No matter where you live, tropical fruits have a whole vibe.
Many people think of coconut and limes, but there are so many tropical fruits to enjoy!
Who doesn’t love the fresh and fruity taste of the tropics?
No matter how you use them, you need to know your fruits!
Each of them brings a variety of flavor, texture, and color to the table.
Each of these fruits is uniquely delicious and deserves the spotlight today.
It’s time to bite into some popular tropical fruits and learn more about using them in your kitchen.
13 Different Tropical Fruits
1. Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit has gained popularity over the last couple of years, but many cooks aren’t familiar with it.
It’s named after the scaly outer skin, but the insides can be pink or white.
Don’t be intimidated by the rough exterior, as the fruit inside is absolutely divine!
Whether pink or white flesh, each will have small black seeds.
If you’ve had kiwi, dragon fruit is similar in texture and flavor. It’s slightly sweet, tart, and has a tiny crunch from the seeds.
Dragon fruit has a variety of benefits and can add a beautiful deep pink color to dishes.
It’s a great addition to fruity drinks, smoothies, or even salads!
Mangoes are probably the most famous tropical stone fruit out there.
This list of tropical fruits would be incomplete without at least mentioning mangoes!
When perfectly ripe, a mango will be full of juices and have soft, stringy flesh.
The flavor of the fruit is a delicious cross between pineapple and orange, with an almost-creamy texture.
When you remove the flesh from the large seed in the center, you’ll find mouthwatering fruit.
The best mangoes will be sweet, tart, and have a hint of floral notes in all that juicy goodness.
Because of their popularity, you can find mangoes in a variety of recipes from sweet to savory.
Drinks, ice creams, sticky rice, and salsas are just a few.
Bananas are one of the most important tropical fruits on the planet, with a rich history and nutritional benefits.
As one of the earliest cultivated crops, bananas are famous worldwide!
From plantains to platano de canarias, most people are familiar with Cavendish bananas.
They’re long and yellow when ripe, and have soft, white flesh.
The flavor of bananas is very mild and sweet. They’re delicious fresh or in baked goods.
From smoothies and pies to bread and breakfast, bananas are one of the world’s favorite fruits.
4. Passion Fruit
Passion fruits are well known for their super sweet and fruity flavors.
But the part that we eat is much different from other fruits.
A passion fruit has a firm, leathery exterior filled with a gelatinous, seedy pulp.
It’s actually this jelly-like pulp that we enjoy from the passion fruit.
Once you cut into the pink or yellow exterior, you find those golden seeds of deliciousness.
You can remove the seeds if you want a less tart flavor, or enjoy them as they are.
Passion fruit is great as a natural jelly on top of cakes, toast, or even in drinks!
The rambutan fruit grows on an evergreen tree, and they have a distinctive appearance.
Don’t let the spiky texture fool you, as the fruit inside is delicious!
Once you peel back the hairy, red flesh of the fruit, you find a white and delicate fruit.
You could describe the texture of the fruit as almost creamy, similar to a pear.
The flavors of a rambutan are sweet and mild, similar to a grape and strawberry flavor.
This makes them great additions to sweet and savory dishes.
Slice that fruit up and load it into a salad, or as a garnish on your favorite cocktail.
They’re so good, you can eat them on their own!
The pomelo is actually a citrus fruit linked to an ancestor of the grapefruit.
It’s no surprise with this classification, it has an acidic and tart flavor.
Across the world, you can find the entire pomelo used in a variety of ways.
From candied skin to using juice in cocktails, pomelo is a great addition to many recipes!
The flavor of the pomelo is much like a grapefruit, but milder.
Rather than the overly bitter flavor, it will taste sweeter and less tart.
The trick is to get a pomelo that is perfectly ripe for the best flavor.
Look for a pomelo that is completely yellow with no green for the ripest fruit!
Due to its appearance, many home cooks find the jackfruit intimidating.
But once you get past the thick, spiky skin and large size, delicious and tender fruit awaits!
That’s right, inside of that rough exterior is soft and delicate, syrupy fruit.
When ripe, the flavor is similar to an apple or banana and is very sweet.
If the jackfruit isn’t ripe, the stringy fruit will taste similar to pulled pork or chicken.
That makes it a great vegan substitute for common meat dishes.
When you’ve selected a ripe jackfruit, it’s great eating raw, in fritters, as a jam, or even in bread!
Jackfruit pairs well with coconut, pineapple, and mangoes, too.
Don’t let the name fool you, as the mangosteen is much different from a mango.
And it harbors a rich history, too!
Once illegal in the United States, the queen of fruits has a royal red exterior and white fruit.
This pearly pulp is both sweet and slightly sour and is similar to a lychee or strawberry.
Mangosteen is great on its own, but it can be added to fruit salad, ice cream, or jams.
Many traditional Asian desserts use this fruit, too!
What list of tropical fruits would be complete without pineapple?
This famous fruit is so deliciously sweet and tart, I simply cannot leave it off this list.
Pineapples have a spiky exterior, which is actually the wilted flowers they grew from.
Inside is vibrant yellow fruit, bursting with tropical flavor.
Some describe the flavor of pineapple as a cross between oranges and apples.
However you describe it, this fruit is famous for its juicy, sweet, and sour flavor.
Pineapples are great in anything sweet or savory.
You find this fruit in smoothies, cakes, and even stir-fries across the world.
The lychee is a popular tropical fruit, with a firm and inedible exterior and soft fruit inside.
These fruits are sweet, tart, and floral in every bite!
With every lychee, you find three layers: the red skin, the white fruit, and the dark seed.
Unfortunately, only the creamy white flesh of the fruit is edible.
The flavor of the lychee fruit is similar to that of melon and strawberry, but with the texture of a grape.
Lychee is commonly found in cocktails, especially as a garnish. But the mildly sweet flavor is great in sweet or savory dishes.
Though commonly confused with the mango, papayas are a very unique fruit.
The papaya is actually a summer squash with a lovely fruit inside!
Much like squash, the fruit of the papaya is very smooth and mild.
The creamy and soft fruit is slightly sweet and might be described as a cross of melon and pumpkin.
This mild flavor is a great base for a fruit smoothie and pairs well with bright and bold flavors.
From eating them raw with lime juice to grilled with shrimp or chicken, you can’t go wrong!
The best part is papaya are loaded with vital nutrients for your body.
You have to love when the food is delicious and good for you, too!
If you’re looking for a colorful and exotic fruit to try, look no further!
But don’t let the dull green exterior fool you.
Inside of that thick green skin is bright pink, red, or yellow fruit.
The fruit of guava has a texture similar to a pear or soft apple and tastes like strawberry and pineapple mixed.
Because of its sweetness, guava is a great addition to many sweet or savory dishes.
From sauces on fish and chicken to juices and ice cream, it’s all good!
And the whole guava is completely edible. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can bite right in just like an apple!
The durian is a famous exotic fruit because of its strong smell.
Though if you can get past your nose, you’ll be treated with a custardy and sweet fruit!
Though it looks very similar to jackfruit, the durian is its own beast of a fruit.
Once you bite into the flesh, you find that it tastes much like a caramel cheesecake.
The flavor is great in sticky rice, cakes, or even savory dishes. Your first bite of durian curry is surely worth the effort of getting there.
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