Tropical fruits. Delicious. Juicy. Exotic. Is it any wonder why people go crazy for tropical fruits? Thankfully, you don’t need to live south of the Equator to get your hands on some of these healthy and vitamin-packed tropical fruits. Most of them are available in your local supermarket.
So if you’re looking for a tasty alternative to an ordinary apple or orange, then go ahead and try out some of the tropical fruits on this list. Trust us – you won’t regret it!
What Are Tropical Fruits
By definition, tropical fruits are fruits that grow in humid areas. More specifically, when we talk about tropical fruit, we are talking specifically about fruits that are grown in the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer regions. This includes: Africa, Asia, South American, Central America, Oceania, and the Caribbean.
Tropical fruits encompass a wide range of fruits. Some are super sweet and some are more on the citrusy side. Some are very juicy while other have a more fibrous texture. Some are only found in their native regions, but most are imported to other countries, so people everywhere can experience all the amazing tastes and textures of the tropics.
What Some Common Types of Tropical Fruits
The world of tropical fruits is vast and varied. But some of the more common tropical fruits are pineapples, kiwis, bananas, avocados, papayas, and the mangoes. These fruits are widely available and are used in cuisine all over the world.
They are sold fresh, frozen, and even canned. Common tropical fruits added to things like fruit salads, dips, and smoothies. Some common tropical fruits are great in salsas, like pineapples and mangoes. And some are just eaten on their own as a snack, like bananas.
Why Should I Eat Tropical Fruits
Tropical fruits are jam-packed with essential vitamins and minerals. A lot of tropical fruits also contain high water content, so they are hydrating as well.
Eating tropical fruits has been known to help maintain good blood pressure, help keep the digestive system healthy, and even, in some cases, lower the risk of both heart disease and some types of cancers. In short, tropical fruits are a delicious way to incorporate healthy foods into your diet. Plus, they taste amazing!
If you would like to explore the world of tropical fruit (outside of the average banana), then read on because we’ve compiled a list of some of the world’s most wonderful – and lesser known – tropical fruits.
The World’s Best Tropical Fruits You Should Try
1) Australian Finger Limes
These little limes are also sometimes called ‘citrus caviar’. Australian Finger limes are oval-shaped and don’t look too amazing from the outside. But inside this amazing tropical fruit are little pearls. And when you bite into an Australian Finger Lime, the little pearls burst in your mouth.
Australian Finger Limes are native to Australia, where they grow along the coast. They taste a lot like other citrus fruits; they are tangy and acidic. But the little pearls can be used as a fancy garnish for dishes, since they come in a variety of colors, from green to red, to yellow, to pink.
In fact, Australian Finger Limes are being used in high-end restaurants by Michelin chefs because they add texture to a dish, and they’re lovely to look at. If you haven’t tried an Australian Finger Lime, then you really should.
2) Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruits are beautiful, tasty, and tropical through and through. They are native to South America, Central America, and Southern Mexico. They have a brilliant red peel, and a stunning white flesh speckled with little black seeds. The peel removes easily and the flesh inside is juicy and sweet.
Red is the most common color, but Dragon Fruit also comes in purple and yellow, and some varieties have a red flesh. Dragon fruits are pretty mild, so they’re an excellent addition to other dishes with strong flavors. They work great in salsas, too! Or, they’re great on their own too, as a healthy snack.
Dragon fruits are really popular in Asia, and are becoming more and more popular in North America. Most supermarkets have them, so if you haven’t tried dragon fruit before, you can likely find it at your local supermarket.
Cherimoya comes from Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, and Columbia, where it is known as ‘custard apple’. Cherimoyas have a really creamy texture and for this reason, they are likened to ice cream.
Cherimoyas are decadent and dreamy, with an extremely sweet flavor profile. What do they taste like? Well, people say they’re kind of like a cross between strawberries, mangoes, peaches, papayas, and bananas.
Cherimoya can be added to anything sweet, really, like cakes, pastries, or fruit salads. The best way to eat this ice-creamy fruit? Simply open it up and scoop out the flesh with a spoon.
If you want to go vegetarian and want an alternative to tofu, then look no further than the versatile Jackfruit! Jackfruit is a massive tropical fruit that can weigh as much as fifty pounds! In fact, Jackfruit is ‘the largest tree-borne fruit on the planet’.
Jackfruit has a pale, yellow flesh with a pretty hardy texture. For this reason, jackfruit is quickly becoming a great substitute for meat. Some people claim the texture is a lot like pork or chicken. And, unlike meat, jackfruit is really low in fat and has no cholesterol at all, so it’s a really heart-healthy alternative to fatty meats.
The other way you can eat jackfruit it let it ripen and then just eat it fresh the way you would any other fruit. Jackfruit is a great addition to salads, desserts, and smoothies because it’s nice and sweet. So whether you eat it as a healthier alternative to meat or toss it into a smoothie, jackfruit is a tropical fruit you really should try.
Mangosteens are sometimes called ‘The Queen of Fruit’ and for good reason! Mangosteens have a unique taste unto their own. What does a mangosteen taste like? Well, it’s often described as tasting like a cross between a strawberry, a pineapple, lychee, and a peach.
If that isn’t tropical, we don’t know what is! Mangosteens can be a little hard to find because they’re tricky to import, but they are becoming more commonplace, especially in Asian specialty markets. Mangosteens are a ‘must try’ for anyone who wants to experience the rare and exotic flavor profile of a truly wonderful and unique tropical fruit.
6) Hala Fruit
If you have a sweet tooth, then Hala Fruit is right up your alley. Hala fruit is so sweet, some people say it’s just as sweet as sugar.
Hala Fruit is a tropical fruit that comes and grows in Australia, Hawaii, and the Marshal Islands.
The fruit resembles a pineapple on the inside, with colorful segments. Hala fruit can be eaten fresh, or it can be juiced. It’s a truly beautiful fruit that’s packed with vitamin C so it won’t just satisfy your sweet tooth, it will also help fulfill your daily recommended Vitamin C requirements.
If you’ve never heard of Cupuacu, then you’re likely not alone. This bizarre tropical fruit grows in the Amazon rainforest. It’s very popular in Brazil, but not so much in other parts of the world.
However, if you come across cupuacu, then you really should give it a try. Why? Because this fruit tastes like chocolate. For this reason, it’s great in desserts. It’s also often juiced because it’s very sweet.
It may be a little hard to find, though, because it’s not very common outside of its native home. But if you’re one of the millions of people that love chocolate, then it’s worth seeking out this amazing tropical fruit.
The look of a rambutan might be a little off-putting, but this tropical fruit is a Malaysian treat. Covered in bright red ‘spinterns’, the rambutan doesn’t look like something someone would eat.
But rest assured, the flesh of the rambutan is sweet and juicy. Most people say rambutan’s taste like grapes; they’re just a lot bigger. Rambutans can be stewed into jams and jellies, reduced into sauce, added to soups, canned, or just eaten raw. So they’re pretty versatile, too.
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There are tons of strange and wonderful tropical fruits out there for you to try! Some are sweet, some are citrusy, and some are creamy and unusual, but they all have one thing in common – tropical fruits are very healthy.
Tropical fruits can be a great way to add some natural sweetness to your diet without adding all the refined sugar that comes with unhealthy foods, like cakes and cookies. Tropical fruits are also very hydrating, so they’re perfect after a work-out, or as a snack for the kids on a hot summer day. Plus, tropical fruits are high in vitamins and nutrients, so eating them is good for your body.
So the next time you want to try something new, or you’re craving something sweet, head on down to your local supermarket and pick up some tropical fruits. Who knows? You just might find yourself a new favorite snack.