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10 Tropical Fruits You Must Try!

Outside of the basic readily available fresh fruit options such as apples, oranges, bananas, and grapes, what unique fruits can you find at your local grocery store? As we approach summer and warmer weather, learn about these 10 exotic tropical fruits and order them right from the comfort of your own home with Umamicart!

10 Tropical Fruits You Must Try!


 

Dragon Fruit

 

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Dragon fruit comes from a climbing-vine cactus native to the tropical forest regions in Mexico and South America. Today, many Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and Sri Lanka have growing dragon fruit markets. It’s in season in the summertime, with peak production in August and September.
 

The name “dragon fruit” comes from its distinctive shape and outlook that resembles dragons depicted in Chinese mythology, where its spikes resemble fire and scales. The outside skin of dragon fruits usually comes in pink, but there are also varieties with a golden exterior. Inside, the fruit can be white or pink, and is spread with tiny black seeds. Try all three types we have at Umamicart with our Jumbo Dragon Fruit Sampler!

 

Dragon fruit is quite popular because of its pretty appearance, high antioxidant properties, and it’s also versatile. This tropical fruit can be eaten directly when ripe, turned into juice or jam, or used in anything from ice cream to cocktails! After cutting the fruit in half, it is typically eaten by scooping out or directly biting into the flesh. Its aroma taste is very mild, but is slightly sweet like a blend of pear and kiwi, delicate on the tongue, and its texture can be described as creamy, firm, and juicy all at the same time. 

 

Did you know? 

  • The climbing cactus plant that dragon fruit is grown on can grow from 15-20 feet high and live for as long as two decades
  • The flower buds of the fruit are edible when cooked
  • Dragon fruit is also known as pitaya and strawberry pear
  • The natural pigments of the dragon fruit can be used as dye or cosmetic ingredients

 

 

Mangosteen

 

How to use mangosteen

This small tropical fruit is native to tropical lands surrounding the Indian Ocean and has a dark purple or red exterior. Nowadays, it is mainly grown in Southeast Asia, but also can be found in tropical South American countries and Puerto Rico. Umamicart carries Frozen Thai Mangosteen on our site - along with many other tropical fruits!

 

When ripe, the fruit pulp of mangosteen is of a bright white flesh. It tastes sweet, tangy, fragrant, and filled with slightly acidic juice. It’s even dubbed as the “Queen of Fruits” because of its unique sweet–sour taste! Mangosteens have a reddish-purple rind that appears when ripe, but the rind isn’t edible. The fruit is highly nutritious, providing a variety of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber while being low in calories. It also contains rich antioxidants that may be beneficial in fighting infections.

 

 

Longan

 

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Often associated with lychee and rambutan, longan grows on trees are indigenous to tropical Asia and China and originates from a region between Myanmar and southern China. Despite the largest producers of the fruit being various Asian countries and Australia, it can also be grown in US states such as California, Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Florida, Hawaii, and Georgia.

 

The name stems from how it sounds when said in Cantonese, a large dialect spoken mainly in a southern Chinese region, in which the name directly translates to “dragon eye” because of how the translucent beige flesh and dark colored seed center resembles an eyeball. 

 

It’s easily consumed after removing the thin tan colored shell surrounding the flesh. Just directly pop the fruit into your month after peeling it and spit out the pit in the middle. You can even try growing your own longan using the center seed!

 

Longan is high in Vitamin C and provides moderate amounts of copper, potassium, and riboflavin. It’s super juicy with its high water and natural sugar content! The texture of the flesh can be compared to one of a large grape and tastes similar to lychee. Don’t forget to add these fresh longan to your next Umamicart order!

 

 

Pineapple

 

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 We’re all familiar with the distinct rough exterior of the pineapple, especially how it's iconically depicted as Spongebob’s home, but have you ever seen the inside flesh of a pineapple that’s not like its infamous pale or bright yellow color? You can find PinkGlow and HoneyGlow pineapple varieties on Umamicart!

 

Pineapples are native to South America and are believed to have originated from Brazilian rainforests. It symbolizes welcome and hospitality, and is hospital to your body as well. A serving of pineapple is enough to make up your daily value of Vitamin C. It is also particularly rich in manganese and numerous other antioxidants and minerals. Despite the core of the pineapple being harder, less juicy and slightly more bitter than the other parts, it’s a rich source of fiber and keeps your digestion healthy.

 

Typical pineapples have a bright and vibrant tropical fruit color and taste that is citrusy, sweet, and sometimes sour. There's more sugar in the base of the ripe fruit, so that part tends to be sweeter, juicer, and more tender than the sections closer to the core. 

 

It takes quite a long time and can be difficult to grow pineapples. It can take up to 3 years to mature into a plant and only one pineapple is produced by a single plant in a single season - if it successfully grows at all. Believe it or not, pineapples are actually a berry - not a pine nor an apple!

 

 

Cherimoya

 

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Cherimoyas are an exotic and utterly charming fruit closely similar to sweetsop and soursop. It is believed to have originated in South America's Andes mountain ranges. Cherimoyas don’t grow well in locations where the summer heat is very hot and dry, as it's a subtropical plant that thrives in mild temperate climates.

 

The flesh of cherimoyas is delicious in smoothies, sherbets, fresh fruit salads, or simply scooped out with a spoon. However, its big black seeds should not be consumed. In fact, the seeds may even be poisonous if crushed open. Their custardy cream-colored flesh tastes like a tropical blend of pineapple, banana, mango, vanilla, papaya, kiwi and hints of strawberry. This is how cherimoya’s nickname, “custard apple”, was formed. 

 

Keep them at room temperature for a few days until they yield gently to the touch like ripe peaches, then use right away - the aroma will be heavenly! Author Mark Twain even called the cherimoya “the most delicious fruit known to men” - this one is a must try!

 

 

Mamey Sapote

 

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Mamey Sapote are an incredible fruit indigenous to the tropical Americas and the Caribbean. It’s often consumed in many Latin American countries. Its shape is a bit round and resembles a football with dull skin.

 

Mamey is best enjoyed ripe since the unripe ones are very bitter and astringent. It has a very rich and creamy texture and tastes closely similar to that of baked sweet potatoes. When cut in half, the fruit looks like an avocado but has reddish-orange flesh, and you can cut it safely using similar methods. 

 

Its flavor is described as a mix of pumpkin, peach, and hints of apricots, with a smooth yet firm texture. Mamey Sapote is high in nutrients and has been linked to a number of potential health benefits. Enjoy this one-of-a-kind fruit on its own or make it into milkshakes and ice cream!

 

 

Guava

 

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Guavas are common tropical fruits from trees commonly found in tropical and subtropical areas, which originate in Central America. They are bright green-colored oval-shaped fruits that look like tiny pears, but much softer and fragrant. When they’re ripe the exterior becomes more yellow. 

 

They have a great deal of health benefits as well. From antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, guavas are full of nutrients. Its leaves can be used as an herbal tea and the leaf extract as a supplement. Guava extract is also known to boost heart health and lower blood sugar levels. It can contain ​​about 4 times more fiber than pineapples and 4 times more vitamin C than oranges.

 

The inner flesh is a beautiful pink when ripe and tastes like a blend of papaya, passion fruit, and pear. The smell of guava is musky - strong, sweet, and might make you want to smile!

 

 

Durian

 

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Known for its very pungent and distinct smell, people may compare durian’s strong aroma to foul sewage, rotten onions, or smelly gym socks - some even call it the “forbidden fruit”. This notorious southeast asian fruit’s aroma can disturb some so much that it is even banned from public places in Singapore and Malaysia. However, in great debate, durian lovers argue that it is the most pleasantly sweet fragrances. Fans of this fruit truly enjoy its flavor, texture, and smell. 

 

This "king of fruits" has thorny exterior rinds that range from green to pale brown. The name durian is from the Malay word ‘duri' (which means thorn) and adding the suffix ‘-an’ creates a noun in Malay. Compared to jackfruit, the size and shape of durian is similar to smaller jackfruits, and weigh out to be between 5 and 7 pounds, on average. 

 

Unlike the texture of jackfruit, durian flesh is very creamy and looks like a stick of room temperature butter that was cupped in the palms of your hands. The taste is custard-like and has a high sugar content strangely combined with savoriness.

 

To save you the hassle of getting into the spike-skinned exterior for the interior flesh, our fresh durian is already peeled, pitted, and immediately frozen to preserve its flavor and freshness. 'Monthong' means golden pillow in Thai, and it is the most common durian variation in the country. You can defrost before eating, or enjoy it frozen for a creamy, almost ice cream-like texture.  

 

  

Figs

 

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Black figs are extremely delicate, sweet, and flavorful when ripe! It has a slightly chewy skin and a soft creamy white interior with a seed mass bound by jelly-like flesh. The flavor is a cross between strawberry, melon, and banana, with a pleasantly jammy, creamy texture. Fresh Black Figs can be eaten raw or prepared and cooked. They’re pleasantly enjoyed on their own but also go well with many cheeses, and are a welcome addition to salads with spicy greens.

 

Among the producers of figs are Algeria, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Morocco, Spain, and Turkey. However, California leads the way with growing the most figs for commercial use in the US, as the fruit does not tolerate cold temperatures. California grows many varieties of figs, but the two most common are the Golden, which are amber-colored and slightly nutty-flavored, and the Mission, which are sweet and deep dark purple.

 

Fig trees have no blossoms on their branches - the blossom is actually inside of the fruit! The many tiny flowers produce the crunchy little edible seeds that give figs their unique texture.

 

Not only are figs sometimes so sweet, it's almost honey-like, it’s also packed with nutrients! Eating one half cup of figs has as much calcium as drinking one-half cup of milk. Ounce for ounce, figs have more potassium than bananas and more fiber than prunes. They were considered to be restorative in Roman times - where some believed figs increase the strength of the young and maintain the elderly health and young looking skin.

 

Interestingly, figs are harvested according to nature’s clock, fully ripened and partially dried on the tree. Figs naturally help hold in moisture in baked goods, keeping them fresher. Fig puree can also be used to replace fat in baked goods! They make very good jams and flavors in pastries as well. 

 

 

Mangoes

 

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More than likely you’ve had mangoes before, but were you aware of all the different varieties of mangoes out there? Umamicart has a large selection of mangoes you don’t want to miss out on. From champagne mangoes to tommy mangoes, you can easily find them on our site. 

 

Believe it or not, mangoes are actually a stone fruit that’s edible! It’s from a tropical tree that stems from the region overlapping northwestern Myanmar, Bangladesh, and northeastern India. Today, there are varieties of mangoes from tropical and subtropical climates from all over the world. This allows us to be able to enjoy fresh tasty mangoes year-round. Most mangoes found in American grocery stores are grown in Florida, Mexico, Haiti, and South America. However, Asia grows about 75% of all mangoes in the world.

 

Like the many tropical fruits already mentioned, mangoes also have an incredible nutritional profile. There are also countless foods, drinks, and desserts you can make with mangoes - the possibilities are endless and growing! It’s one of the most popular fruit flavors in the world, enjoyed as savory, spicy or sweet.

 

 

Now what are you waiting for? Do your fruit basket a favor and fill it up with the specialty selection of tropical fruits available on our website. Or better yet, go check out our favorite Tropical Fruit Combo!