Tropical and exotic fruits are beginning to make an appearance in the United States as consumers realize these fruits aren’t as scary as they look.
Native to Southern China, the lychee is a fruit in the same family as rambutans. A lychee has a bumpy skin that turns bright red when it is ripe and ready to eat. Once peeled, the fruit of the lychee is fleshy and juicy with a floral, sweet flavor. It’s extremely popular for use in cocktails and desserts. This fruit can be paired with coconut for addedtropical taste.
This grape-like fruit is covered in a spiky shell that can look intimidating to the average consumer. The fruit inside of the shell can range from sweet to sour and can have both flavors present.
Staying with the tropical trend, dragon fruits are found in tropical and subtropical regions, especially in Asia and South America. The fruit is a vibrant pink and green cactus-like skin with a creamy white flesh speckled with black seeds. Similar to a kiwi, the dragon fruit has a very mild flavor that can be mixed with a variety of fruity and savory flavors.
The jackfruit is one of the largest tree-grown fruit in the world and has similar flavors to pears, pineapples and papaya. The texture of the fruit resembles a very rich mango and can be used in many different ways. It can also be used for savory dishes and when seasoned correctly, it can taste similar to pulled pork.
Primarily grown in Central America and the Caribbean, this fruit is popular in southern Florida. Mamey is a type of pink-orange melon with a thin skin that is easy to peel. The fruit’s texture is so creamy that a spoon is all that is needed to eat the fruit. It is very sweet with flavors of both pumpkin and cantaloupe.