May and June is the month of bloom. It’s the peak of nature’s regrowth and healing. Along with Mother Nature’s recovery process, it also spells good tidings for crops, fruits and veggies.
If you have been doing your own shopping, you might think that you have already seen most of the fruits available in the country. Sure, we all know our bananas, oranges, apples, watermelon etc. However, what we see in our usual grocery stores and supermarkets are only a small part of what Mother Nature has to offer.
Keep reading, you may be surprised to know that there are more exotic fruits to be discovered. Guanabana, rambutan, jocote and mamones may be among the few that are widely known from Costa Rica, but there are more
Here are 10 weird and exotic fruits from Costa Rica you’ve probably never heard of.
As known as soursop in English (most popular in the United States), Guanabana is a tropical, hard-looking fruit with small spines that surround its entire body. However, we can find inside the fruit a fleshy consistency, rich in fiber and with a type of ovoid seeds. the pulp of guanábana is chewable and its flavor makes it an exotic fruit as it combines different aromas to give a flavor between sour and sweet. The Guanabana is native to tropical regions of Central America, the Antilles, and northern South America. It is widely cultivated in Africa and tropical Asia and has become naturalized in many regions. The tree prefers a humid tropical climate and is usually grown in tropical lowlands.
2– Mamon ( Spanish Lime)
Spanish limes (Melicoccus bijugatus), or Mamoncillo, are clusters of fruit that resemble small limes, but have a tough, outer shell and a lychee-like inside. The taste has been described as a cross between limes and lychees, and, although they can be a little hard to open and eat, they’re well worth the effort!
3-Mamon Chino ( Rambutan)
Rambutan , known as Mamon Chino is arguably the best in Costa Rica. It is oval in shape, about the size of a golf ball, red in color, and have spikes sprouting that resemble hair which are not at all hard nor prickly, but are soft and easy to break the skin open.
The fruit is edible and appears typically oval in shape, each fruit measures 3-5 cm long and 2-3.5 cm broad. Jacote when ripened it turns to a red color containing a single large seed. As the fruit is edible and contains many nutrients it is widely cultivated throughout the world
Nancit (Byrsonima crassifolia) is a species of flowering plant in the acerola family, Malpighiaceae, that is native to tropical America. It is valued for its small, sweet, yellow fruit, which are strongly scented. The fruits have a very pungent and distinct flavor and smell. The taste is not comparable to any other fruit. The fruits are eaten raw or juice. The fruits are also made into dulce de nance, a candy prepared with the fruit cooked in sugar and water or make an oily, acidic, fermented beverage known as chicha, the standard term applied to assorted beer-like drinks made of fruits or maize. Nance is used to distill a rum-like liquor called crema de nance in Costa Rica.
6-Yuplon( June Plum)
It’s called “Yuplon ” Fruit. It varies in flavor from acidic to sweet, can be eaten fresh, used in jams/jellies/sauces. The skin on the fruit is thin and tough, but edible. The skin is russetted when the fruit is ripe. Hard, unripe, green fruits fall to the ground over a period of several weeks and ripen to an orange or golden-yellow color. The flesh of June plum fruits is yellow, crisp, juicy and slightly acidic, slightly sweet. June plum fruit have a flavor like pineapple when they are firm. As the fruit softens, the flesh of the fruit takes on more of a mango taste. Every fruit contains one to five flat seeds.
7-Pitahaya (Dragon Fruit)
Dragon fruit has a bizarre look, with thick fuchsia rind and wispy green extensions outside. Inside, the flesh is white or purple dotted with small seeds.
Dragon fruit is easy to enjoy: just slice it and remove the thick rind. While it has many health benefits, this cacti is actually not very flavourful and has an almost watery taste. The fruits are rich in vitamin C, B1, B2, and B3, and contain minerals such as iron, calcium, and phosphorus. All those nutrients are the reason dragon fruit can protect you from heart problems, aging skin, and acne.
8-Carambola (Start Fruit)
Carambola is a yellow fruit with a distinct shape. The fruit is also called star fruit as it has the shape of a star when it’s cut along the width. The skin of the carambola is waxy and edible. It’s juicy flesh is transparent and has a slightly lighter colour than the green, yellow skin. The flesh has a lovely fresh and a slight sweet taste.
9- Fruta de Pan
Breadfruit, tropical tree, commonly cultivated for food in the Pacific Islands, South East Asia, and southern India. The fruit is large, round, green or yellowish, seedless, with a lumpy or spiny surface, full of starch, may be cooked whole fruit. The taste, when cooked, has been compared to bread or potato. Breadfruit is an extremely versatile fruit that can be prepared and eaten at every stage of development and maturity.
10- Pejibaye ( Peach Palm)
Pejibayes only grow in tropical zones, so they are very popular in many countries in Central and South America and remains wildly popular, especially in Costa Rica.. Mostly seed with a bit of string surrounding the fruit. Looks like a tiny peach from a distance, the taste is a mix between a cashew, a chestnut, and a potato; savory and satisfying. Costa Ricans enjoy cooked pejibaye as a snack sliced and dipped in mayonnaise and sometimes coated in corn meal and fried.
Costa Rica is indeed home to a very wide range of some very exotic variety of fruits which have tremendous health benefits, we just mentioned few but ge ready from a future post where we will mention more exotic fruits like Guava, manzana d agua, icaco, granadilla, groceseas, zapote, marañon, cas. The biggest and freshest selections can be found at the farmers markets, where fruit was harvested the day before and picked at peak ripeness