Some of these fruits may have odd shapes, and perhaps even strange names, but some fruits can pack a lot of nutritional benefits and add new life to all of your meals. Some of these exotic fruits have been discussed below.

1. Prickly Pears

Prickly pears, also known as cactus pears, are more of an avocado-like shape. They have this vibrant and golden or ruby-red pulp. You can say they taste something sort of like a cross between a lemon and watermelon. You find the prickly pears are mostly found in the Southwestern U.S. or Mexico.

The prickly pears come packed with magnesium even more than the orange, pears, and apple fruits combined. You might want to go for the deep-colored pears.

To prepare them, you need to peel them by slicing off both ends lengthwise. The skin is usually discarded. This fruit is best served chilled in salads, smoothies, ice-cream, or cereals.

2. Papayas

Papayas have this sweet-tart flavor. Christopher Columbus dubbed them “fruit of the angels” when he first tasted them in the 1400s in the Caribbean islands. Papayas are mostly found in Mexico, Hawaii, and Central America.

Papayas are non-acidic, which makes them perfect for soothing the stomach. They are also packed with beta-carotene and vitamin C which can lower your risks of attracting uterine cancer. You need to go for the papayas that are blotchy yellow in color.

3. Longans

This fruit is often referred to as the “little brother” when compared to the larger red-skinned lychee. It’s is translucent and one black seed at its center. Longans taste murky but also sweet and have this texture like a mixture of a pear and a grape. They are native to southern China.

Longans are packed with vitamin C. You can get 140% of the daily value of vitamin C from just 100 grams of longans. You need to go for the yellow-brown to the reddish-brown looking types.

You need to crack open its inedible rind using a knife, pop them out and eat them. But make sure to dispose of the pit inside. You can use longans to make a fruit salad.

4. Starfruit

Also known as carambola, the star fruit is native to India and southeast Asia. It tastes more like a mixture of apple and plum and has a crunchy-like texture kind of like a cucumber. Star fruits are rich in vitamin C and also have dietary fiber.

You need to pick the star fruit that has a firm, glossy skin and with no signs of bruising. The ones that have browning on its ridges’ tips show signs of ripeness. You can eat the whole thing, even the seeds if you like. They are also pretty good with salads and platters.

5. Kumquats

They resemble a bite-size orange and have a juicy but bitter flesh. But the rinds are wonderfully sweet and fragrant. This fruit is mostly found in China but has started being grown in the U.S. as well.

Their vitamin C levels almost match those of oranges and are higher than those of bananas, oranges, and grapes. Look for the fruits that are completely orange in color.

6. Plantains

These fruits are native to southeast Asia. They resemble large bananas and are very hard and starchy. You need to cook them before you eat them. They contain more of vitamins A and C and potassium too.

You need to look for the fruits that have no bruising or cracks in their skin. Their peels aren’t edible and needed to be completely cut off the fruit. You also need to cook or fry them before you eat them.

7. Persimmons

These fruits are abundant in Canada and are identifiable by their acorn-like shapes. They are soft, creamy, and sweet when ripe. Both are also native to Japan and China.

They are rich in vitamin A and C. You need to look for the ones with smooth and glossy-like skin and is plump. These fruits need to ripen until they become soft. You can then peel off the skin and slice to eat them.