20 strange Fruits & Vegetables

THE WEIRD AND WONDERFUL WORLD OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Cuisitive has over 350 fruits and over 250 vegetables in its flavour profile collection . Among these are some truly extraordinary examples of the variety that exists. What might be exotic, bizarre or strange for someone is to another person a common and normal ingredient. We have selected 20 from dozens of amazing fruits and vegetables. Add your suggestions for others at the bottom to add to our next edition.

1. CASHEW FRUIT

It is high in Vitamin C, refreshing, very juicy, but a bit acidic. Oh and did you know thats actually a cashew nut attached to it.

Cashew Fruit

2. ACHIOTE OR ANNATTO

An orange-red condiment and food colouring is this fruits gift to gastronomy. It is used in many cultures but especially in Latin America.

Achiote

3. AKEBI

A mysterious and beautiful fruit native to the north of Japan. Have you ever seen anything like it? Unfortunately the flavour does not match its appearance so much.

AKEBI

4. SALAK

Also called the snake fruit which seems extremely appropriate. Actually a type of palm fruit that is enjoyed in parts of Latin America especially.

Salak close-up - Ubud Market

5. BUDDHA’S HAND

Probably the oddest fruit in the collection. Not much good in the kitchen other than using its rind and for making jams or marmalades.

Buddha's Hand (Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis)

6. BLACK SAPOTE

The chocolate pudding fruit that amazes everyone that tries it. Its flavour profile and texture is even said to be reminiscent of chocolate. Not exactly but about as close as you are going to get from a fruit.

IMG_1259

7. THATCH SCREWPINE

It looks like an impenetrable flourescent spaceship but it does actually have some use. Its flesh interior is edible but involves some work to get to it.

Pandanus tectorius fruit

8. KIWANO OR HORNED MELON

This fruit can truly be called exotic. At least for its amazing and shocking appearance. Flavour is not quite as interesting but definitely a point of conversation.

Halved Kiwano Melon and Slop

9. ACKEE

Like fish eyes caught in a venus fly trap. Bizarre looking and seemingly without use. In fact ackee is half of Jamaica’s national dish (the other being saltfish).  Creamy and egg like in flavour.

Ackee

10. DRAGON FRUIT

About the most well known exotic fruit and the worst kept secret. Everyone loves it for its fancy look. Yellow, white, pink and green. It really does come in all colours.

Red Dragon Fruit

11. JABUTICABA

A ‘grape’ native to Brazil that grows on trees. Yes that is nearly right. The jabuticaba actually has its fruit stuck to the trunk. One of the most beautiful fruits you can find.

Jabuticabas

12. CHIRIMOYA

Part of the huge custard apple family, the chirimoya is not only attractive but delicious when ripe. Its flavour profile is something like custard, ice cream, pear and apple mixed together. Try it and you will see.

Chirimoya

13. MONSTERA

Honeycomb texture, elongated to the extreme. The monstera is actually edible with a flavour of banana mixed with pineapple.

Monstera deliciosa Liebm.

14. OCA

A root vegetable from the andes that look like giant caterpillar dipped in red dye. Crunchy, starchy and very much like potatoes. Really worth it to buy on your next trip to Peru.

bolivia08_15

15. SALSIFY

Black or white. Salsify comes in a variety of shades. Exploded on the culinary food scene in recent years. Has a mild flavour similar to Artichoke.

salsify

16. NOPALE

Yes they are the leaves of a cactus and people do actually eat them. Just remove the spines and you have a delicious vegetable to add to your meal.

nopales

17. SAMPHIRE

A sea vegetable that grows on coasts. Intertwined like millions of snakes they are actually abundant when you know what you are looking for. Vegetables that have the taste of the salty sea.

Raw samphire close-up

18. SUNCHOKE

Nutty and sweet (also called the Jerusalem artichoke). Quite ugly in appearance but really good to cook with.

sunchokes

19. YARDLONG BEAN

Self explanatory from the name. These beans are extremely long. Similar to the regular podded beans you are used to but much much longer.

feijão a metro

20. FIDDLEHEADS

A type of fern that intertwine themselves to form fancy balls. Used as a vegetable and a favourite amongst foragers.

fiddleheads

If you have other fruits and vegetables you think we should talk about that are equal to these 20 let us know in the comments and we will do another series.

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