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5 Tropical Fruits You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

August 23, 2010

It’s prime season for Florida tropical fruits, so I thought it’d be interesting to talk about a few tropical fruits that you’ve probably never heard of. And honestly, for that matter, I’ve never heard of either. Consider it a learning lesson for the both of us.

1. Atemoya

This tropical fruit is a manmade hybrid of cherimoya and sugar apple. Harvested primarily in South Florida from August-October and a shorter season from November-January. The flesh is creamy white with a pleasant, sweet flavor. They are best eaten fresh or may be refrigerated up to 1-3 days.

The Sarasota County Extension Office has a great overview and some more information on the fruit.

2. Canistel

This fruit is often called the ‘egg fruit’ because its pulp has a texture similar to a hard boiled egg yolk. It’s native to Central America and northern South America. One of the few tropical fruits grown during Florida’s “winter”, it can grow as far north as Palm Beach on the east coast and St. Petersburg on the west.

The fruit is typically harvested December through March. It is best to allow it to ripen at room temperature until soft, about 3-10 days. Flesh is yellow to yellow orange, creamy and sweet. Best eaten fresh or may be refrigerated 1-2 days.

Again, Sarasota County has some really good information on the canistel.

3. Monstera

This tropical fruit is native to India and Southeast Asia. It has a pretty long season for a tropical fruit, as it is harvested in Florida from May-October. Allow fruit to ripen at room temperature until soft. Flesh is yellow to yellow orange, richly aromatic and juicy with a pleasant, sweet flavor. It tastes like a mix between a pineapple and banana. They are best eaten fresh or may be refrigerated 1-3 days or freeze pulp for later use.

Robert Is Here has some more information on the Monstera along with other tropicals here.

4. Sapodilla

The sapodilla is harvested in Florida from February through June. Make sure to allow this fruit to ripen at room temperature for about 5-9 days until slightly soft. The flesh is light to dark brown or reddish-brown, smooth to grainy (sort of like a pear), juicy with a sweet flavor. Best eaten fresh or may be refrigerated 1-3 days.

5. Wax Jambu

This one just has an awesome name. It is harvested in Florida from April-June. This fruit is picked ready to eat. The flesh is white to off-white, crisp, aromatic with a mild, delicate flavor. Some say it is similar to an apple. Best eaten fresh or may be refrigerated up to 7 days.

Make sure to visit the Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida’s website, they’ve got a lot of great information on tropical fruits there too.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2010 4:14 pm

    Every time I go to Lorenzo’s Marketplace, they have a wide viriety of tropical fruits. I am fascinated by strange looking, unknown (to me) flavors and beautiful shapes and exotic colors. I saw a Monstera (now I know the name as you pointed out), and I was wondering if it was a fruit or a vegetable =) Where in Florida one can buy a Wax Jambu?
    Cheers,
    p.s. love the post and your blog, I am bookmarking it!

  2. Jon Keller permalink
    May 2, 2011 10:04 am

    I am looking for a place that sells fresh cashew fruit in the US. Do you know of any source? I am in Rhode Island.

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