Apples, pears, grapes and peaches being good for your health is common sense but what about EXOTIC fruit?
Have you heard of these 5?
Also known as “banana passion fruit”, curubas belong to the passiflora family. They are native to the Andes of South America, they grow from a vigorously growing vine with pink flowers and 5 to almost 12 cm long fruit. Their vines grow from a seed that germinates in 10 weeks, reaching from 6 to 7 meters tall. A ripe curuba is bright yellow coloured and its little edible seeds are black. Its aromatic pulp has a salmon-orange colour and can be turned into juice. Curuba juice can be consumed alone or mixed in jelly, pudding or fruit salads. Their main nutrients are Calcium, Iron, Sodium, Vitamins A and C. Nowadays, curubas are produced in Colombia.
Pitayas, also known as “dragon fruits” come from the cactus family and originate in Central America. They grow in tropical climates, in a spine cactus that produces these egg—shaped fruits with 10 to 15 cm long. The thin skin has soft scales pointing towards the end of the fruit. Its juicy flesh is filled with tiny black seeds, which are also edible, much like a kiwi fruit. Pitaya's sweet-sour taste is described as pleasant and mild. There are both red and yellow varieties. The yellow varieties are much sweeter than the red ones. Their main nutrients are Vitamin C, calcium, iron and fibre.
Longans also known as “lamiay”, are similar to litchis. They are about the size of a ping-pong ball and originate in southern China. Longan is the English name and in China it is called “long yan rou”, which means dragon’s eye meat. Scary to think about huh? Longans grow in a subtropical tree that reaches 12 meters high. A fully mature tree can produce a massive crop of up to 220 kg of fruit. Each longan weights about 4 grams. The skin is not edible and the seed can be turned into herbal tonics, as tea. The sweet and juicy pulp has a lychee and cantaloupe-like taste. There are no scientific studies that proof its nutritional values yet, but as far as experiment results go, longans contain 140% of your Daily Required Values of Vitamin C.
Mangosteen is unique for its appearance and flavour and is often referred as 'the Queen' of tropical fruits, particularly in South-East Asian countries. This exotic, round, purple coloured fruit is loved in Asia for its snow-white, juicy, delicious arils and in recent years by the European and American fruit lovers as well! Mangosteens are native to Indonesia. Despite their name, they are not related to mangoes. They have a hard dark skin and taste like a citrus fruit.
Known as 'Mangkhud' in Thai, Thailand is the largest producer and exporter of mangosteens. They contain an impressive list of essential nutrients, namely vitamin C. They are moderately low in calories (63 calories per 100 g) and rich in dietary fibre (100g provide about 13 % of RDA). Furthermore, they also contain large amounts of minerals like copper, manganese and magnesium. The taste experience is worth a try.
Rambutan is a close relative of lychees and an equally desirable fruit. The rambutan tree reaches 15 to 25 m in height, has a straight trunk of 60 cm wide, and a dense, usually spreading crown. Rambutans are most commonly eaten out-of-hand after merely tearing the rind open, or cutting it around the middle and pulling it off. The peeled fruits are occasionally stewed as dessert. In Malasya a preserve is made by first boiling the peeled fruit to separate the flesh from the seeds. After cooling, the testa is discarded and the seeds are boiled alone until soft. They are combined with the flesh and plenty of sugar for about 20 minutes, and 3 cloves may be added before sealing in jars.
Of these 5 I have never tried longan, what about you?
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Information retrieved from,
- www.fao.org/docrep/008/ad523e/ad523e05.htm' \l 'TopOfPage'