19 Exotic Fruits That Taste Better Than They Look


You might have the notion that the black banana in your kitchen looks very unappealing. Wait until you see these monster fruits, all with different characteristics.

Some possess sharp edges while others have spikes all around them…In summary, they are nothing short of bizarre.

You will however be surprised to know that some people consider them delicacies. After all, the exterior appearance does not necessarily reflect on the taste.

1. Horned Melon

Horned Melon
Photo credit: Temeekron

The fruit earned its name from the protrusions present on its exocarp. It is a member of the cucumber and melon family. This fruit is native to parts of Southern and Central Africa. It is currently being grown in New Zealand and California. You can find some varieties in France too. The gelatin-like fluid in it has a very interesting taste. It is a combination of melon, banana, lime and cucumber tastes.

2. Rambutan

Photo credit: Nattanan726

This fruit is quite common in Thailand, The Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam, among other countries in the East. Its color ranges from yellow to green, and has a skin composed of flexible thorns. The flesh sticks to the seeds in the early stages of fruit development. These seeds, when eaten raw are dangerous. However, when the fruit is ripe, you can easily separate the flesh from the seeds. The taste is more of sweet and less of sour. It almost tastes like a lychee fruit. It can be cultivated in warm climates, for instance in Central America and Africa even though it is native to the aforementioned countries.

3. Dragon Fruit

Dragon Fruit
Photo credit: Olgakr

This fruit is cultivated in Mexico, Israel, Southeast Asia, Central and South America. It is rich in nutrients and has a very sweet taste similar to both the pear and kiwi fruits. It has tiny, scattered fruits that are edible. It is very rich in water and fiber.

4. Buddha Hand

Buddha Hand
Photo credit: Unknown

This is a fragrant fruit that is grows naturally in Yangtze valley in China. It sometimes referred to as the fingered citron, due to its long, fingerlike protrusions. Its origin is not clear, but is said to either be from India or China. It is used in flavoring foods, and has a distinct, sweet aroma.

5. Durian

Photo credit: Choo Yut Shing

This is a seasonal fruit that has a unique taste and very strong smell. It has to ripen on the tree after which it drops off and is collected and eaten. It is native to Malaysia and Indonesia. Although its smell is not very welcoming, the taste however will sweep you off your feet. These tastes vary from variety to variety, but in general, it is a very sweet fruit.

6. Pummelo

Photo credit: SierraSunrise

This is the largest member of the citrus family. It is pear shaped and grows naturally in Malaysia and other parts of South-East Asia. It has not been cultivated in other parts of the world, since it takes 8 years for a plant to start bearing these fruits. It has a tangy taste consistent with grapes.

7. Mammee Apple

Mammee Apple
Photo credit: Fincasanjacinto

This fruit has a very hard mesocarp (flesh) when it is still unripe, but becomes softer as it ripens. It is native to the Caribbean region, and has a leathery rind. It has a sweet scent, and the flesh inside is known to be sugary and aromatic although the seeds are bitter. It is eaten raw.

8. Akebia Quinata Fruit

Akebia Quinata
Photo credit: Carrieonknitting

This is a sausage-shaped fruit that has sweet-tasting, edible pulp inside it. The rind has a bitter taste, although it is used as a vegetable by some communities. The fruit is cultivated for commercial purposes in some parts of New Zealand, but it originated from Middle-Eastern countries, namely Japan and China.

9. Star Apple

Star Apple
Photo credit: Mitz Petel

Star apples are native to Tropical regions of South America and the Caribbean. They are however currently being cultivated in Africa, Asia and Central America. The pulp from this fruit has a very sweet taste. It has to be spooned out from the bitter rind though. Its color may either be white or purple.

10. Purple Sweet Potato

Purple Sweet Potato
Photo credit: VasenkaPhotography

Purple sweet potatoes are very nutritious stem tubers that are thought to have originated from The United States, although they are currently being cultivated all over the world, including in New Zealand. Just as the name suggests, the purple sweet potato has a sweet taste that is somewhat sugary.

11. Passion Fruit

Passion Fruit
Photo credit: Thor

This fruit is native to South America, but is being cultivated all over the world at the moment. When eaten raw, it has a very tart flavor that becomes sweeter and sweeter as the fruit ripens. The taste has some aspect of acidity, making it a very unique fruit. The fruit has edible seeds that are eaten together with the pulp.

12. Pineberries

Photo credit: Dave Crosby

Pineberries have a strawberry-like flavor with a pineapple taste overtone and are said to have originated from North America. It is very fragrant, and has gained popularity in many countries in the world. They are smaller than strawberries, but there are a couple of similarities between the two.

13. Hala Fruit

Hala Fruit
Photo credit: Hala Fruit

This fruit can be eaten raw or cooked. Hala fruits are quite fragrant, and have a fleshy, juicy interior. It is indigenous to Hawaii. It has a number of health benefits. The taste has made it very popular among residents and visitors alike.

14. Cupuaçu

Photo credit: Tavares Jr.

This melon-sized fruit is found in The Amazon. Its flavor is mixture of pineapple, chocolate, pear, passion fruit and banana tastes. It is very popular in Brazil, and is used both as a food and as a raw material in the manufacture of soaps and creams. It has a hydrating effect on the skin, similar to that of cocoa butter.

15. Spanish Lime

Spanish Lime
Photo credit: KennardP

Spanish lime fruits have an acid-sweet taste and look somewhat like unripe lime fruits. More often than not, its taste has been compared to that of a mixture of lychee and lime fruits. It is native to South America, the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico, and is currently being cultivated in these areas.

16. Sweetsop

Photo credit: Manish Shrivastava

Also called sugar-apple, this fruit is native to tropical regions of America and West Indies. New varieties of the same are being developed in Taiwan. The flesh is creamy white in color, and is very sweet. The taste is actually similar to that of custard.

17. Jackfruit

Photo credit: Atsushi*

This fruit is native to south-eastern parts of Asia, with the specific origin being India. It is cultivated in many Asian, Caribbean and East African countries, as well as in Brazil and Mexico. It has a distinct aroma and a flavor similar to a combination of mango, pineapple, banana and apple flavors.

18. Noni Fruit

Photo credit: Rodd Halstead

The plants that produce these fruits grow in a variety of habitats, and bear fruits throughout the year. Noni fruits can either be eaten raw, or cooked, though some people describe them as bitter-tasting when eaten raw. As they ripen, they develop a pungent smell.

19. Mangosteen

Photo credit: Quang D Tran

This tropical fruit is almost the same size as a tangerine fruit. It is believed to have originated from Indonesia, but is cultivated in Puerto Rico and Columbia. It is sweet, pulpy and fibrous, and has a fragrant smell.