Field of Science

Exotic Fruits Pictoral

Wow, even by the Phactor’s standards, these are pretty exotic fruits! Of the 15 the Phactor has never even heard of three of them, but he’s eaten all the rest, and of this particular group, mangosteen is probably my favorite, although rambutan fresh right off the tree are pretty darned good. The Physalis (probably P. peruviana) is closely related to the tomatillo, but this species is fruitier and called Cape Gooseberry (not a real Ribes gooseberry), and they aren't much eaten fresh but they make a great pie or tart. Durian doesn’t taste anything like it smells (bad!), but it’s nothing to rave about either, sort of an insipid custardy taste, but it makes a pretty good ice cream. Here's a picture of a kiwano or horned melon taken by one of my students to record their fruit lab. The part you eat is a fleshy seed coat and they have a vaguely cucumbery taste; these really look cool in a fruit salad.


Anonymous said...

Physalis fruits are sold and eaten fresh in most andean markets with the name of frutilla. They have a rahter sour taste. The fruits of Physalis alkekengi L. are also eaten fresh or used to make jams and candies also in Europe.

I would have loved a bit more of african fruits, as they can be really amazing both aestethically and for their taste. Madd (Saba senegalensis) would be a nice addition to the list!

The Phytophactor said...

Thanks for the tip on Madd; that's another new one for me. Never been to the African tropics, so that's my blank spot. Got a new fruit in Costa Rica 3 years ago, a species of Spondia, a euphorb, and like Apocynaceae (Saba), you don't think of euphorbs as having edible fruit.

Phil said...

Yours looks riper than mine Phytophactor - I wish I'd let mine ripen a little longer, but I was anxious to see what it looked like inside..... if I'd found this photo first I could have waited!