uncommon fruits and veggies
. 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!
. 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!
. 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.
. 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.
. 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.
. Dandelion greens are more commonly known as a particularly bothersome weed.However, it turns out that these weeds are edible and delicious too! They are typically paired with rich, bold foods because of their bitter flavor and are eaten around the world.
. Veggies do not only grow on land they also grow underwater.Dulse is a red and brown hued sea vegetable, which can be purchased as whole leaves or in powdered form.The leaves are chewy and slightly salty, but when cooked dulse becomes crispy.
. The durian may be the world most mysterious fruit.First there the outer husk, which is covered with thorns and must be broken through to get to the yellow fruit inside.Then there the smell.The durian is known for its absolutely horrendous odor, which eaters must overcome to get to the flavorful fruit.While many think the inner meat is delicious, people often disagree about its flavor and liken it to something that they have never experienced bef
. These small green fruits are reminiscent of kiwis.They are egg shaped, and the inner flesh can be scooped out and eaten along with the pulp and seeds.The texture is similar to a pear while the flavor is slightly citrusy and sweet.Feijoas are best enjoyed when soft and ripe.
. Fiddleheads are the curled fronds of a young fern plant, which can be cut off and eaten.These oddly shaped veggies are commonly used in Northern France and Asia.They are known for having a grassy flavor and can only be found during the spring.
. Gai Lan is also known as Chinese broccoli.While it does not have florets, the flavor is similar to broccoli, although Gai Lan is slightly more bitter.The green leaves and stalks are often stir fried or boiled.
. The guanabana, or soursop, is native to Central and South America but is currently grown in Asia.Large inedible seeds make its white pulp difficult to eat.It worth eating if you like pineapples or strawberries, though, because the guanabana flavor has been compared to those two fruits.
. Jamuticaba are sort of like plum sized grapes.They grow directly on tree trunks and branches.Jamuticaba are eaten fresh and also used to make liqueur and wines.The fruit is native to Latin America and is not commonly found far from there because of a short shelf life.
. The jackfruit is the largest fruit in the world.It amazing that these fruits grow on trees considering they can weigh up to 80 pounds each.They are often compared to bananas, but with a tarter flavor.Jackfruits are used for cooking in Asian cuisines and are also eaten raw.
. This veggie is notthe most attractive of tubers, but when peeled it is crunchy and mild.It can be used in place of potatoes or water chestnuts and is commonly used in Mexican cooking, but has spread to Asia as well.
. Kalamansi, or Calamondin, look like a cross between a tangerine and a lime.They are native to Asia and are popular throughout the Philippines.Like lemons and limes, kalamansi are used for their tart, acidic flavor.Typically the fruit is picked before ripeness, when it is green if left on the tree longer it will turn orange.
. Despite its strange looking, thick outer layer, the inner flesh is juicy but crisp.Under the double layering of skin lies the best part of the kohlrabi,which can be eaten raw or cooked.The flavor of Kohlrabi can be compared to a cabbage heart, which is not surprising since the two veggies are related.
. Kumquats are tiny, oval citrus fruits.They are more similar in size to berries than other members of the citron family.They also set themselves apart from other citrus fruits because the skin is eaten along with the center.The peel provides a sweet contrast to the tart, sour inner fruit.
. These Southeast Asian fruits are berry sized but require peeling before they can be eaten.Peel away the thick, yellowish brown exterior to find the sweet, clear fruit.Langsats are often said to taste like a combination between a grape and a grapefruit, while the texture is more like that of a grape.
. Loquats look similar to apricots, although they have seeds inside instead of pits.The yellow orange skin is paired with white, yellow, or orange flesh.The texture is somewhat reminiscent of a melon but manages to be tangy, sweet, and juicy all at the same time.While these small tree fruits are native to China, they can now be found around the world.
. These small tree fruits may look like raspberries with stems, but their hard outer shell is notthe part you want to eat.Peeling off the red and pink layer exposes a clear flesh that has a texture similar to grapes.Lychee are popular in Asia, their native growing place, but continue to become more common in other parts of the world.
. This mango relative was once illegal in the U.S.due to a specific breed of fruit fly that is associated with it.Once the ban was lifted, mangosteen prices skyrocketed at specialty stores.But now the fruit, while still a somewhat rare find in the U.S., can be purchased for a more reasonable rate.The dark purple fruit is extremely sweet once the outer layer is peeled away.To peel, simply score the outer part of the fruit and then break the rind int
. Monstera Deliciosa is a plant native to Central America.The green fruits are large and long.When the fruit is ripe it is known to have a particularly pleasant smell and a taste like a pineapple banana hybrid.The edible flesh underneath the green scales is cut from the core and eaten raw.
. This fruit is another strange looking specimen.A ripe noni fruit is a yellowish white color and the exterior is covered in brown circular spots.Although noni fruits are known for their health benefits, they smell bad and they do not taste much better.
. Despite the fact that the paw paw is notpopular in the U.S., the fruit is actually native to North America.Paw paws have a yellow or bright orange flesh underneath their green skin.They also contain a number of large ovular brown seeds.The flesh is similar in both texture and flavor to a banana.
. The pitaya, or dragon fruit, has a bright pink or white center and is speckled with tiny black seeds.Interestingly, the dragon fruit does nothave an intense flavor despite its bright coloring.It has been compared to a mild melon or kiwi.
. Orange poha berries are protected by green leaves, which grow down around the fruit, almost encapsulating the individual berries.They are described as sweet and tart and have a thin waxy skin.Poha berries originated in South America but have been cultivated for hundreds of years in England and South Africa.Although poha berries are not popular in most the states, the berries have become a staple fruit in Hawaii.
Purple Sweet Potato
. Sweet potatoes can be found in a range of colors, but one of the rarer forms in the U.S.is the purple sweet potato.While sweet potatoes are not native to Japan, the light and darker purple varieties were first produced there.Now some farmers in the U.S.grow purple sweet potatoes, but the orange color is typically the only kind found at supermarkets.
. When looking at a rambutan for the first time, it tough to imagine that it is edible.The red outer layer is covered in hair that is actually a layer of flexible thorns.Ripe rambutans are sweet and are reminiscent of lychee fruits.
. Rollinia are mild, sweet, and slightly citrusy on the inside, but have a rather unappetizing appearance.The yellow fruit is covered in spikes, which turn dark brown when the fruit becomes ripe.
. The romanescu looks like a lime green cauliflower gone very, very wrong.However, this vegetable, which hails from Italy, tastes exactly like your average cauliflower and can be substituted for the plainer looking veggie in most recipes.
. Rose apples are bell shaped fruits that can be eaten much like regular apples.They are crispy and crunchy, like your typical apple, but they taste and smell like roses.Rose apples are now popular in Asia although they are native to the East Indies.The fruits spoil quickly so they are not typically sold in supermarkets.
. Salak, or snake fruit, as they are also called, are native to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei.The small individual fruits are covered in a scaly skin that looks disturbingly similar to a snake.Once peeled, the inner lobes are sweet and acidic and their texture is similar to an apple.
. Salisfy is a tan colored root vegetable that looks like a parsnip.When peeled and cooked the veggie is thought to taste like an artichoke.
. The flavor of a particular santol (some are extremely sour, while others are sweet) depends on which part of the fruit is consumed.Sometimes the outer orange part of the fruit underneath the skin is eaten and in other cases it the inner white pulp.Typically the pulp is thought to be the sour part of the fruit.Today the santol is enjoyed in countries such as India, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
. This fruit was originally found in Mexico although it is also popular in the Philippines.The super sweet interior, which looks similar to a potato, is often compared to candy.
. This green veggie, known by a variety of different names, including sea pickles, sea asparagus, and pickleweed, grows on salt marches and beaches.While sea beans can be eaten raw, they are very salty so they typically need to be cooked in water to tone down the saltiness.The finished product tastes and feels similar to asparagus.
. The starfruit, or carambola, is especially fun to serve because its slices are star shaped.The fruit has a waxy skin and can be eaten unripe for a tarter flavor or ripe for a sweet and sour taste.It has been compared to apples, citrus fruits, and plums.Starfruits are now a common find in the tropical fruit section of American supermarkets.To serve, simply cut off any brown edges and the bottom, where the fruit was picked off the tree, then turn i
. While called an apple, this fruit looks more like a raspberry because of it lumpy outer shell.Inside, sugar apples have a sweet yellowish flesh that has the texture and taste of custard.In fact, another name for the sugar apple is custard apple.This fruit is popular in Southern Asia, although it is native to the Americas.Growers in Taiwan combined it with a cherimoya to make the atemoya.
. The sunchoke, or Jerusalem artichoke, is native to Northeastern America.The root is actually a species of sunflower, but this type of sunflower is grown for its vegetable tuber.Sunchokes have a sweet and nutty flavor said to be similar to artichokes or salsify.
. Tomatillos are in the tomato family, but they remain green when ripe instead of turning red.They are an important part of Mexican cuisine and are often used in sauces.While they look like unripe tomatoes, tomatillos are tarter in flavor.
. Native to Jamaica, ugli fruits are a combination of grapefruits, oranges, and tangerines.They are sweet and juicy, and their wrinkly, yellowish, ugly peel does not do the inner citrus segments justice.
. White asparagus and regular asparagus are actually the same exact vegetable,despite their color differences.White asparagus is grown without sunlight so it never turns green.White asparagus is popular in Europe and is considered superior to the green variety because it is tender and less bitter.
. These small red fruits are native to China.Also called Chinese bayberries or Chinese strawberries, yangmei may look like berries, but they grow on trees.The small red circles that make up the outside of the fruit are eaten along with the inner flesh just watch out for the small brown seed found in the center.
. Yuzu is a citron native to East Asia.Its trees can survive in cold climates, which is rare for a citrus fruit.Much like lemons, yuzu arent typically eaten alone because they are tart.The zest and juice are often used in cooking, especially in Japanese food.