Through the eyes of Paula...
Since the summer season is now in full swing, an endless variety of fruits are available for purchase. Summer is the best time of the year to try exotic, uncommon fruits, and explore what nature has to offer you. Here are five unusual fruits from around the world. Have you ever heard of them, or even tried them?
1. Buddha’s Hand: This citrusy fruit is aptly named, since its finger-like sections resemble a human hand. It comes from India and China, and can be eaten as a zest or flavouring since it does not contain pulp or juice. It is very fragrant and can also be used as a perfume.
2. African Horned Cucumber: Also known as the blowfish fruit and kiwano melon, this seed-filled fruit has a spiky yellow exterior and a juicy green interior. It tastes like a cross between a cucumber and a zucchini, and slightly like bananas and lemons. It is rich in vitamin C and fiber.
3. Cherimoya: This exotic fruit has a flavor that is compared to sweet fruits like banana, pineapple, peach, and strawberry. Cherimoyas come from short, shrub-like trees. They have white flesh, which is extremely soft and sweet. It has an almost custard-like texture, which is why the fruit is also referred to as the custard apple.
4. Jackfruit: This is the largest fruit in the world. It’s amazing that these fruits grow on trees considering they can weigh up to 80 pounds each. They are often compared to bananas, but with a more tart flavour. Many people say it tastes like a cross between an apple, pineapple, mango, and banana. Jackfruits are used for cooking in Asian cuisines and are also eaten raw.
5. Mangosteen: The fragrant, edible flesh of the mangosteen can be described as sweet, tangy, citrusy, and peachy. The dark purple fruit is extremely sweet once the outer layer is peeled away. To peel, simply score the outer part of the fruit and then break the rind into two pieces, revealing the sweet, edible interior. It is naturally grown in tropical Southeast Asia, and is often praised for its delectable and luxurious flavour.
6. Rambutan: Native to the Malay Archipelago, the name of this fruit is derived from the Malay word meaning “hairy.” But once the hairy exterior of the rambutan is peeled away, the tender, fleshy, delicious fruit is revealed. The taste is described as sweet and sour, much like a grape or lychee.