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Seven unfamiliar fruits worth trying

We all know the importance of eating enough fruit and vegetables, but few of us mange to consume the full seven portions that some are currently recommending. There are a number of reasons for this, and one of them is boredom.

Sometimes we just don’t fancy yet another banana, apple or pear. Yet, we still tend to pick them up automatically when we go shopping.

Therefore, why not shake it up by adding some new fruits to your diet? Here are seven unusual or unfamiliar fruits that are worth trying.

Nispero

You will find nispero in Spain and other Mediterranean countries, but also the UK in the spring. The fruit is a yellow oval, with a complex sweet taste and a texture similar to fresh apricot. In some countries it is recommended as a weight loss aid, because it is thought to boost your metabolism.

Prickly Pears

Prickly pears are an unusual fruit that grow on paddle cactuses, which if left on the cactus will turn into beautiful, hot pink flowers. The flesh when ripe is pink and has a complex, delicate taste.

Sometimes called cactus figs, you see them sold in many hot countries, including southern Spain, but again UK supermarkets have them too.

Nashi

Nashi is also known as Chinese or Asian pear. In fact, Nashi is the Japanese word for ‘pear’. The best way to describe it is as a cross between an apple and the softer fruit.

Lychee

You have probably heard of lychees and may have even eaten them in a Chinese restaurant. However, these are likely to have come from a tin.

We recommend that you try fresh lychees. These small, knobbly, red fruits are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, phosphorous and calcium. They have a very sweet taste with a lemony finish.

Pepino Dulce

This one is quite hard to find, but if you are lucky, you will get it in South American shops or restaurants. Pepino is the Spanish word for cucumber, which is actually categorised as a fruit.

Unlike most cucumbers, Pepino Dulce is in fact sweet. Most people describe it as a cross between a honeydew melon and a cucumber. It is also sometimes called a pepino melon or melon pear.

Kiwano or Horned Cucumber

To look at the Kiwano, it appears distinctly unfriendly. It shouts stay away because it is covered in spines and is bright yellow.

However, it tastes sublime, with an unusual mix of both banana and lemon. It is also seedy, like a passion fruit.

Myrtle Berries

In the UK, you will struggle to find fresh myrtle berries, but the dried berries are also pleasant. They look like elongated blueberries, but have a very different taste. They are bit like a sweet juniper with a hint of rosemary.

Where to buy unusual fruits

Not all of these fruits will be available from your supermarket. However, they are far easier to find than you think. Try shops that sell international or ethnic goods.

If a friend from abroad invites you to dinner, try any unusual fruit that they offer you. When you are on holiday search out fresh, foreign produce, which can be great for a picnic or a healthy lunch.

Posted by Mark
May 30, 2014
Feature

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