If you grew up American, like me, then your typical idea of “Tropical Fruit” was bananas and the occasional kiwi. When I was a kid, Pineapples were something you rarely saw in a grocery store and mangos were something mentioned in movies or songs and I just assumed they didn’t exist for real and I just assumed Sesame Street and Don Ho were lying to me.
The internet has effectively erased the borders when it comes to things like a country’s native foods, and the global distribution of goods has brought the weird to our neighborhood food dispensaries. Here are 10 bizarre fruits that people actually eat, that we otherwise never would have heard of.
Kiwanos are a strange melon/cucumber relative originally from New Zealand. The outside looks more like something from an 80s side-scroller than a fruit, and the inside is even more bizarre. Usually when something is that green, it is oozing out of a dead alien, and to be honest, isn’t real. But they are. When I was a kid, the commissary (the grocery store if you grew up on a military base) had them once and I talked my mother into buying one. I then spent 2 weeks staring at it, wondering if it was going to scream at me and club me to death if I tried to cut it (it didn’t).
I eventually sliced it open, and as is the case with most tropical fruit, I decided I preferred apples. They are apparently pretty popular, though and work okay in fruit salads.
9. Dragon Fruit
Also known as Pitaya, the dragon fruit lives up to its name in appearance. From the outside, it looks like a decorative modern art flame, and on the inside, well, that is what I figured a dragon must look like on the inside. They originally come from Mexico and New Mexico, but are pretty popular in the eastern world now and grown heavily in the islands of Indonesia, up across South East Asia, in Australia and even as far as Israel.
It is the fruit of a cactus, and is described as having a very watermelon like taste, despite looking like vanilla ice cream studded with dead fruit flies.