At the height of summer, there’s nothing better than a bowl of chilled fruit salad to refresh and cool off – but don’t you get bored with having the same old fruits every time?  Well, if you do, here are 20 of the most weird fruits you probably haven’t heard of. You can use this list to alternate the fruits you eat and get better nourishment. The fruits are listed alphabetically!

Here Goes The List: 20 Most Weird Fruits

1. – African Cucumber, aka Melano or ‘Horned Melon’ – Found around the Kalahari desert and now grown in New Zealand and California as well, this fruit looks like a yellow melon with small horns all over the rind, rather like those of a ridge cucumber.  The dark green pulp with large white seeds is a popular decoration on food and made into sundaes and smoothies, and has a taste described as reminiscent of limes, cucumber, bananas and passion fruit, all at once!

African Cucumber

2. – Buddha’s Hand or ‘Fingered Citron’ – this fruit got its names because it resembles a hand with fingers!  It is seedless and grows on a shrubby small tree with oblong leaves in the Himalayas.  High in vitamin C and used in cooking wherever you would otherwise use lemons, it will keep in a fridge for a couple of weeks. To the Chinese it is a symbol of happiness and longevity, and the Japanese believe it will bring good fortune to the household where it is given as a New Year’s gift.

Buddha's Hand

3. – Cherimoya or ‘Custard Apple’ – This South American fruit has a rough skin but on the inside it has a custard-like substance that is sweet and often eaten from the rind with a spoon (although the inedible seeds should be spat out).  It is used as an ice-cream or sherbet, and in soft drinks, sauces and fruit salads.  The tree has scented flowers and fleshy green petals.


4. – Dragon fruit – This Mexican/South American fruit has to be one of the most spectacularly weird fruits  to look at – it comes in several varieties but the most popular, the strawberry pear or pitaya, has a strawberry-red rind dotted with small green leaves, a bright fuchsia-pink zest and white flesh filled with tiny black seeds.  Dragon fruits are used for juice and wine, and a tea is made from the edible flowers.

Dragon fruit

5. – Durian – now THIS is a weird fruit, and quite possibly the weirdest in the world!  It is roughly pear-shaped, has a spiny, hard husk, and stinks to high heaven – the odour is has been compared to sewage, or skunk spray!  This has caused the fruit to be banned in public places in its native Southeast Asia.  However, the Durian, aka ‘the king of fruits’, apparently has a taste that is so delicious that it is worth putting up with the smell!  Perhaps if you eat dessert with a peg on your nose …?!


6. – Jabotacaba – A type of guava, Jabotacaba fruits are plum-sized but otherwise look like black grape clusters on their trees in Brazil.  Jabotacaba berries have a slightly tough skin but can be eaten as they come, or used in any dishes and drinks that call for berry fruits.

jabotacaba - 20 Most Weird Fruits

7. – Jackfruit – A very large fruit found all over Asia and Australia, the knobbly green Jackfruit’s juicy pulp tastes a lot like a mild pineapple and is used a great deal in Asian cuisine.


8. – Lamut or Sapodilla – Originally from Mexico and the Yucatan, this fruit is about the size and look of a potato, and its flavour (when ripe) is absolutely gorgeous – it has been compared to caramel or cotton candy.  The seeds look like large black beans but should not be swallowed as they have a hook at one end that can catch in the throat.  Lamut fruit are unusual in that they will only ripen *after* they have been picked.


9. – Langsat – At first glance the leathery brown skin of this egg-shaped fruit makes it look more like a new potato!  Inside, however, it has translucent white flesh like a lychee which tastes a lot like grapefruit and is quite acidic until it is very ripe, when it sweetens.  A couple of inches/5cm or so across, this fruit grows in clusters of up to thirty at a time in its native Malaysia and much of Southeast Asia (plus Hawaii, with human help)


10. – Mangosteen – Growing on an evergreen tree in Malaysia and Indonesia, the mangosteen fruit is purple-skinned with dark red creamy flesh surrounding a cluster of five white nut-like seeds.  The taste is described as ‘citrus, but with a touch of peach’ and it has even been suggested that the anti-oxidant-rich fruit might help lower the risk of such diseases as cancer.


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