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5 Delicious Fruits You’ve Never Heard Of

It’s time to stock your kitchen with summer fruits, but this season, try something a little different. Treat your taste buds to five unusual fruits from around the world! You’ll have to look past their appearances (and, for some, their smell), but you might just find a new healthy treat!

1. Durian


Don’t be fooled by durian’s unfortunate scent. It has a delectable taste, best described as similar to a crème brûlée. It is a fruit that you’ll love if you can get past the smell, which some people describe as similar to that of roadkill! You’ll want to store it in the refrigerator and watch out for the thorns. Beneath its skin the durian has fleshy pods and seeds. They are a great source of vitamin C, which boosts your immune system. Plus, they contain antioxidants that protect your skin and slow aging effects! Durians grow in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia. In the United States it is found in Asian food markets.

How to Eat:

  1. It can get a little messy, so don’t forget to lay out some paper towels!
  2. Take a knife and pry the fruit into two parts. Often ripe fruit will already be cracking open making this step easier.
  3. Repeat step two for your two halves.
  4. Remove the pods to enjoy the pulp!

For a special treat, make durian muffins! These are great for a quick breakfast on the run. Try making them the night beforehand. You’ll get to sleep a few extra minutes the next morning and have a delicious meal.

Recipe from Happy Home Baking

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 300 grams durian pulp

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 374 degrees Fahrenheit. Position rack in center of oven. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. Melt butter over low heat in a saucepan. Set aside.
  3. Separate durian pulp from seeds, mash slightly with a fork and set aside.
  4. Add egg to the melted butter. Stir until combined. Add in milk and half of the durian pulp. Stir to combine.
  5. In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Use a spatula or whisk to mix the dry ingredients completely (to prevent having lumps of baking powder/soda).
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are just combined. The mixture will appear very lumpy. Do not over-mix the batter; otherwise, the muffins will become tough.
  7. Spoon batter into the muffin cups, filling them halfway full. Add 1 teaspoon of durian pulp to each; top with remaining batter. Fill up with the remaining batter to about two-thirds full. Fill any unused muffin cups halfway with water to prevent warping of the pan or uneven browning of the muffins.
  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for 10 minutes in the muffin tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Do not leave the muffins in the muffin tin; otherwise, the base will be soggy.

2. Jackfruit


If you are a banana and pineapple lover, then jackfruit is the fruit for you! It contains sweet-tasting bulbs that encase brown seeds. This Asian tropical fruit is the biggest tree-borne fruit in the world! Jackfruit is rich in vitamin A, which improves your vision. It’s also a great source of energy. Jackfruit is typically sold at supermarkets in hunks.

How to Eat:

  1. Jackfruit is resinous, so grease your hands with vegetable oil to make removal easier.
  2. Remove the core with a knife.
  3. Slice off the yellow pods. They will be wrapped with fibrous strands.
  4. Remove the strands and the outside skin.
  5. Cut open the pod.
  6. Remove the seed and its surrounding skin.
  7. Now you can eat the jackfruit pods!

Make a jackfruit smoothie for a healthy dessert! For this recipe, you don’t even have to cut open the jackfruit yourself; you can purchase it already diced up in a can.

Recipe from Food.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup diced canned jackfruit
  • 2 cups soy vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • Maple syrup or agave nectar, as needed
  • Ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Place jackfruit, soy yogurt, soy milk and maple syrup or agave nectar in immersion blender container or blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Serve over ice and enjoy.

3. Kiwano


Prepare your taste buds to experience the perfect combination of sweet and sour! Kiwanos are also known as horned melons. The outside has horned spines, as its name suggests, while the inside has a tart, jelly-like consistency. They are grown in Africa, New Zealand, Australia and the United States. Kiwanos make a filling snack with their fiber content, and they have only 44 calories per 100 grams! They can be purchased at some supermarkets and farmers markets.   

How to Eat:

  1. Cut in half.
  2. Take one half and squeeze from the end. The sacs containing the seeds will easily come out. Or, scoop the seeds out if you prefer.
  3. The seeds are edible. Eat them as you would pomegranate seeds.

Kiwano makes excellent salsa. It’s a great appetizer for a summer cookout with friends!

Recipe from Group Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup diced kiwano
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine melon, pineapple, jalapeno and onion in bowl.
  2. In separate bowl, whisk together oil, garlic, vinegar, lime juice and spices.
  3. Pour over salsa and toss gently.

4. Lychee


This sweet-smelling fruit will have you drooling before your first bite! Lychees have an exotic taste, most similar to grapes. Lychee is a small fruit with a spiky skin that turns red when ripe. The inside is a juicy, translucent flesh that surrounds a large seed. Lychees are a great source of B vitamins and fiber. They are grown primarily in Asia. They can be bought canned at certain supermarkets, but you can purchase fresh lychees at Asian food markets.

How to Eat:

  1. Use a knife to cut off the skin around the stem. You should have a nice circle at the top of the fruit.
  2. Pull off the stem.
  3. Remove the seed with your knife. The seed is not edible, so DO NOT eat the seed.
  4. Squeeze the fruit from the bottom to remove the fleshy inside from the skin.
  5. Enjoy your exotic delicacy!

If you are 21 or older, try a lychee daiquiri. If you are younger than 21, substitute pineapple juice with almond extract for the white rum. Relax and sip on this sweet refreshment in the sun!

Recipe from Lychees Online

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ ounces white rum (or pineapple juice with almond extract)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sugar
  • 1 ounce of lychee juice
  • Crushed ice

Directions:

  1. Place rum, sugar and lychee juice in a cocktail shaker with crushed ice.
  2. Shake swiftly; do not over-mix.
  3. Strain thoroughly into a cocktail glass and serve at once.

5. Loquat


Bite into a loquat this summer! This fruit is sweetly tart and can have a smooth or fuzzy exterior.  The loquat is also known as the Japanese plum. Not surprisingly, Japan is its leading producer. The loquat is grown in other areas as well, including China some parts of the United States, such as California. This low-calorie fruit not only stimulates healthy weight loss, but it enhances skin health, too! You may find loquats in certain farmer’s markets, but the best place to find them is in specialty fruit stores.

How to Eat:

  1. Cut off the end where the stem was with a knife.
  2. Cut the fruit down the middle and break it into two halves.
  3. Remove the seeds.
  4. Eat the inside. The peel will come off easily.

Looking for a different dish to fix for dinner? Try loquat chicken. Make it a summer date and fix it with your SO for a romantic night in!

Recipe from Allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 6 large ripe loquats, peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grape-seed oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Directions:

  1. Place loquats into a saucepan and stir in water, orange juice and brown sugar until sugar has dissolved.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir in ground ginger, cinnamon, lemon pepper and smoked paprika. Reduce heat to low and simmer until loquats are soft and starting to break apart, about 20 minutes, occasionally whisking vigorously to help break up the fruit.
  3. When sauce is thick, stir in vinegar and simmer 3 more minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Heat grape-seed oil in a skillet over medium heat and pan-fry chicken breasts until golden brown and no longer pink in the center, 5 to 8 minutes per side.
  5. Remove chicken breasts and cut into bite-size pieces, return to skillet and stir in 1/4 the loquat sauce, scraping and dissolving any browned bits of food into the sauce.
  6. Serve with remaining loquat sauce on the side.

 

Have fun digging in to these weird summer fruits! If you have any trouble finding these exotic fruits in your location, you can also order them online. We would love to hear your thoughts about these unusual fruits and any other fruits you’ve tried in the comments! 

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Sarah Delk

Chapel Hill

Sarah Delk is a senior Journalism and Mass Communications – Editing and Graphic Design major at UNC-Chapel Hill. She is originally from Asheboro, NC, where she graduated from Southwestern Randolph High School. Sarah is a National Contributing Writer at HerCampus.com. Previously, she interned at the Carolina Union in the marketing and design department and at Progressive Business Media in the web and production departments. She loves creating illustrations, running the trails at her house and cheering on UNC-CH athletics. She is currently obsessed with teal nail polish and the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. Sarah hopes to travel the world someday, after she becomes a famous graphic designer and illustrator.
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