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Exotic Fruits: Are They Worth the Splurge?

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Exotic Fruits: Are They Worth the Splurge?

As a self-confessed fruit lover and someone who actually enjoys grocery shopping, I’ve noticed that I’m drawn to the more exotic fruits in the produce aisles. The colors and textures of the exotic fruits on display have always tempted me, but I was never sure of what they tasted like or if they were worth the price. 

After months of curiosity and some serious Googling, I decided to pick up some of the most unique fruits I could find at my local grocery store. Surprisingly, there were quite a few to choose from.

exotic fruits dragonfruit vegetable

I ended up purchasing the four that were both visually interesting and somewhat affordable. To make this a true taste test, I enlisted the help of my housemates to taste and rate each one and determine if these tropical fruits are actually worth buying. 

Rambutan

exotic fruits lychee rambutan

Rambutans, perhaps the strangest looking fruit of the bunch, were surprisingly delicious. A relative to lychee, rambutans are native to Malaysia and are common throughout southeast Asia. Their spiky, almost sea urchin-like appearance made me expect an equally strong flavor, but we were surprised by the subtle sweetness and mild fruity flavor of the flesh. 

“Sweet but not much flavor.”

“Texture is like a grape but a bit more solid.”

“Flesh looks like a lychee but furry on the outside.”

Price: $ 2.39/lb

Would you repurchase? Yes; Yes; No, but I would eat it if it were offered to me

Average Rating: 7/10

Dragon Fruit

exotic fruits vegetable juice

Native to South America and Asia, the dragon fruit takes its name from the green scale-like flaps that grow on its otherwise pink skin. Similar to the rambutan, the dragon fruit’s flavor was very mild and the white flesh contained crunchy seeds that reminded us of kiwi seeds. 

“Has no scent, but it does smell a little fresh.”

“Tastes like how you would imagine plants to taste like.”

“Has a very subtle sourness, with an herbal aftertaste.”

“Something I would not eat often.”

Price: $ 4.19/lb

Would you repurchase? No; No; No

Average Rating: 3/10

Mamey Sapote

exotic fruits fish seafood

A fruit that none of us had heard of before this taste test, mamey sapote hails from Central America. It is bright orange flesh is known for being creamy and tasting like pumpkin or sweet potato. This was definitely the most confusing fruit that we tasted. It’s rough brown exterior hardly made it look like a fruit at all and the flavor was completely unlike any fruit we have ever had. 

“Smells like Chinese almond jelly, but also a little like soap."

“Really sweet, overly sweet, really mushy, almond like smell, but also bitter.”

"It’s stringy like cooked squash or spaghetti squash.”

“Texture is a bit off-putting.”

“No aesthetic appeal.”

Price: $ 2.69/lb

Would you repurchase? No definitely not but would smell again, No, No 

Average Rating: 0.33/10

Passion Fruit

exotic fruits tamarillo juice

Though passion fruit flavored beverages are typical in the US, it is much less common to find people eating the raw fruit. This fruit comes from South America and is thought to be native to Brazil. The inside of the egg-shaped passion fruit is filled with tart yellow flesh and dark, crunchy seeds. 

“Smells heavenly, this is what my dreams are made of.”

“Smells like the passion orange guava drink from Costco.”

“It’s mostly seeds; the sourness is too overwhelming."

***sprinkles sugar onto fruit***

“Wow that’s really good, it would be so good with honey.”

Price: $ 2.09 each

Would you repurchase? "I’d buy it just for the smell," "Maybe if I were craving it, but it’s not like buying an apple," "I wouldn’t buy this to eat on it’s own"

Average Rating: 6.7/10

Final Thoughts

Overall, we had mixed feelings but we did find a couple fruits that we enjoyed. We acknowledge that since these fruits were purchased and eaten far from their ideal climates, the flavor and quality may have been compromised. If given the chance to try these fruits in their native countries, we’d definitely give them a second try. 

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