Food & Drink
Top 10 tropical fruits
Many of you fell in love with our blog post, ‘Top 10 exotic fruits’. And who can blame you – anything involving tropical fruit and sunny climes has to be a winner. To give you more of the things you love, we’ve scoured the globe once again and tracked down more tropical fruits for you to sink your teeth into. With names like ‘Ugli’ and ‘Snake Fruit’, all that’s required is an open mind… and a good appetite, of course.
1. Rose Apple (Champoo)
If you think Granny Smiths are good, wait ‘til you try Rose Apples. We’re talking about apples that taste and smell a lot like roses. The only catch is they are rarely found in markets around the world because they spoil very quickly after being picked. The bell-shaped fruits are crispy, crunchy and delicious. You can eat them whole, but as with apples, you might want to ditch the core.
2. Sweet Tamarind
Introducing one of Thailand’s signature fruits, Sweet Tamarind. This is an ancient fruit that grows pretty much all over Thailand. A little bird told us that Phetchabun Province is home to the best ones. Sweet Tamarind is normally eaten raw, but some people like combing it with rice.
What looks like an overgrown apple and tastes super sweet? Sorry, no prizes for guessing the correct answer. Santol is one of the most popular fruits in the Philippines, but the fruit is native to Malaysia and former Indochina. Often referred to as the “lolly fruit”, kids especially love it. Santol is used to make delicious marmalade that’s very popular in markets around Europe and the US.
4. Lamut (Sapodilla)
Looks can be deceiving. Take the Lamut, for example. It looks like a potato, but tastes like cotton candy or caramel. Heston Blumenthal would be impressed. Lamut (Sapodilla) originates from Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula, but it was introduced in the Philippines during the Spanish colonisation. The seeds resemble black overgrown beans with a hook at one end that can get caught in the throat.
5. Soursop (Guanabana)
If we were to write a list of top 10 foods to eat on a hot date, Soursop wouldn’t be on it. You see, it’s very difficult to eat due to its large number of inedible seeds. But if you have the patience of a saint, you can enjoy a flavour that’s been compared to strawberry and pineapple mixed together. Soursop is a popular desert ingredient in Mexico and countries around Central America, usually processed into ice-creams, fruit-bars, sherbets or soft-drinks.
6. Salak (Snake Fruit)
Okay, so the name itself isn’t very appetising, but Snake Fruit gets our vote for its sweet and acidic flavour. Native to Malaysia and Indonesia, Salak is called Snake Fruit because of its brown, scaly skin resembling that of a serpent. It grows in clusters at the bottom of a palm tree and looks like a fig.
Guavas give apples a good run for their money in keeping the doctor away. This “superfruit” is jam-packed with vitamins A and C, Omega 3, six polyunsaturated fatty acids and high levels of dietary fibres. Native to Mexico, Guava is a very aromatic fruit with a pungent and penetrating odour. But the good news is it tastes delicious. Guava taste best when they’re ripe.
8. Sugar Apple (Noi-na)
This is one fruit you must try when you’re next in Thailand. The Sugar Apple has a white, creamy flesh covered by a lumpy green crust that makes it look like a giant, green raspberry. The incredibly sweet pulp is eaten with a spoon after the fruit is easily broken into two halves. Sugar Apples are usually blended with coconut milk, chilled and served as a delicious, light ice-cream.
Langsat is an egg-shaped fruit that originated in Malaysia. The firm, translucent flesh is covered by a brown, leathery skin and has an acidic taste, resembling a grapefruit. If you have a sweet tooth, go for a riper one.
With a name like Ugli and an ugly appearance to boot, you would expect this Jamaican fruit to be a dud. Thankfully, the looks of the Ugli have nothing to do with its taste. This citrus hybrid between grapefruit and tangerine is tasty and juicy. And here’s a bit of trivia for you – Ugli is the only fruit in the world that starts with the letter ‘u.