5. African cucumber aka Kiwano
This is no ordinary cucumber, it the usual cucumber’s African cousin. Just look at the insides and you will know. The spikes around the outer thick skin gives it an angry look, probably it’s an attraction for the spiky species that live on and in the desert sand. This fruit is rich in water and tastes just like the ordinary cucumber except it’s more salty. It is frequently used in decorating food because of its spiky banana like look.
This is Jamaica’s national fruit. The seeds of this fruit were bought from West Africa into Jamaica on a rumored slave ship and from then on this has become the delicacy around the Caribbean. To eat this fruit, one has to remove the black tops and cut open the fleshy yellow arils, because the reddish region in between is very toxic. Ackee you are very tricky!
3. Buddha’s Hand
Oh yeah I was scared too when I looked at it first, but didn’t feel a thing when I swallowed it, it just tastes like a lemon. It is called as such because of its shape, it resembles a tightened octopus. It is found in China and India. It is used to flavor fish and eaten raw with spices when mixed with salad. It is also used by the Chinese as a perfume around the house and in cupboards to keep out the smell.
This is known as the popular sibling of the regular tomato we use every day, its paler and burnt in color, with distinctively shaped seeds in the middle when you slice it in half. This fruit grows in Ecuador, Peru and Colombia and tastes similar to the Passion fruit. It is used in making juices and in certain areas of Bolivia it is used in cooking, especially to prepare the sauce. In the industry it is used as a strong preservative because the fruit contains a high amount of pectin.
1. Custard Apple
Some people refer to this as the bull’s heart, but I don’t think it deserves that, it’s more like a rugged brother of the common apple, a somewhat mutated sibling. It grows in Taiwan, India and Africa and in other tropical forests around the world. It tastes sweet and lovely, similar to the flavor of custard, hence the name.