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Uncommon Fruits and Veggies
1. African Cucumber
The African cucumber or horned melon, as it is also known is perhaps one of the world most beautiful fruits.It is bright orange on the outside with a green and yellow interior, which forms a geometric design with its seeds.Its flavor has been compared to cucumbers and zucchinis, which the fruit resembles, but also bananas and lemons.While native to Africa, horned melons are now grown in California, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand.
Cherimoyas come from short, shrub like trees.They have a white flesh, which is extremely soft and sweet.It has almost a custard like texture, which is why the fruit is also referred to as the custard apple.The flavor or cherimoyas is often compared to sweet fruits like bananas, peaches, and strawberries, but some think they taste like bubblegum!
3. Black Radish
Black radishes are often referred to as black Spanish radishes.They were a common garden plant in England and France in the 1800s and are known for having a spicier flavor than their crimson counterparts.
The atemoya is actually a fruit hybrid.It is a combination of the sugar apple and the cherimoya.The fruit is both sweet and tart and combines the flavors of pineapple, coconut, and vanilla.Atemoyas are popular in Taiwan, Palestine, and Lebanon.The flesh can be scooped out of the shell and is best when chilled.Watch out for the large black seeds found throughout they are toxic!
5. Black Sapote
The black sapote sometimes called chocolate pudding fruit because of the color and texture of its flesh is native to Central and South America.Today it is often used to make dessert in the Philippines and Mexico.In Central America the black sapote is fermented to make a liqueur.
6. Bottle Gourd
The bottle gourd, or calabash, grows on a vine.It can be used as a vegetable, but when left to ripen further it can be dried and used as an actual bottle.Certain dishes in Indian and Chinese cuisines use the vegetable, while the gourd is often used as a container in Japan.
7. Buddha Hand
This fruit may look like a frightening Halloween prop, but it is actually part of the citron family.Its fingers can be segmented for consumption however, it is typically used for its citrus like fragrance or for zest.Buddha hand is native to Northeast India and China.
The canistel, or eggfruit, has a similar texture to a boiled egg.It is not particularly juicy, but it is sweet and can be eaten raw.The fruit texture lends itself well for use in custards, ice cream, and sorbet.Canistels are native to Mexico but are popular throughout several countries in Asia.
While the chayote is technically a fruit, it is often cooked like a vegetable.It is compared to a potato or a cucumber and can be boiled, fried, baked, or pickled.The plant is native to Mexico and Central America, but locals in Australia and New Zealand grow chayotes in their gardens.
Cucamelon are native to Mexico and Central America.They taste like sour cucumbers but look like miniature watermelons, which has led to nicknames such as sour gherkin and Mexican miniature watermelon.They grow on vines and are about the size of grapes.
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