it is now cultivated and sold mainly in specialised fruit shops in Japan – no doubt
for a lot of money! The Akebi fruit is made up of a striking purple pod which
contains a cloudy white flesh inside. It
also contains a large amount of small edible black seeds which are hard to remove.
As the fruit itself is not particularly sweet, it can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. Culinary wiz kids all over
Japan have done
everything from stuffing it to deep frying it.
14. Cupuacu - creamy, cocoa, pineapple. Delicious
Like chocolate and pineapple? That’s the exact flavour mix you can expect when you eat a cupuacu fruit. If deliciousness isn't enough to get you tempted, this fruit is packed full with anti-oxidants vitamins - B1, B2, B3, A and C - amino and fatty acids and nutrients that can boost the immune system, lower cholesterol and improve the appearance of skin and hair.
This large melon sized fruit is grown in the rainforests of the Amazon,
Peru and Brazil. Once
opened, there is an abundance of creamy soft white flesh
15. Ackee - Jamaica's national (slightly toxic) fruit
The ackee fruit is a Jamaican delicacy which is always treated as a vegetable. This fruit has even found fame as one of the main ingredients in the countries national dish – ackee and salt-fish. Once ripe the pods burst open on the tree to reveal three large shiny black seeds surrounded by a yellow flesh. It is this scrambled egg like substance that we eat, other parts of the fruit are highly toxic. The texture is soft and buttery, and it has a light smoky taste.
Have you tasted any of these? Let us know in the comments