Exotic fruits and vegetables offer a unique opportunity to break away from the apple and watermelon routine, which will expand your horizon about the world of fruits and veggies. In fact, for health enthusiasts, unusual fruits and vegetables are the only way to ensure you do not get bored with the same old range of products. When you think of all the fruits and vegetables you know, you might think that there is a lot to choose from. But did you know that the range available in grocery stores and supermarkets is just the tip of the iceberg?
There are numerous exotic fruits and vegetables out there that you may never know about, unless you make a concerted effort. Some of them most exotic fruits and vegetables could be quite difficult to find, mostly because they grow in areas that you might have never visited before.
Therefore, to help you get better acquainted with them, we have prepared an exotic fruit and vegetable list for all health and gardening enthusiasts out there! Most of the items are unique, rare, and weird-looking, plus you may never have heard of before. So prepare your visual senses for an adventure of a lifetime!
Odd Fruits and Vegetables That You Didn’t Know Exist
#1 Dragon Fruit – Hylocereus Triangularis
Looking to branch out from the obvious and get a taste of the weird and unknown? Well, in the range of exotic fruits and vegetables, none is quite as unusual as the dragon fruit!
Everything from the color of the fruit too, shocking, super-bright pink, and spiky-looking exterior, says you are in for a surprise. It is surprisingly delicious and healthy, too! Moreover, the best part about it is that it is easy to grow and care for.
#2 Watermelon Radish
Make a colorful addition to your relish tray with one of these exotic fruits and vegetables. Massive in size and full of color, the watermelon radish is a fruit that looks like a work of art, very pretty!
Also, based on what they say about the taste, it is just as tasty as it is visually appealing. White-skinned with a light green exterior, the fruit is super sweet and juicy. In addition to its tender flesh, the delicacy has a bright red heart to boot!
#3 Cherimoya – Custard Apple
At first glance, the cherimoya might not seem too appealing. But don’t let the simple look of this fruit fools you! On the inside, this cool fruit packs up juicy goodness.
You might never have enough of its creamy and custard-like texture. It tastes like a blend of strawberry, pineapple, and also banana. Native to South America, the fruit is now available in lots of other warm climates due to its preference for sun exposure. Also, we definitely say that this is one of the exotic fruits and vegetables that you need to taste, at least once in your life.
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#4 Snake Fruit – Thai Salacca Salak
Known as the snake fruit because of its scaly skin, the Salak, or Salacca Zalacca, is a tropical fruit popularly found in South East Asia. If you have never set eyes on the fruit before, the white fleshy interior might come as a bit of a surprise.
However, we must say that its juicy and delicious taste will have you asking for more as soon as your senses register the delight. It is for good reason that it is considered among the best palm fruits to eat raw.
#5 Buddha’s Hand Citron
Featuring a distinct shape that informs the name, Buddha’s hand citron is a great weird-looking fruit for your backyard garden. Set to add a sense of intrigue, mystery, and amazing flair to your space, this fruit will have everyone begging for a closer look.
Each fruit sports long fingerlike protrusions curled upwards, to form yellow hands all over the tree. Apart from being a delicious treat when eaten whole, it also works perfectly in cocktails.
#6 Rainbow Beetroot
Moving on to the next item on our list of the most exotic fruits and vegetables, let’s uncover a vibrant health secret in this collection of rainbow beets! As the name implies, they come in a beautiful array of colors to adorn your salad plate.
If you are hoping to appeal to a skeptic who has yet to discover the joys of beetroot, this might well be your best bet. Apart from the color variations, they also differ in flavor, providing a sumptuous feast for your culinary senses.
Yes, you guessed right! A cucamelon is a blend of cucumber and melon! For anyone who loves to experiment with unusual plants, this combination would be right up your alley. The fruit comes in the size of a grape, with a cucumber taste laced with a sour tinge.
Moreover, it is also commonly known as the mouse melon due to its size. With one of these handy kits, you get everything you need to grow your very own cucamelons!
#8 Glass Gem Corn
When it comes to visual appeal, no unusual vegetables come close to the glass gem corn. From how it looks, it is easy to see the inspiration behind the name!
Its legendary beauty hails from the rare combination of colors and translucent appearance that makes it seem glasslike. If you have been looking for a trick to get the kids to eat more veggies, then you just found it! Also, you might want to know that you could use it to make unique jewelry, too!
#9 White Strawberry
Just when you thought it could not get any better, you come across the white strawberries. Though they might be unfamiliar to most, these weird fruits have been present in the Japanese luxury fruit market for a while now.
A great way to break away from tradition, the fruit is as fascinating as it is tasty. It features an exquisite aroma and flavor that will have your senses begging for more. We just need to say that in our opinion, this fruit is truly one of the most exotic fruits and vegetables out there.
#10 Langsat Fruit
Widely grown in South East Asia, the langsat fruit resembles a small potato. In spite of the drab looks, however, the taste is extremely delicious. It is described as being akin to a blend of banana, grapefruit, and grapes.
The flesh is similar to that of lychee, tender, sweet and juicy. More importantly, tropical fruit holds lots of health benefits from offering digestive aid to increasing the production of red blood cells, among others.
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#11 Calamondin – Calamansi Limes
Add a dash of tropical goodness to your fruit collection with calamansi lime. Unlike most citrus fruits, the bright orange skin on this one is edible.
A tangy, lemony taste stimulates the senses and leaves you feeling refreshed. As a container-suitable plant, the calamansi is pretty easy to grow in your little garden. By so doing, you can enjoy adding the leaves to some cooked dishes for a wonderful taste.
#12 Red Noodle Yard Long Beans
When it comes to interesting vegetables from around the world, these are probably among the most uncommon ones yet. They are also one of the tastiest bean varieties on the planet, not to mention their high visual appeal, too.
A sweet, earthy flavor makes them stand out whether sautéed or cooked in any other way. For gardening enthusiasts in small urban spaces, the beans are advantageous. Thanks to vertical growth, they save significantly on space. It does not hurt either that they have lots of pods.
#13 Maradol Papaya
Few fruits produce quite as well as the Maradol papaya. Popularly referred to as the sweet jewel of the tropics, the single-stem tree grows to a height of about three meters.
The leaves have a spiral design and sit towards the top of the trunk. Starting at less than one foot from the ground all the way to the top, fruits adorn the entire trunk. Fortunately, you can never have too many papayas, considering their delicious taste and rich health benefits.
#14 Giant Watermelon
On the opposite end of the spectrum from the mouse, watermelon sits the giant watermelon. In as far as looks are concerned, it resembles any other melon in the market.
However, when it comes to size, these uncommon fruits would dwarf most kids. The size of shockingly huge if you ask us. If you are renowned for throwing killer summer parties, all you need is one of these to keep your title for another year! Also, the best part about it is that you can grow it in your own backyard. Pretty cool, isn’t it?
#15 Goji Berry
One of the least weird-looking specimens from our exotic fruit and vegetable collection, Goji berry is nonetheless extremely rare. Also known as wolfberries, this reddish-orange have a sweet and sour flavor.
In health circles, it is commonly referred to as a super fruit due to its myriad health benefits. Based on a true fact, it has been used for centuries as a key ingredient in Chinese medicine. So, we believe without a doubt, this is one berry every garden should have!
#16 African Fig
It might take a while to get accustomed to the unique taste of the African fig. With a reddish-brown exterior and a vibrant red interior, the fruit is not anything like most others.
This is because it is in fact not a fruit but a flower. Its base grows to enclose small florets, which then blossom in this enveloped space, hence the crunchy seeds. In spite of their weirdness, they actually have multiple benefits, and the most common one being its aphrodisiac properties.
#17 Giant Cucumbers
If you simply cannot get enough of cucumbers, then the only recourse would be to get yourself one of these giant cucumbers. In this era of giant vegetables, nothing is off-limits, not even cucumbers. We know that a cucumber is not that weird, but this giant version of it definitely comes as one of the most exotic fruits and vegetables out there, right?
And contrary to common belief, even the largest one of these uncommon vegetables tastes as great as any other. And the best part about it is that with a single one of them, you can feed almost everyone you know!
#18 Dwarf Banana
No matter where you live, your landscape could get a major facelift from dwarf banana trees. Plus, they can also add major tropical pizzazz to your space.
Their versatility makes them just as suitable for the indoors as they are outdoors. Easy to grow and compact, they sport lush leafage and extremely sweet fruit. With a pot or two of these weird plants, we think that you will have an endless supply of fresh banana in no time at all.
#19 Jack Fruit
Known as the largest fruit from a tree, the jack fruit is not as pretty on the outside as it is inside. A peek behind the rough green exterior reveals a pulpy yellow interior with lots of promise.
And fortunately, it does not fail to deliver. With the scent of pineapples and banana, it offers a delight for your taste buds. Just one of its trees can produce as many as 200 fruits in a year.
#20 Blue Watermelon
Getting bored with the same old red watermelon every morning at breakfast? Well, why not spice things up a little with the strangest product on our list of exotic fruits and vegetables? The blue watermelon breaks every rule in the book and is a great way to get everyone’s attention.
Considering that even blueberries are purple, this bright blue watermelon is one of the rarest fruits ever. Fortunately, you can create your own mini garden of these unique plants.
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#21 Rainbow Carrots
If ever there was a magic trick to get the young ones interested in veggies, every parent would kill to get it. Well, rainbow carrots might be as close as you’ll ever get to making that dream a reality.
Featuring almost every color on the spectrum, they are a fun way to brighten up the table and offer some entertainment. Notably, also, they have completely different flavors and at times the exterior color does not match the interior. How cool is that!
#22 Mini Eggplant
Next up on our list of exotic fruits and vegetables, do you know what the best part is about these unusually small eggplants? They are the very essence of “good things come in small packages” philosophy. About the size of a pinkie, they take only 68 days from seed to mature veggies.
Since they grow on equally small plants, they are the perfect choice of unusual plants to have on your patio garden. Every single plant will produce an abundance of mini eggplants to surpass your needs.
#23 Baby Blue Jade Corn
Get your kids in on gardening while you still can with the strange but fun blue corn. Small enough to grow in a container, the plant only grows to a height of three inches.
Each one produces between three and five ears, which are also quite small, half the size of regular sweet corn. The steel blue kernels turn jade when dropped in water! If you need some motivation to start a backyard garden, then we would say that this one will definitely be your best bet.
#24 Striped Honeydew Melon
And when you imagined you have seen it all, they had to go and bring striped melons! One look at them and you would imagine they are beach balls.
But on closer inspection, a rich and delightful fragrance confirms that they are in fact edible. Weighing somewhere between two and three pounds, they taste like ripe honeydew. Just imagine what a hit they would be at your local market!
#25 Zucca Gourds
Weighing between 30 and a hundred pounds, Zucca gourds are perhaps the largest gourd species on the planet. But size is not all there is to these weird vegetables, they are also extremely tasty.
Moreover, they are just as fun to eat as they are to grow. Capable of growing as tall as a pre-teen, they will certainly pique the interest of young and old alike. They have numerous uses, from serving as jam extenders to acting like zucchini in bread.
#26 Yellow Watermelon
Enjoy this rare blend of fun, great taste and a healthy treat all packed into a single watermelon. The speckled rind has earned it the name Moon and Stars melon. It sports numerous small golden spots and one large one against a midnight black background.
A bright yellow inside comes as a pleasant surprise when you cut it open, adding to its high appeal. So, create your own little watermelon rainbow with this cool fruit and the other color variants.
#27 Giant Strawberry
Considering how small the strawberry normally is, the giant strawberry is one of the most outstanding pieces on our exotic fruits and vegetables list. For any strawberry enthusiast, this seems like a dream come true.
They are as big as apples meaning that you need several bites to get through a single one! Whether you love them on desserts or simply for snacking, these giants will have you coming up with new strawberry recipes.
#28 Sapodilla Fruit
If you come from South America, you will probably know this exotic fruit already. Sapodilla has the Latin name Manilkara zapota and is popular in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. However, being one of the exotic fruits and vegetables, this fruit is also commonly found in other tropical countries, too.
Sapodilla has a soft texture and is slightly gritty when ripe. The fruit’s flesh is brown, not much different from the skin. Moreover, the Sapodilla tree can be planted in your front yard and is relatively easy to care for. Interested in trying it?
#29 Groundcherry / Gooseberry
As a lover of uncommon fruits, you should be familiar with ground cherries, too. Unlike regular cherries, the skin and flesh of groundcherry are bright yellow when ripe. In some countries, groundcherry is known as gooseberry.
Nowadays, groundcherry is getting more and more popular as the research about it multiplies. It is known that this tropical fruit has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and immunosuppressant properties. Moreover, this fruit grows wild in thickets on the American continent and other tropical areas in terms of their habitat. The seeds of this fruit are also currently widely traded.
#30 Star Fruit
Are you someone who likes to explore new things? Looks like you are the right person to feel the sweet and fresh sensation of this fascinating fruit. Native to Southeast Asia countries, this fruit known as Star Fruit or Carambola does have a star-like shape with five knuckles when cut.
This fruit will be yellow with a crunchy and juicy texture when ripe. Star fruit has a sweet, slightly sour taste and is rich in vitamin C. In our opinion, it is perfect to be further processed into sweets or just eaten in the summer.
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#31 Rambutan Fruit
Rambutan fruit literally means hair fruit in the Indonesian language. And indeed, the fruit is covered in hair! It looks almost like some sort of animal rather than a fruit. Rambutan skin is red once it is ripe. The thick hair is part of the skin that protects the fruits.
This exotic fruit is common in South East Asia, but it is especially popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Once you open up the creepy hair, you will find a fruit with white flesh. It is juicy and very sweet! The flavor will remind you a bit of lychee. We must say that it is very refreshing. There is only one seed in the middle of the thick flesh. Usually, the seed can come off easily.
Here is another exotic, delicious fruit from the tropical paradise! The mangosteen! It is not mango even though it has mango in its name. In fact, it looks nothing alike. Mangosteen is a round-shaped fruit that has black skin. Yet, once you open it up, it will reveal delicious white flesh that may remind you of garlic a little bit.
Its flesh is clumped together like a clove of garlic inside the black outer skin. Even though the outer layer is thick, mangosteen is easy to peel. You can crack it open effortlessly. Mangosteen has such a refreshingly sweet and sour flavor. Some people even dubbed it the Queen of fruit due to its delicate look and deliciousness!
The flavor might remind you of longan fruit, but the flesh is much softer. Some mangosteen may contain a little bit of seed. Mangosteen is commonly cultivated in Indonesia.
#33 Stink Bean
South East Asia holds so many strange fruits and vegetables. For example, the stink bean! At a glance, the pod of the stink beans looks like giant peas. However, inside, you will find a green bean that permeates a very strong, sharp odor. The flavor is as intense as it smells. Thus it gets its monicker, the stink bean!
It might remind you a little bit about asparagus. The two plants contain rich amino acids that cause the odor. Now many people like stink beans. In fact, most Westerners may not be able to handle it due to its intense flavor and scent. However, stink bean is highly popular in countries like Malay, Thailand, and Indonesia.
South East Asian people sometimes eat them raw as a sidekick to the main dish. People there also fry the beans and mix them up with fried rice, creating a super fragrance flavor and aroma.
#34 Soursop Fruit
You may think that soursop looks like some sort of giant thorny avocado. It may also remind you of the sticky durian and the jack fruit. Yet inside is thick white juicy flesh that has a complex flavor. Soursop is sour yet sweet but also very tangy. It contains a lot of water, resulting in very soft fibrous flesh. You can eat it right away after you slive it up. Though people also often turn them into a very refreshing smoothy.
This fruit contains a lot of minerals and vitamins. It is definitely one of the most underrated fruits that you can find in the tropical paradise. Soursop is native to Central America and around the Caribbean. However, nowadays, you can find it around Southeast Asia as well.
#35 Durian Fruit
At a glance, durian fruit will remind you of the jack fruit. Both have spikey outer skin. However, Durian’s spikes are larger and sharper. Inside is also less fibrous. Durian has creamy flesh. The scent is unmistakable. While jackfruit has a fragrance pleasant smell, durian has a super sharp scent.
The scent is so intense that people in Singapore are not allowed to bring it on board public transportation. Yes, durian is so smelly. Some say that it is a mix between rotten ripe fruit, alcohol, and garlic. For Westerners, the durian has become a symbol of exotic fruit from Southeast Asia. Only a few dare to try it.
However, if you are accustomed to the flavor, you might get addicted. Yes, the fruit contains a high level of alcohol! Its acquired taste may not for everyone but it is undeniable that the Durian is among the favorite fruit for Malaysians, Indonesians, and Thais.
Now that you have added quite a few new entries to your list of exotic fruit and vegetables, you have no excuse to run out of ideas ever again. And the best part is that now you can get the seeds and growing instructions for each one and start your own little garden! Have fun and add some variety to your life with these weird-looking fruits and vegetables.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is the most delicious exotic fruit you can try?
You can’t say that one fruit is the best among others. But, if you like exotic fruits that have a sweet taste, you will find that jack fruit is the most delicious exotic fruit. Apart from its taste, its delicate texture also makes it a favorite of many people. Usually, jack fruit is eaten directly or added to ice cream or pudding in many Southeast Asian countries.