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Jul 9, 2011 08:31 PM

Exotic Fruit

A discussion on the local Montreal board recently clued me in to a certain kind of mango available only at a certain time of year, that apparently is the best evah. Without this board I would have continued to eat the regular green/red mangoes (I do actually like these when they're not rock hard, the tartness is nice and I dont mind the stringiness).

Please reply with your favourite exotic fruit(s) and why. Any recommendations? I like starfruit, although I'm not sure this is exotic anymore, and I also like these yellow, hard (thin, but hard, they have skins/shells that crack) fruits filled with a slimy mix of seeds and...slime, but tasting wonderful (again, sweet but tart, lovely). Maybe they are a variety of passionfruit? Any recs for the sweet/tart flavour combo?

Any exotic fruits you don't love? I find papaya too sweet but full disclosure I have never had a fresh one.

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  1. I have posted more than once on my love of Uglifruit. It's grown in Jamaica and looks like the green lovechild of a grapefruit and a troll. Or possibly a Fraggle fetus. It takes like a citrus-y peach. It's divine! And I haven't had one since I moved to the West Coast as they don't seem to sell them out here...

    I'm actually not a fan of most exotic fruits that I've tried - I don't like mango or papaya, and I don't like slimy anything, though I'm with you on starfruit. It's lovely and refreshing.

    4 Replies
    1. re: thursday

      Guava, passionfruit, cherimoya, rambutan, white sapote, the teeny sweet finger bananas

      1. re: PAO

        White sapote is way up there for me, also. The flavor can vary greatly, but at its best it tastes like the most heavenly vanilla custard.

        Other favorite "exotics" are canistel, papaya, mamey sapote, black sapote, passionfruit, sapodilla, and jackfruit (and mango and persimmon, if either is considered "exotic"). Imported starfruit I find aren't worth eating, but the very sweet startfruit I picked off a tree on the big island were wonderful. The owner considered them overripe, but they were perfect, like a more fragrant and tropical orange.

        As for a sweet/tart combo, none of these are particularly exotic for those of us in the US, but there's pomegranate, yellow nectarine or peach, kiwi, loquat, pineapple. For more "exotic" there are tree tomato, rambutan, soursop.

        1. re: purslane_fan

          Zapote Negro and guanabana (soursop) are phenomenal, two of my favorites

      2. I think you are describing passion fruit, or possibly guava. What color is the interior.

        I like a lot of exotic fruit and living in a warm climate we get a lot of them. My list would include, but not limited to:

        - guava
        - passionfruit
        - guanabana (soursop in English speaking countries)
        - Mexican papaya
        - zapote negro
        - prickly pear cactus fruit (all colors, tho' I'm partial to the fushia colored ones)
        - pithaya (dragon fruit in English speaking countries)
        - plantains
        - red bananas
        - rhombatan

        1. I tried my first dragon fruit recently. It tasted like an extremely mild pear with seeds like a kiwi. Don't think I'd buy one again for $4.

          2 Replies
          1. re: invinotheresverde

            I agree with you, so bland, like a mix between an unripe melon and a kiwi. Might be okay just for the looks in a fruit salad, but again... Disappointing.

            1. re: mokafeinomane

              So, if the first time you ate an apple, it turned out to be one of those tasteless supermarket apples, you would never buy one again? How many tasteless watermelons have you eaten in your life? There's good and bad everything depending on the source.

              A ripe dragonfruit, has a beautiful sweetness and, especially if you get the shocking pink variety (there's also white). I would have to say that someone who doesn't like kiwi wouldn
              t like dragonfruit ... which can be lots more flavorful, but again, has to be ripe.

          2. Mangosteen! The fresh kind, not the one that has been pre-frozen. Makes it awfully bitter.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Miss Needle

              As mentioned

              Sapote Blanco

              Of course the higher the % of unobtainium the sweeter the fruit-it was ever thus.

              1. re: Sam Salmon

                Hi, Sam:

                Completely agree on the "unobtanium" quotient.

                There's also the safecracker multiplier--hard to get and hard to get *at*. My first pomegranate was a revelation, and I like rambutan for the same reason.

                Apple Banana isn't half bad, either, but no safecracker effect.


            2. Sort of depends on perspective, I suppose, but here goes:

              Buddha's Head
              Dragon Fruit
              African Cucumber
              Soursop (Guanaana)
              Lamut (Sapodilla)
              Salak (Snake Fruit)
              Sugar apple (Noi-na)
              Wax apple

              4 Replies
              1. re: ipsedixit

                Buddha's Hand? Do you make anything special with it?

                1. re: foodeye

                  It can be used for zest, for flavoring liquors or vinegar, for jams, and ornamentally. Apparently the pith is not as bitter as in a lemon, and some people find it suitable to eat slices of the fruit in salads and such.

                  Creekside Tropicals (at Hillcrest FM) grows it, but I don't think it's in season right now. Looks like it might be harvested in the fall.

                  1. re: foodeye

                    Buddha's Hand makes a great version of Limoncello

                    1. re: foodeye

                      Buddha's Hand? Do you make anything special with it?


                      Ice cream. Zest and incorporate into the milk before making the custard.

                      Faux Key Lime Pie. Same idea using the zest.