We all know about apples, oranges, and bananas, but what about langsat, santol, and noni? Asia is a land filled with exotic fruits that you may have never heard of. Though native to various parts of Asia, many of these fruits can be found in local Asian food markets, and you should definitely give them a try!
Durian is a fruit native to Southeastern Asia and is often known as the “King of the Fruits” due to it’s intimidating look and overpowering smell. It is extremely nutritious – containing lots of vitamin C, sugar, and potassium. The fruit is often used in ice cream, milkshakes, mooncakes, and traditional Malay candy.
The purple mangosteen, or mangosteen, originated in the Sunda Islands and Indonesia. However, the fruit can also be found in India, Puerto Rico, and South American countries such as Colombia. Traditionally, the fruit has been used as medicine in Southeast Asia to treat skin infections, wounds, dysentery, and Urinary tract infections. For everything you need to know about the “Queen of Fruits” from expanded health benefits to how to eat it, check out this Oola article!
The langsat or langzones is a fruit originating in Southeast Asia. Generally, it is consumed raw, although it can be made into a syrup. Traditionally, it has also been used to help cure dysentery, malaria, and scorpion stings.
Rambutan is a fruit native to Indonesia and Malaysia. It is one of the better known fruits from Asia has spread to the Caribbean, Africa and some South American countries. Soft and crunchy, its seeds may be cooked and consumed. Looking for some yummy recipes? Try these out and let us know what you think!
Originating in South and Southeast Asia, the Jackfruit is also known as: jack tree, jakfruit,jack, or jak. Unripe fruit is often used as a substitute for meat by vegetarians, as well being used in many dishes in India, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Vietnam. Follow the link to learn how to "Make A Killer BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich"! When ripe the fruit can be used to make custards and cakes.
Limonia acidissima or wood apple is commonly found throughout Southeastern Asia. It is used to make sweet, jam, or can be eaten raw. Baelpanna is a popular summer drink that is made by combining the fruit with water and spices.
Salak or snake fruit is native to Java and Sumatra. It is consumed raw and has a sweet, acidic taste, while its texture varies from dry and crumply to moist and crunchy. Snake fruit comes in three varieties: pondoh, Bali, and gula pasir.
Carambola, or star fruit, is popular throughout Southeast Asia, parts of East Asia and the South Pacific. Its name comes from the fact is has distinct ridges running down the side that at cross sections resembling a star. Generally, the fruit is eaten raw, although it can be used to make relishes, preserves and juice drinks.
Dragon fruit, whose name is derived from its vernacular Asian name, is also known as Pitaya. It has a mild taste in contrast to its vibrant look. Described as very bland with a mild sweetness, the fruit is popular all over the world.
Longan, which in Chinese translates to Dragon’s eye, is named so due to its resemblance to an eyeball while still shelled. Its taste is often described as sweet and juicy. Aside from being consumed fresh, it is also used in East Asian soups, snacks and desserts.
Lychee is native to the Guangdong and Fujian provinces of China. It is known for its floral smell and sweet flavor that is vaguely fragrant. This is lost when canned, so it’s generally eaten fresh.
Santol is a fruit native to Indochina and Malaysia. It is eaten raw and fresh or with spices added. The fruit can also be candied or made into marmalade.
Bread fruit, or Artocarpus altilis, is native to Southeast Asia, South India, and many Pacific Islands. The name “bread fruit” comes from the fact the fruit has a potato like flavor, similar to fresh bread. It can be cooked with curry and coconut milk or boiled.
Noni is a fruit native to Southeast Asia. In Thai cuisine, its leaves are used as vegetables and the fruit as a salad ingredient. The Polynesians also utilized the fruit to treat menstrual cramps.
Pomelo or citrus maxima is native to South and Southeast Asia. In English, the fruit was originally known as shaddock after an East India Company captain who introduced it to Jamaica. It is usually eaten raw, sprinkled in a salt mixture.
Ciku is a tropical fruit, also known as a sapodilla. Ciku is usually eaten fresh, but can also be found in sherbets, ice creams, and drinks.
Native to India and Pacific Ocean, nipah seed comes from the nipah palm. Its sap is described as sweet and is used in alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, it can be used to make different vinegars.
Kumquat is a fruit native to South Asia and Asia-Pacific region. It is a type of citrus fruit that is much heartier than its cousins. Culinary uses include: candying, kumquat preserves, marmalade, and jelly