Nature has its own way of giving it back to us. And sometimes it is in shape of bounties that are unimaginably delectable.If you take a trip through the supermarket’s produce isle, you might be forgiven for thinking that you have an impressive variety of fruit at your fingertips. In reality, however, this is only a small offering of the wide variety of delicious and exotic fruit that Mother Nature has in store. You may be surprised to learn about all the different weird and exotic fruits from Asia that can open up an entirely new world to you. Here are 22 weird and exotic fruits from Asia you’ve probably never heard of!
Myrica rubra commonly known as Yangmei is also identified by several other regional names like Chinese bayberry, Jaile slowing down the collapse of collagen which in turn helps in keeping your skin smooth, firm and wrinkle-free.panese bayberry, Red bayberry, Waxberry and Yumberry; this tree is mainly grown for its sweet, crimson to dark purple-red edible fruit. It is a subtropical, small to medium sized tree that grows up to 10–20 m (33–66 ft) high. Having a very smooth bark that is gray in color, it has an identical spherical to hemispherical crown. With separate male and female plants, it comes under the category of dioecious.
2. Sugar apple
Sugar-apple or sweetsop is the fruit of Annona squamosa, the most widely grown species of Annona and a native of the tropical Americas and West Indies. The Spanish traders of Manila galleons brought it to Asia where its old Mexican name ate may still be found in Bengali ata, Nepalese aati, Sinhalese katu aatha, Burmese award thee, and atis in the Philippines. It is also known as custard apple in India and (mainly Annona reticulata) in the Philippines.
Sugar-apple is high in energy, an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese, a good source of thiamine and vitamin B6, and provides vitamin B2, B3 B5, B9, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium in fair quantities.
3. Nipah seeds
The nipah seeds grow on the nipah palm tree, and is a translucent, white and chewy fruit. It is most commonly served in a shaved-ice Malaysian dessert called ais kacang.Nipah virus has caused recurring outbreaks in central and northwest Bangladesh (the “Nipah Belt”). Little is known about roosting behavior of the fruit bat reservoir, Pteropus giganteus, or factors driving spillover.
Soursop is the fruit of Annona muricata, a broadleaf, flowering, evergreen tree. The exact origin is unknown; it is native to the tropical regions of the Americas and is widely propagated.The soursop is a fruit of the annona muricata, a small evergreen tree. Its flesh is soft, white and pulpish, with a sour citrus flavour that is also slightly creamy.The pulp is also used to make fruit nectar, smoothies, fruit juice drinks, as well as candies, sorbets, and ice cream flavorings.
5. Water apple
Water apple is a name applied to any group of fruits of this genus, but should only be known by the Indian/Malay name of “jambu”. Jambu has a Sanskrit origin and is applied in Malaysia and Indonesia to several quite different fruits. In Malaysia, it generally means cultivated fruits as opposed to those in the wild; but it is most often used to refer to fruits from this particular genus. The same holds true in Indonesia, except that the word can refer to plants of other genera. For example, “jambu batu” (stone jambu) refers to the guava, while “jambu met” means the cashew fruit.
6. Bread fruit
Breadfruit is a species of flowering tree in the mulberry and jackfruit family originating in the South Pacific and that was eventually spread to the rest of Oceania.Breadfruit has its origins in the region of Oceania from New Guinea through the Indo-Malayan Archipelago to western Micronesia.Breadfruit has hundreds of varieties and thousands of common names varying according to its geographic distribution, and is cultivated in some 90 countries.Breadfruit is 71% water, 27% carbohydrates, 1% protein and negligible in fat (table). In a 100 gram amount, raw breadfruit is a rich source (35% of the Daily Value, DV) of vitamin C, a good source (10% DV each) of thiamin and potassium, with no other nutrients in significant content.
Also known as cotton fruit or sour apple, santol is the size of a baseball and resembles the mangosteen. It tastes sweet and sour, and the seed can be eaten like candy.The santol is a fast-growing, straight-trunked, pale-barked tree 50 to 150 ft (15-45 m) tall, branched close to the ground and buttressed when old.The santol is believed native to former Indochina (especially Cambodia and southern Laos) and Malaya, and to have been long ago introduced into India, the Andaman Islands, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Moluccas, Mauritius, and the Philippines where it has become naturalized. It is commonly cultivated throughout these regions and the fruits are abundant in the local markets.
8. Dragon fruit
A pitaya or pitahaya is the fruit of several cactus species indigenous to the Americas. Pitaya usually refers to fruit of the genus Stenocereus, while pitahaya or dragon fruit refers to fruit of the genus Hylocereus.Dragon fruits have zero complex carbohydrates, so foods can be more easily broken down in the body, helped by vitamin B1 (thiamin) and other B vitamins. The phytochemical captain, used as a medication to treat heart problems, is present in the fruit itself, and an oil in the seed operates as a mild laxative.
Dimocarpus longan, commonly known as the longan , is a tropical tree that produces edible fruit. It is one of the better-known tropical members of the soapberry family (Sapindaceae), to which the lychee also belongs. Included in the soapberry family are the lychee, rambutan, guarani, koran, pitomba, Spanish lime and ackee. Longan is commonly associated with lychee, which is similar in structure but more aromatic in taste.
7. Star fruit
Star fruit is also known as carambola, is a star-shaped tropical fruit with sweet and sour flavor. Carambola is native to the Malayan peninsula and cultivated in many parts of Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands and China for its fruits. Although abundant and plentiful, carambola is yet to gain popularity, especially in the western world.Star fruit is rich in antioxidant phytonutrient polyphenolic flavonoids. Some of the important flavonoids present are quercetin, epicatechin, and gallic acid.
8. Wood apple
Wood apple is a common name for several trees with edible fruits and may refer to: Aegle marmelos (“Bael” in Hindi), a tree native to India. Limonia acidissima, (“Vellaga pandu” in Telugu), (“Velam Palam” in Tamil), a tree native to Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and southeast Asia east to Java.
9. Snake fruit
Snake fruit, more technically known as salak or salacca zalacca, is native to Indonesia but is now grown and produced around southeast Asia. The fruit grows on the salak palm tree, sprouting off the base of the palm in little clusters.Salak is a species of palm tree native to Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. It is cultivated in other regions as a food crop, and reportedly naturalized in Bali, Lombok, Timor, Malaysia, Maluku and Sulawesi.
Lansium parasiticum, also known as langsat or lanzones, is a species of tree in the Mahogany family. The plant, which originates from western Southeast Asia, bears edible fruit.Fruits look much like small potatoes and are borne in clusters similar to grapes. The larger fruits are on the variety known as duku. It is covered by thin, yellow hair giving a slightly fuzzy aspect.Some parts of the plant are used in making traditional medicine. The bitter seeds can be pounded and mixed with water to make a deworming and ulcer medication.
The jackfruit, also known as jack tree, jackfruit, or sometimes simply jack or jak, is a species of tree in the fig, mulberry, and breadfruit family.It is native to parts of South and Southeast Asia and is believed to have originated in the southwestern rain forests of the Western Ghats in the Indian subcontinent.The pulp of jackfruit is composed of 74% water, 23% carbohydrates, 2% protein and 1% fat (table). In a 100 gram portion, raw jackfruit provides 95 calories and is a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of vitamin B6 (25% DV). It contains moderate levels (10-19% DV) of vitamin C and potassium, with no other nutrients in significant content (table).
Mangosteen fruit (Garcinia mangostana) is a unique pear-shaped, sweet, juicy and tangy tropical fruit that has a deep reddish-purple colored exocarp (rind) when ripe. It grows on an evergreen tree native to the islands of Southeast Asia.Mangosteen fruit also contains high levels of magnesium. Magnesium helps control the electrical function of the heart, keeping the heart rate and blood pressure under control and promoting a regular heart beat. Vitally important for people with minor symptoms concerning their circulatory systems.
The durian is the fruit of several tree species belonging to the genus Durio. The name “durian” is derived from the Malay-Indonesian languages word for duri or “spike”, a reference to the numerous spike protuberances of the fruit, together with the noun-building suffix -an.Raw durian is composed of 65% water, 27% carbohydrates (including 4% dietary fiber), 5% fat and 1% protein. In 100 grams, raw or fresh frozen durian provides 33% of the Daily Value (DV) of thiamin and moderate content of other B vitamins, vitamin C and the dietary mineral, manganese (15–24% DV, table).
The rambutan is a medium-sized tropical tree in the family Sapindaceae. The name also refers to the edible fruit produced by this tree. The rambutan is native to the Malay-Indonesian region, and other regions of tropical Southeast Asia. Rambutan fruit contains diverse nutrients but in modest amounts, with only manganese having moderate content at 16% of the Daily Value per 100 g consumed (right table; note data are for canned fruit in syrup, not as raw which may have different nutrient contents).
Noni juice is derived from the fruit of the Morinda citrifolia tree indigenous to Southeast Asia and Australasia. Noni juice has been promoted as a cure for a number of human diseases. However, there is no evidence to support these claims.The noni plant, native to Asia, Australia, and the islands of Polynesia, is a small, shrubby tree. The plant’s white flowers are tubular. The fruit is yellow-greenish-white in color and large, with a pebbled surface. The ripe fruit has a characteristic cheese-like, bad odor.
The lychee is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family, Sapindaceae. It is a tropical fruit tree native to the Guangdong and Fujian provinces of China, where cultivation is documented 1059 AD.China is the main producer of lychees, followed by India, other countries in Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and South Africa.Lychee contains many phytochemicals; the seeds were found to contain methylene cyclopropyl glycine which can cause hypoglycemia, and outbreaks of encephalopathy in Indian and Vietnamese children have been linked to its consumption.
The pomelo, Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis, also called pomelo, pummelo, pamplemousse, jabong (Hawaii), batabi or jambura (Bengali), zambura (Sylheti) or shaddock, is a natural (non-hybrid) citrus fruit, similar in appearance to a large grapefruit, native to South and Southeast Asia.The fruit is usually pale green to yellow when ripe, with sweet white (or, more rarely, pink or red) flesh, and a very thick albedo (rind pith). It is a large citrus fruit, 15–25 centimetres (5.9–9.8 in) in diameter, usually weighing 1–2 kilograms (2.2–4.4 lb). Leaf petioles are distinctly winged.
Ciku , a tropical fruit also known as sapodilla, belongs to the family Sapotaceae. Various species of Manilkara are grown and used worldwide for different purposes. The species most popular for its fruit in Singapore and Southeast Asia is the Manilkara zapota. This was also called Manilkara achras, Achras zapota or Nispero achras, a derivative of the Greek word achras for the Pear tree, because of the fruit’s semblance to a pear.
Guavas are common tropical fruits cultivated and enjoyed in many tropical and subtropical regions. Psidium guajava is a small tree in the Myrtle family, native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America.The most frequently eaten species, and the one often simply referred to as “the guava”, is the apple guava .Guavas are typical Myrtaceae, with tough dark leaves that are opposite, simple, elliptic to ovate and 5–15 centimetres (2.0–5.9 in) long. The flowers are white, with five petals and numerous stamens. The fruits are many-seeded berries.
20. Kaffir lime
The word “Kaffir” means infidel or non-believer. It is a slur against black people that Islamic Arabic traders used for Africans, that became “kaffer,” a slur used by the white population of South Africa akin to the slur “nigger” in the United States,and is considered to be highly offensive. The fruit is known more generally as a lime in Asia, or a makrut (mac-rit (US); mockroot (UK)) and there have been editorials and articles suggesting that the vendors of the seeds, limes, and leaves use the name makrut rather than kaffir.
Kumquats are a group of small fruit-bearing trees in the flowering plant family Rutaceae. They were previously classified as forming the now historical genus Fortunella, or placed within Citrus sensu lato.The edible fruit closely resembles that of the orange (Citrus sinensis), but it is much smaller, being approximately the size and shape of a large olive. Kumquat is a fairly cold-hardy citrus.
The pulasan, Nephelium mutabile Blume, is a tropical fruit closely allied to the rambutan and sometimes confused with it.The pulasan is native to Peninsular Malaysia. The flavour is generally much sweeter than that of the rambutan. The seed is ovoid, oblong or ellipsoid, light brown, somewhat flattened on one side, and 2 to 3.5 cm long.The pulasan is ultra-tropical and thrives only in very humid regions between 360 and 1,150 ft (110-350 m) of altitude. In Malaya, it is said that the tree bears best after a long, dry season.