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Cool/delicious fruits from around the world?

Ever encounter any insanely tasty or just plain weird fruits in your travels? In the winter of 2005, I had a delicious cherimoya-type-fruit in Brazil whose name I just can't seem to remember. It had green skin and black seeds like a normal cherimoya, but a bumpier, segmented texture on the outside, and it was out-of-this-world custardy and delicious.

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  1. I still remember my first ruby grapefruit in Bangkok in 1975.... Beyond heavenly!!!!

    We used to have them every morning for breakfast..Never ever found one here that comes anywhere close to the sweetness of those Thai ones all those years ago.

    1. My latest trip to Manila left me with a burning desire to find Philippine mango and chico here in California. Alas, as much as I adore the Mexican(?) mango readily available in the States, even the best cannot compare to perfectly ripe, juicy, intense Philippine mango. If anyone knows where I can find these, and other native-to-the-Philippines fruits, PLEASE advise!!

      7 Replies
      1. re: riceflour

        I don't know where you live, but here in Los Angeles, Philippine mangoes, also called "champagne" mangoes, are sold by the caseload at any Asian store worth its fish sauce... 99 Ranch, for example, Shun Fat, and Hong Kong Supermarket. A case usually contains 12-15 mangoes and costs about $10.

        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          Champagne mangoes! I've been staring at them for months now, wondering if they're the same thing.

          I'm in KTown, so 99Ranch is a bit of a drive, but HK Supermarket is right down the street. I'm heading there first thing tomorrow. Thanks again!

          BTW--any word on other fruits? Chico, especially. I have a great fondness for those bizarre, brown sugar-tasting bits of goodness.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Are those mangoes imported from the Philippines? I really haven't been to 99 Ranch recently. I know for a couple of years now they grow a variety in Mexico known as "manila" mangoes. It looks very much like the mangoes from the philippines, and really sweet. Actually, the best mangoes in the philippines are sweet, yet it still has some acidity that the "manila" mangoes lack. Some of the best mangoes in the philippines are from an island know as Guimaras. A couple of years ago, my brother bought me a case of mangoes imported from there. They were good, but not as good because they were harvested early for the travel.

            1. re: Rodeline

              I haven't tried the "Manila" mangoes yet, but I hope they're the same. The only time I've had the Philippine mangoes like the ones in the Philippines is throughout the rest of Asian--HK, Japan, etc. I'll give the "Manila" ones a try and report back.

              1. re: riceflour

                I don't know offhand if they're actually imported from the Philippines -- I don't have any in my kitchen right now -- but they are definitely more acidic than your "normal" rounder Mexican mangoes -- they pair really well with com tam nuoc dua (sweet broken rice cooked in coconut milk).

              2. re: Rodeline

                I've been told that those 'manila' mangoes are grown around Acapulco, and they actually originated from Manila, transplanted to Mexico during the Spanish era via the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade.

                1. re: aardvarkian

                  Ditto.... Phillipine style mangos have been cultivated in Mexico for about 400 years. Quite good.

          2. Papaya at Veracruz, Mexico.

            Nothing special or unique, but it was just so amazingly pure, fresh and sweet. Nothing like it here in the States.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ipsedixit

              I had the most amazing papaya in a fruit carving class I took in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It was unlike any papaya I've had before or since. I did a lot more eating than carving, and the school sent me back to my hotel with a tupperware full of the leftovers

            2. Lansones and rambutan from SE Asia, Acai products from Brasil, mangosteens from Burma, carambola, "mountain apples" from my childhood visits to Hawaii (no clue what they were), some small dark berries from here in Colombia--can't remember the name; after they became too expensive. AND...all the fruit here in Colombia.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                Sam,

                Funny, my first thought was of mountain apple because I always thought it was unique to hawaii.

                Per the referenced website: Native to Malaysia. Has been spread by humans through much of southeast Asia and the Pacific islands. Now common growing wild on the Hawaiian islands. The Malay apple (or mountain apple as it is known in Hawaii) was an important fruit of the Polynesians, and was later distributed to the America's on one of Captain Bligh's voyages.

                I also love "fresh" lychee, although alergies prevent me from eating more than one or two a year. And don't forget star fruit!

                1. re: KaimukiMan

                  HA! my mum sent me some star fruit in the post only a couple of weeks ago. whilst still aromatic and exotic, eating them was not as enjoyable as the smell and notion of them. schade

                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                    In Jamaica they call the Malay apple an Otaheite apple. It didnt have all that much flavor but the neighbor had a huge tree so we ate them.

                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                        Actually I miss having pomalaca, a fruit in Venezuela. From what I understand, it's malay apple as well. http://www.flickr.com/photos/billkral...

                        They're popular in Venezuela but they're not commercially grown, I believe. They still end up in some dishes nevertheless. I found some pomalaca trees growing in Miami, commercially, but I've yet to find any stores selling the fruits.

                        They're said to be rose-water flavored apples. I couldn't think of a better description.

                        Another fruit I enjoy is sapodilla (or nispero in Venezuela). It's said to taste like pear soaked in brown sugar. It's sweet, but makes for a good milk shake. I had a shake made out of that at Los Pinarenos fruit market in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood.

                    1. Rambutan, salaks and mangosteen...oh my, heaven. Many memories attached to eating them as well.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: maria lorraine

                        Isn't that funny.. I So don't consider mangosteens rare or unusual!!!! They, along with rambutans, custard apples, fresh lychees and more are all readily available her ein OZ!!!

                        1. re: purple goddess

                          Yes, but can you get bacuri, pupunha, camu-camu, babacu, and uxi? So there, take that pg!

                          1. re: purple goddess

                            You are indeed a lucky goddess, mangosteens and an outdoor oven! Just wondering if there are any fruits in North America that you enjoy and can't get in Oz... Soon we will be able to enjoy mangosteens here...irradiated ones.

                            1. re: maria lorraine

                              There are plenty of weird and exotic fruits in Queensland we can't get here in Melb.. chocolate pudding fruit, champagne melon, strawberry guavas, just to name a few...

                              1. re: purple goddess

                                The chocolate pudding fruit, is that something like the chocolate persimmon? I had a chocolate persimmon in Hawaii on the big island, it looked like a persimmon but the flesh was chocolate brown, and it had a milder taste than the regular persimmon.

                                I bought a mamey in one of th emarkets in Havana, and I have never seen it since. Is it available in the U.S, or Canada?

                                I also had what looked like a tiny Kiwi in south Korea once. I am assuming it is a chinese gooseberry. It was collected from the mountain side thatmorning, and was being sold in front of one of the temples. It was really sweet and much tastier than the regular kiwi!

                                1. re: moh

                                  Mamey is widely available in grocery stores in Miami. I've purchased it from a street vendor in a Latino neighborhood in DC. My favoirite kind of milk shake.

                                  1. re: moh

                                    Sounds like it. In Miami, I had something called sapote, a persimmon looking fruit but the inside was a very mild tasting chocolate looking thing. My preference is for the regular persimmon.

                                    1. re: Miss Needle

                                      Yes this sounds right. The more I learn about sapote, the more I am convinced that the Chocolate Persimmon I had was a type of sapote.

                          2. my first fresh lychee and yellow watermelon in taiwan, jamaica-lying on the beach in the morning with the ladies carrying the fruit in baskets on their head and having fresh coconut milk and the meat as well as papaya and mangoes, a fresh off the tree apple in upstate NY and in WA.

                            1. asian pears (don't know their korean names) the size of my head and juicy juicy overly ripe persimmons in korea

                              fruit is so underrated by the way. I always felt that a nice apple, orange, some watermelon, pears, peaches, etc made for a great and simple dessert.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: bitsubeats

                                I agree about fruit being underrated. When something is freshly picked, even as simple/plain as a red delicious apple, it's so good. I rarely cook fruit or do anything to it if it's fresh. Nature's candy.

                              2. The strangest fruit that I haven't yet tasted has to be the snot pomegranate, granada de moco, described to me by my Oaxacan sister in law. I hope some have tried it and can elaborate. Here's the thread from last year.

                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/28531...

                                1. Pommecythere ("golden apple) in Trinidad, growing in my mother-in-law's garden. Not that tasty but damn interesting.

                                  I had "gold kiwi" the other day and it was delicious- kind of a cross between a ripe pear and a little citrus, not really like a green kiwi at all.

                                  In western Canada we have saskatoon berries, which are a sort of savoury, big, red-purple blueberry. Grizzly bears love 'em.

                                  1. I have been craving a good Guanabana for weeks, probably ever since I heard Los Folkloristas version of the traditional song La Guanabana which compares it - in that sly Veracruz humor - with a woman's vagina.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                      Purple Goddess, the amazing fruit you had very well could have been soursop, also called guanabana in Spanish. This is absolutely the most amazing single fruit I've eaten. I had it fresh in Jamaica. it is illegal to import fresh into the US, I don't know why. Maybe because the seeds are toxic? Maybe because of a certain kind of bug? In Jamaica it is considered a natural tranquilizer. Indeed, after eating a soursop one afternoon, I did pass out in an idyl the rest of the day. The black seeds are in these tiny liquidy sacs. The fruit is green and bumpy, about the size of four pears, as opposed to sweetsop which is round and smoother, and the size of an orange. Soursop has an exotic tropical bitter/sour component in addition to its sweetness (like pineapple has). Anyway, frozen just isn't the same. Is not commercially grown in the US.

                                      1. re: Steve

                                        Interesting.... in Mexican culture... pregnant & menstruating women are advised against eating it.

                                        1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                          And in China, pregnant women are not supposed to eat watermelon as it's a "cold" food.

                                    2. Other than typical tropical fruits in pacific islands, soursop juice was a treat in the Bahamas. The soursop wasn't good to eat, though. They probably had a good laugh at the clueless tourist. I've had other fruits from farmers markets in the Caribbean but couldn't tell you what they were. Long time ago...

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: chowser

                                        Actually.... you have to know HOW to eat it =)

                                        1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                          How do you eat it? We didn't have a knife and it was challenging and not good. Then, we had the juice out and it was great.

                                          1. re: chowser

                                            Read my previous post and use your imagination.

                                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                              Ooooh, didn't tie the two together. Maybe I'll just stick with the juice...;-)

                                              1. re: chowser

                                                I have tasted the yellow meated watermelon from taiwan and it was
                                                good, but for watermelon my choice is the klondike watermelon they
                                                are so sweet and they are so crisp that you cant ship them without
                                                them breaking. so most of the time you have to get them from a
                                                local farmer. a moon and star melon ranks right up there in my book.

                                      2. Oh what I would give for some mangosteens right now...I just read an article on the NYT today and they said that US is going to allow imports of mangosteens and other exotic fruits from Thailand!! They said that the fruits should be available sometime in Sept. I am patiently awaiting its arrival...(or maybe impatiently =X)

                                        1. -- Tunas, a fruit from the paddle cacti, are just beautiful things, with the texture of a kiwi, but with red flesh.

                                          -- Chicozapotes, this amazingly black and tangy fruit that we use to make "petrol" hehehe.. which is pured chicozapote that is served cold, cold!

                                          -- Mamey, which is a brown, heavy fruit with sweet flesh (and the insides of the giant seed can be used as mascara)

                                          But by far the weirdest fruit I´ve had here is the "higo del desierto" a fruit that sprouts at the top of saguaro cacti. They look really disgusting.. but inside you find the sweetest treat: honey-like, molasses-colored, alegría tasting.

                                          I also remember a fruit you had to suck on for hours and hours, releasing the gooey flesh, but i can´t remember the name.

                                          And of course, I do love Durian. =)

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: mirilara

                                            "alegría tasting"

                                            Alegrias? Like the popped Amaranth seed cakes? Nice... nutty and sweet that is fairly unusual.

                                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                              Yeah.. wierd, particularly because you simply do not expect it from what the fruit looks like.

                                            2. re: mirilara

                                              Do you know if Chicozapote is aka Zapote Negro? In that case you can also include Zapote Blanco on the list.

                                              An observation on Tunas.... there are many heritage varieties (including ones which are almost seedless)... that never make it NOB. I bet if they were better differented and marketed it could become more popular. U.S. virigins are usually positively surprised with the flavor (at least realtive to its appearance)... as they are extremely refreshing.

                                              If I ever win the lottery.... I will buy up a bunch of farmland and grow Nopales and Tunas commerically... then maybe I will be able to get Nopalitos instead of Rice at most Mexican joints!

                                              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                I think most Americans that have visited do fall in love with Tunas, and I think it is the surprise factor, you know, looking at this green, almost spiny oval, and then voilà, this amazing green or red fruit inside. =)

                                                Guanabana, is also pretty fun.
                                                Dragon fruit, pitajaya.. it makes me smile when I walk by the marchantas in the market.
                                                Nanches, they sell them of carretas in the street... never been a fan, per se, but it is good to see children eat them.

                                                On nopales, since our marchanta brings them over every other day, I don´t think I wanna see nopales anywhere else.. hehehe!

                                                But good luck with your cacti farm. Grow saguaros as well.. Or, de hecho, come down to Tehuacan, we have the largest endemic cacti biosphere in the world. =)

                                                And we are the cradle of the corn! hehehe!

                                            3. I love fruits and my ultimate favorite fruit is called a star apple. As a child in the philippines, I remember just staring up at the tree and seeing the round fruits with green or purple shiny outer skin. The inside has a custardy pulp and the seeds are wrapped in this tranlucent gelatinous sack that you can also eat. It is also grown in Veitnam, the ones that I've bought here at the asian markets are frozen and are from there.

                                              In my last couple trips to the Philippines, I have had the oppurtunity to see many different fruit trees. There's the red and yellow varieties of rambutan. There's a bell shaped fruit called 'tambis' in my dialect, Ilongo. Different varieties of mangoes, too bad that my trips have not coincide with mango season(one day I hope to attend the mango festival in Guimaras). The cashew tree has also not been in season with my trips(the nut comes with a fruit that I want to taste). In one of the markets, I bought a variety of banana called 'ladies finger'. The jackfruit is amazing in that it is a really large fruit that grows in a tree(you wouldn't want one of these fruits fall on your head). There's a little tiny fruit called 'ceresa', which has a honey taste. Other fruits that I had on these trips is chico, mangosteen, and guayabano.

                                              What's really funny is that most of these fruits are considered backyard fruit? I remember that look on the people that had the yellow rambutan in there yard, that we actually wanted to buy their fruit. And they were puzzled that I was taking pictures, both stills and video.

                                              10 Replies
                                              1. re: Rodeline

                                                Lady fingers are the best banana on the planet.

                                                1. re: Rodeline

                                                  I was told that the cashew was poisonous without being treated (as in when they process the nuts).

                                                  1. re: kmh

                                                    Not really... the cashew apple is edible as is, but the nut's shell contains urushiol, which is the irritant in poison ivy. So they shell the nuts and then they boil them or roast them to make sure the urushiol is neutralised. Mango sap also contains urushiol, which is why some people can't handle mangoes.

                                                    (Ah, the things you learn on cashew farms in Hawaii...)

                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                      ...and living in North Queensland!
                                                      the mango sap is definitely problematic, and recently my father (after years of handling them) had an awful reaction whilst peeling, packing and freezing them! b/c our mango (summer) season is at christmas, we now call him mangoman at christmas time as his face was swollen his eyes turned to tiny slits, and if you squinted hard enough he looked a bit mango-like, but yes the sap is truly awful.

                                                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                        we have cashew farms in Hawaii???? wow, I never knew!

                                                        1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                          On the Big Island, Puna coast, down makai from Pahoa.

                                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                            thanks DU. did a websearch, but didnt find anything... perhaps i didn't dig far enough!

                                                    2. re: Rodeline

                                                      I love star apple (or caimito as we called it). It was definitely a "childhood memory" fruit along with aratilis, duhat and tambis (or macopa). We also had star fruits in our backyard.

                                                      I miss the variety of fruits you can get in the Philippines. Durian, mangosteen, guyabano, atis, lanzones, camachile, and of course, the best mangoes in the world :-)

                                                      1. re: Rodeline

                                                        We used to also eat something called a star apple in Jamaica. It sounds like the same thing. Here the type of persimmon that you need to let get soft first reminds me of it also.

                                                        We also ate the fruit of a sapodilla tree that we called "Nazeberry" which maybe is the same as black sapote? Fuzzy skin and almost a cinnamony flavor.

                                                        1. re: mlgb

                                                          That's the same star apple. I know to look for it, just in case one day, I travel to Jamaica.

                                                      2. Fresh, golden pineapple on the northern Ecuadorean beach- they sold for 30 cents so us gringas, came covered in tiny crawling ants, and posessed the most unbelievable punchy perfume- vanilla and orange as well as essense of luxuriantly ripe pineapple. Bananas were a penny each, and sold bright green but perfectly ripe. It was all we ate for a week.

                                                        In Samoa recently I was disappointed by the paucity of fruit. The open market in Apia was packed with muddy taro and other, less identifiable rootlike things; little piles of tobacco all in rows; some coconuts and smallish,browning bananas. I bought imported fruit juice from Oz. : (

                                                        1. Funny how I was just wondering about a particular fruit I had last night. I'd never seen it before and the friend who brought it doesn't know what it is either. Any ideas anyone?

                                                          http://feedingtheboys.blogspot.com/20...

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: ctl98

                                                            I was reading your blog and "ulud" is also translated as worm in the Ilongo dialect. The do look like little worms, but probably didn't taste like one. I hope one day to run into this strange ulud fruit.

                                                            1. re: Rodeline

                                                              ..and "uuod" in Cebuano, "ulod" in Tagalog.

                                                          2. The sour cherries in Iran are my favorite fruit, aside from pomegranates. :)

                                                            Unfortunately, I have only had them twice in LA (both times brought over from a private farm). If I could grow my own tree, I would.

                                                            The sour cherry is about 1/3 the size of a regular cherry, bright red, and very tart. I love sour cherries.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: katkoupai

                                                              La Brea Bakery makes chocolate and sour cherry bread--a proper yeast bread, not some cakey quick bread thing. I've had it, and it's great! The cherries' sourness is somewhat tempered by the cocoa flavor, so they may not quite suit your needs. But the loaf I sampled had some rather tart cherries, indeed!

                                                              1. re: riceflour

                                                                Neat. I have seen dried "sour cherries" in Persian markets in LA, but they are not the same as the ones in Iran. The ones is Iran have far more tang and bite to them and are a different fruit.

                                                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sour_cherry

                                                                I sometimes wonder if they just take regular cherries here in LA and call them "sour."

                                                                I must check this sour cherry bread that you mention out. Thanks for the post. :)

                                                                1. re: katkoupai

                                                                  Well, after saying that I've only seen fresh sour cherries in LA twice, I now stand corrected. I bought some fresh ones from Jordan Market in Westwood today. Sour cherries are now grown in California. I'm very happy. :-)

                                                                  Jordan Market
                                                                  (310) 478-1706
                                                                  1449 Westwood Blvd
                                                                  Los Angeles, CA 90024

                                                            2. Ugandan pineapples - I'm a huge fan of pineapple in general but the ones you get in Uganda are ultra-sweet and extra tasty -particularly good when juiced and served over ice on a hot African afternoon.

                                                              And also (although it's not technically a fruit) sugar cane - delicious!

                                                              1. I miss the white pineapples from the Big Island of Hawaii -- they're so much sweeter than the standard yellow kind that there's no comparison.

                                                                1. Guineps in Jamaica. They are one strange fruit. The grow in clusters like grapes, in a hard green shell that you pop open. The pulp is a pinky fleshy color. If they are not ripe enough, you get a mouth full of cotton. Ripe they are sweet, can't really describe the flavor but they were refreshing.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: mlgb

                                                                    These are being sold by street vendors in nyc at the moment.
                                                                    "Ripe they are sweet, can't really describe the flavor but they were refreshing" ...
                                                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mamoncillo

                                                                    1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis

                                                                      Yes that's them!. Strange that they don't warn about the mouthful of cotton on the unripe ones.

                                                                  2. I'm still shocked at the number of people that have never tried or even heard of an asian/korean pear.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: kmh

                                                                        Yes! And everyone I've gotten to try a bite, has been hooked.

                                                                    1. My poor husband grabbed a prickly pear from a tree in southern italy a few years ago. We had one served to us the night before and it was great-thought we'd just pick it off the tree-oops!

                                                                      1. Another well-known but not easily found fruit are loquats. Typically you can find trees growing here and there and you can pick the fruit off, but I haven't been able to find them in stores.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Bunson

                                                                          I've never seen loquats for sale -- everyone in our area has at least one loquat tree.

                                                                        2. Two years ago, in Mexico, I had the best fruit/drink experience of my life. We'd spent the
                                                                          entire day swimming and boating in 90+ temperatures, so at the end of the day we stopped at a local watering hole for a quick drink. This place had mangos the size of my head that they had literally just picked. The bartender opened one up, sliced it up, and threw it in a blender with Tequila and lime, and a few other items. He produced what was possibly the most incredible drink ever with some chunks of fresh mango still in the drink. I'd stab those with my straw and suck them up. Yum!! It was so good, everyone in our party ordered one too. We still chat about that drink to this day.

                                                                          Needless to say, there wasn't a drop left.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: kkak

                                                                            Now that was an authentic Mango Petacon experience.... the stuff we get here is often referred to as Petacon variety... but they are a different animal.

                                                                          2. Hi Operagirl.... that may have been an Antemoya?

                                                                            Another intersting one that I just remembered is the Mocambo. Its related to Cacao & Kola Nuts.... it bears a fruit used in cold Atoles. Its seeds can be roasted to and resembles chocolate... but mostly its used as underbrush for Cacao & Coffee in the Shade Grown method.

                                                                            Not as interesting are the various Cherries including Yellow Cherries native to Mexico & Central America. But there is a rare berry that makes anything sour you eat afterwards... taste sweet for some time period.

                                                                            1. Love Star fruit,Lychees,Longans,fresh Mangos,Mangosteen(only had it in can)this fruit is weird I ate a can and my health felt like it improved and I felt stronger,its supposed to be good for alot of things.It better be good it cost like 3$s a can.

                                                                              1. I love granadilla (or as my son calls it "fruta de moco"). It's slimy and aromatic and delicious--we get them in Spain. Really all of the edible passiflora varieties are great:

                                                                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_gr...

                                                                                1. I consider myself a fruitaholic and have tried over 200 different species of fruit, domesticated and wild, in my travels around the globe (yes, I keep a list of all these fruits, call me crazy!) in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. I can't possible list all the fruits I love, but I'll try to answer a few questions posted here and list a few of my favorites. Some can be seen at http://nat.myphotos.cc/fruit

                                                                                  Questions/confusing names first:
                                                                                  - chico = sapodilla = naseberry (nazeberry), but not black sapote. Sapote is a muddled term used for any tropical apple-sized fruit with a mushy sweet flesh, and there are many in different families. Black or chocolate sapote is in the persimmon family, mamey sapote is in the chicle family, white sapote is in the citrus family, and the orange sapote of Peru is totally different from the mamey sapote (also orange) of the Caribeean.
                                                                                  - Graviola (portuguese) = Guanabana (spanish) = Soursoup (english) and this is an excellent fruit with melting white grainy flesh around dark smooth black seeds, enclosed in a soft-spined green skin, closely related to the also delicious cherimoya, atemoya, and custard apple. I made sure to have graviola sorbet everyday in Brazil because it's so melting, creamy, and mildly acidic. I see this once and a while fresh in chinatown in the summer.
                                                                                  - the mountain apples mentioned in Hawaii here are the same as the tambis from the Philippines, and are also called malay apples or mamey in Peru. They are in the Guava family. There is a closely related rose apple with white flesh found in the hills of Hawaii as well that has a hint of rose water a bit like lychees.
                                                                                  - Loquats are now sold in stores in NYC's CHinatown, but hard to fathom at $6/lb when they are falling off trees uneaten all over california!
                                                                                  - Mocambo or Macambo or Patashte (in the Yucatan/Mexico) is definitely a cacao/cocoa/chocolate relative used in all of latin america, though mostly a minor fruit except in Mayan areas where it is still considered sacred. It's white pulp is pretty tasty, but not as good, IMHO as the pulp of the cacao fruit surrounding the cacao beans, which, unfortunately is discarded in most places, or used to ferment the cacao beans. In Brazilian Suco (smoothie) shops you can get a cacao pulp smoothie which is delicious and rich, though nothing like chocolate.

                                                                                  Some of my other favorites are:
                                                                                  - Mangosteen, much discussed. I especially liked the wild orange mangosteen I found in a national forest in Laos: http://nat.myphotos.cc/fruit/mediafil...
                                                                                  - Taperiba, jocote, or hog plum- a close mango relative makes an amazing ice cream in Belem, Brazil, and I had an indescribably delicious juice of it in Iquitos, Peru.
                                                                                  - Inga, ice cream bean, or guaba (in Peru, not to be confused with Guava), a legume with green pods up to 4' long filled with dark purple seeds surrounded by sweet fluffy white flesh, perhaps more reminiscent of cotton candy than ice cream
                                                                                  - Sweet grenadilla, fruta de moco, mentioned here, definitely deserving of the name 'mucus fruit' given the texture, but sooo good, refreshing, sweet, and still a bit of that tang of the standard passionfruit they're related to.
                                                                                  - pineapple guava, originally from S. Brazil, but now grown as a hedge all over California. The white with pink blushed flowers taste like candied violets straight off the tree, and the egg shaped green fruit is very fragrant and spicy like its Guava relatives
                                                                                  - langsat or duku, a unique fruit of northern SE Asia in Thailand and Laos, looks a bit like a white longan, but has segments inside that taste like grapefruit w/out the bitterness. Very refreshing in the tropical heat
                                                                                  - juneberries, service berry, shadbush- a native shrub of the US that has excellent little blueberry-looking fruit in June that taste like a cross of apples and raspberries. Starting to be used in parks all around NYC, but few know how delicious they are!

                                                                                  See, I told you I could go on forever! So many fruit, so little time!

                                                                                  1. Chirimoya (and chirimoya ice cream) and red mangoes in Bolivia. Strawberries in Norway & Finland. The near 24 hrs. of sunshine make them incredibly big, sweet & juicy.

                                                                                    1. Nespole, insanely juicy Figs and Prickly Pear in Sicily; Strawberries in Norway (taste way different than those here the US); Yuzu and Amanatsu in Japan; and those tart Michigan cherries- not too "weird", but my favorite hard-to-find fruit of all :)

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                                        Ah, yeah, nespole = loquat, definitely a delicious cross of a pear and a peach in taste!

                                                                                        1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                                          Oh yes, cherries! From the steep mountains of Sognefjord to the San Juan mountain vallies of the San Juans in sw Colorado. Queen Anns.
                                                                                          Jersey tomatoes and peaches, Maine blueberries.

                                                                                        2. I can't say it's unique or weird, but it is insanely tasty. Romania has the best watermelon I've ever had. They sell it all over the place in the summer and the vendors will cut a pyramid-shaped chunk straight out of the middle of the melon you pick and let you sample. If you don't like it, pick another. We never had to. They are all good. The farmers know exactly when to pick them. Problem? I now nearly can't stand the often mushy, flavorless watermelon we get here. Sigh.