Once again, it’s time to play Guess That Fruit or Veggie! Think you know your produce? See if you can figure out what these exotic picks are.
(Stumped? Scroll down for the answers!)
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1. Although it resembles a vividly striped melon, the pepino is actually a member of the nightshade family, along with its cousins the tomato and the eggplant. Once found only in Peru, this fruit is grown across South America and has been exported to New Zealand, California, and other subtropical climates. The flesh tastes similar to that of a honeydew melon. Try it served raw in a fruit or spinach salad, or bring out its flavor with a dash of lime juice.
2. Native to tropical seashores, the seagrape tree bears long clusters of green, grape-like fruit that ripen into fleshy, reddish fruits, each with a large pit. Once ripe, seagrape fruit may be eaten right from the tree, or made into jelly or wine. Gum from the bark can be used to treat a sore throat, and the roots to treat dysentery.
3. These aren’t the jujubes you’d find at a concession stand. Predictably, the namesake fruit is far healthier than its candy imitation. When mature, jujube fruits (also known as Chinese dates) wrinkle and turn dark red, with a sweet, apple-like flavor. Popular in Chinese medicine for thousands of years, this humble fruit is just beginning to catch on in the West. Its unique compounds are said to have a calming effect, alleviating insomnia and anxiety; it can also be consumed as a supplement or made into tea to calm sore throats. The jujube’s high vitamin C content also makes it a great immunity-booster, and according to the National Center for Biotechnology, juice from the jujube fruit has been shown to have cancer-fighting and disease-preventing properties.
4. This fruit’s name says it all—native to the rain forests of Central America, monstera deliciosa is equal parts scary and tasty. Although it resembles an ear of corn, if you flake off the scaly exterior, you’ll find a sweet treat inside. The pineapple-like flesh is edible after a year of ripening, and don’t attempt to chow down too early: the unripe plant contains oxalic acid in a form that, if consumed, can cause immediate and painful irritation.
Know any unusual fruits and veggies we haven’t mentioned? Leave them in the comments!