In the past decade, the U.S. market has seen a surge of imported exotic fruits. Despite our exposure to these delicacies, most people are confused about what these are exactly. Well, better late than never to learn about what you are eating!
Related to the red garden strawberry, the pineberry is a hybrid between Fragaria virginiana and Fragaria chiloensis. Pineberries are small- to medium-sized strawberries that have a white-pinkish hue and contain red seeds. They are known for their pineapple-like taste and aroma, hence where the name came from. Pineberries may be hard to find because the crop produces a low yield, but if it is this fruit you seek your best chance would be at a well stocked farmer’s market.
Pitaya, also known as dragon fruit, is an exotic fruit that has a reddish color and is covered with green “spikes” or upward stems. The fruit strongly resembles dragon scales, so it is referred to as dragon fruit. Study shows that pitaya may lower the risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease. It is also high in antioxidants and the seeds contain omega-3 fats. Pitaya can be found in most specialty food stores and Asian grocery stores.
The acai berry is a fruit that comes from the acai palm. The acai berry is around an inch long and has a black-purple color. It is regarded as a superfood because of its anti-aging and weight loss properties, but these claims have not yet been entirely proven. However, it is known that acai berries contain antioxidants and fiber. Acai berries are commonly used in smoothies, acai bowls or the well beloved Brookside chocolate-covered berries.
Purple mangosteen, commonly known as simply mangosteen, has a reddish-purple colored rind and the flesh is white and fibrous. Named “the Queen of Tropical Fruits,” this round fruit is sweet and juicy. The fruit is separated into triangular segments, like an orange. Some benefits of mangosteen are that it is low in calories, high in B-complex vitamins and minerals and contains vitamin C.
The world is changing and it isn’t just apples and bananas these days. With a fast-growing global economy and increasing inventions of the technological age, we now have more access to some of Earth’s hidden rarities. So diversify your taste buds and try one of these exotic fruits.