Pineapple or banana? This freaky fruit is creeping people out

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook

Is it a pineapple, banana or some Frankenstein-esque hybrid?

At first glance this mysterious fruit looks more like an unripe ear of corn than something edible.

The long, green monstrosity made waves on Taiwanese social media after a netizen shared a picture of it on Facebook on Aug 21.

According to the sign in the photo, the fruit is a "Feng Li Jiao", which translates to pineapple banana. It is also supposedly "very tasty" and tastes like banana, soursop, pineapple, passionfruit and guava.

While some netizens were intrigued, others were grossed out.

"Want to try eating it."
"I'm getting goosebumps."
"My scalp is feeling numb."
PHOTOS: Screengrab/Facebook

Could this thing that looks like the love-child of a pineapple and a banana really taste like a tropical fruit salad?

It turns out that "Feng Li Jiao" is the fruit of the Swiss cheese plant, also known as Monstera deliciosa, which means "delicious monstrosity". The fruit is native to Mexico, Guatemala, Panama and Costa Rica.

Living up to its name, the Swiss cheese plant is actually pretty tasty — when you take the right precautions.

Unripe Swiss cheese plant fruits are full of oxalic acid. That's the stuff that's used to bleach wood and get rid of rust stains on laundry. Needless to say, ingesting it can severely irritate your throat and skin.

To eat the fruit safely, let it sit a few days for its green hexagonal scales to fall off.

PHOTO: YouTube/EatYourBackyard

A Swiss cheese plant fruit typically sheds its scales from one end to the other. The white kernels that are revealed are safe to eat.

PHOTO: YouTube/SleepyLizard

Some say that the fruit tastes like a combination of pineapple, banana and strawberries, while others report hints of other tropical fruits like mango and jackfruit.

You probably won't spot this fruit for sale in our local supermarkets anytime soon. But who knows, you might see it on TV as the next "alien fruit" after the rambutan.

kimberlylim@asiaone.com

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