One of the best things about life is that there’s always room to learn something new.
Like, even when your name is FruitStand, you may be able to stumble upon some fruits you never knew about – and never knew you needed to know about!
Indeed, even those of us who eat, sleep and breathe fruit can come across one that’s so too-good-to-be-true we would’ve never even guessed it existed.
So we’ve rounded up some of our favorite examples of these wondrous mystery fruits, to share the knowledge and share the love – and maybe, just maybe, give us all a better chance of appearing on Jeopardy one day.
Our Five Favorite Mystery Fruits include:
It sounds like a Star Wars character – and actually has a presence that’s pretty out of this world.
In fact, the duku langsat may be the most celebrated plant you’ve never heard of, thanks, in no small part, to its perfect tangy sweetness and strangely satisfying soft, slightly sticky and very juicy texture.
Hailing from the Philippines, duku langsat grows in great grape-like clusters on towering trees that are technically part of the mahogany family. On the outside, the smallish fruits can be anything from rusty brown to light lime-y yellow and they often rock a little bit of fuzz, not unlike a kiwi. But on the inside, they’re all translucent white loveliness, and segmented like an orange or lemon.
Aside from its delicious flesh, which is most often eaten raw, the bitter seeds of the fruit are also enjoyed as a snack. And the fruit is also believed to have a number of medicinal properties, including help with GI discomfort and even the ability to help ward off the common cold.
In fact, the fruit is so appreciated in its native home that duku langsat commands a special place in the annual Camiguin Lanzones festival on the island of Camiguin, a four-day celebration that includes dancing, singing, beauty pageants – and, of course, lots of happy snacking.
Sometimes, when a fruit sounds too good to be true, that’s because, in a way, it kind of was.
Cosmic Crisp is just one of many varieties of apple—and fruit in general—that’s come to us through the hard work of pioneering horticulturists, who bred something that’d make Mother Nature so proud, they had to name it after a celestial source.
The mission: Create an apple at once crisp and juicy, but maintaining that perfect firmness. It sounds like a nearly impossible balancing act – and, in fact, the task took 20 years to complete. But once developers cracked the code, they never looked back.
Today, cosmic crisp apples are known for their beautiful rosy hue, decked out with small white starbursts, as well as their perfect ratio of acid and sugar.
This little stunner is essentially the South American answer to passionfruit.
Indeed, the fruits look strikingly similar, with the granadilla rocking the same tough-looking citrus fruit exterior, pock-marked with small pores and often colored a dusty yellow or orange. On the inside, it reveals that same strange goopy consistency passionfruit is known for, with a bundle of black seeds swaddled in thick, clear membranes.
As unappealing as that may sound, the fruit rocks a signature sweet, delicious juiciness that bursts forth from those gelatinous seed covers. And the seeds themselves can be munched on, as well, adding some much-appreciated texture to the mix.
Also like its close passionfruit cousin, the granadilla is known as a source for a stunning number of vitamins and minerals, including—but not nearly limited to!—Vitamins A, C and K, phosphorous, iron and calcium.
The biggest difference between these two? These beauties are truly mountain people, preferring the soft slopes of the High Andes but growing everywhere from Mexico down to Belize, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela and Argentina.
This exotic fruit is often better known as a “rose apple,” despite its lack of resemblance to either.
Although, in defense of the fruit namers, this little beauty does rock a particularly lovely, deep red skin – though its shape reads much more “pear” than anything we may consider heart-like.
On the inside, a pumarosa is a brilliant white, and though its flesh is very dry and its flavor is very mild, the fruit is known for its gentle kiss of sweetness.
A native of Puerto Rico, pumarosas are often eaten raw – kind of like a regular apple. And like their namesake, they also pack a wallop when it comes to health benefits.
Just a few awesome things a pumarosa can deliver include high amounts of vitamins A, B3 and C; important minerals like calcium and iron; and other crucial plant-based compounds like beta carotene.
All told, the healthful elixir makes for decent protection against colds and flus, aid in warding off diabetes, and a big dose of pancreas health.
Speaking of fruits with misleading names…
The bergamot orange may sound like just another straightforward orange variety, but the fruit is much closer to its own animal than anything.
While it’s roughly the same size as an orange – and would reveal the similarly-segmented fruit if cut open – the fruit betrays its namesake’s very color, preferring to rock a much more lime-toned skin.
This is possibly because scientists have linked the bergamot orange to an ancient combustion of a lemon and a bitter orange.
Still, this anomaly is prized for its strangeness. Burgamot oranges – which prefer the perfect Mediterranean climates offered in Italy, France, Turkey, Tunisia and Morocco – are particularly loved for their distinct aromas, and often find themselves infused into perfumes or essential oils. It’s also not uncommon to see these strange fruits mixed into teas.
Though, it is pretty uncommon to hear of any of these fruits to begin with. But now that you know, you can choose whether to keep these juicy secrets to yourself – or share them with the world.