Fruits so exotic that they seem out-of-this-world

Fruits so exotic that they seem out-of-this-world

Local supermarkets are well stocked with a variety of fruit from the normal to the unusual, such as the spiky durian that engenders extreme reactions from hate to passion, to the lesser-known but scary looking Buddha's palm, a citrus fruit that is mostly zest and resembles a tangle of yellow fingers.

But can there be fruits that even the most well-trained of Singaporean palates have not eaten before?

The horned melon may take you by surprise. Also known as the Kiwano melon, the fruit is native to the Kalahari desert and resembles an orange oval with spikes. Wikihow offers a guide on how to eat the strange fruit. Cut it open to reveal an interior that looks much like that of a cucumber. It is said to taste like a mixture of cucumbers, kiwi, and banana.

The mammee apple is a round fruit with anywhere from one to four large seeds taking up its interior is a relative of the more familiar mangosteen. It has a thick bitter rind and a sweet flesh, according to the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

The akebia quinata, or chocolate vine, is native to Japan, China and Korea. Wikipedia writes that its flowers smell like chocolate and the sausage-shaped pods house a sweet, pulpy flesh. Its rind is slightly bitter and used as a vegetable, while the stem is an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine.

The hala fruit, as it is known to Hawaiians, is a composite fruit made of many smaller fingers or phalanges - anywhere from 38 to 200. Each phalange houses a seed encased in a sweet flesh.

Meanwhile, South America has the cupuacu, a relative of the cocoa tree. The white pulp is fragrant and tastes uniquely like a mixture of chocolate and pineapple. Its tree is also used for timber.

The breast milk fruit, also known more plainly as the star apple, is a round fruit with a waxy skin that is green or dark purple. It is so named because of its sweet white flesh and juice, which resembles milk.

Food blogger Canadian Jenny Singleton who is based in Hanoi, explains how to eat the fruit on her food blog, Culinary Wanderlust: One 'massages' the fruit before cutting a hole in the top and sucking out the juice or eating the flesh with a spoon. The fruit is grown in warmer regions around the world, from the Caribbean to Vietnam.

Next on our list is the pineberry. Resembling a small strawberry but with white flesh and red seeds, the pineberry looks like its colours have been switched. It is a type of strawberry, but tastes like a pineapple, hence its name, says berry supply company VitalBerry, which claims to have saved the pineberry from extinction.

Last but not least is the Spanish lime, which grows in clusters and looks just like 'small, unripe limes' says specialtyproduce.com, who uses the alternate name 'Mamoncillo' for the fruit. Tear the leathery skin of the 'lime', however, and the interior resembles a lychee, with a single seed and 'glistening' flesh.

qseiw@sph.com.sg

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