11 Exotic Tropical Fruits of Colombia

Cherimoya

Cherimoya (Photo: little blue hen)

Colombia is best known for its wide variety of orchids, as well as its other species of flowers, birds and butterflies.

What some people may fail to explore are all the exotic tropical fruits of Colombia.

The colors, smells, flavors and textures of the fruits that flourish in this rich area are not to be missed. Here are some of my favorites…

Cherimoya

It has a green exterior that looks like it is covered with soft thumb prints, same interior as the guanabana. The fruit is fleshy and soft, sweet, white in color, with a sherbert-like texture.

Some characterize the flavor as a blend of banana, pineapple, papaya, peach and strawberry. Others describe it as tasting like commercial bubblegum. Mark Twain called the cherimoya “the most delicious fruit known to men.”

Granadilla

Granadilla (photo: quinet)

Granadilla

Hard, round, usually orange exterior best eaten by using your fingernails to crack the skin, then sucking the snot-like crunchy seeds out from the inside.

If you can get past the visual, it’s incredible.

Guanabana

Guanabana (photo: clandestino_20)

Guanabana

Massive green fruit with soft thorn-like pieces covering it.  The inside is a white fleshy substance with black/brown seeds.

Its flavor has been described as a combination of strawberry and pineapple with sour citrus flavor notes contrasting with an underlying creamy flavor reminiscent of coconut or banana.

The Guanabana tree is a miraculous, natural, cancer cell killer 10,000 times stronger than Chemo.

Brazilian Guava

Brazilian Guava (photo: keetr)

Guava

Guava fruit generally have a pronounced and typical fragrance, similar to lemon rind but less sharp.

Guava pulp may be sweet or sour, off-white to deep pink, with the seeds in the central pulp of variable number and hardness, depending on species.

Lulo fruit and juice

Lulo fruit and juice (photo: Luna sin estrellas)

Lulo

Looks like and feels like a small orange tomato.  The fruit has a citrus flavor, sometimes described as a combination of rhubarb and lime.

The juice of the lulo is almost always used as a drink since it is usually too strong in flavor to eat.

Mamoncillo

Mamoncillo (photo: iguana_box)

Mamoncillo

The fruit, somewhat like a cross between a lychee and a lime, has a tight and thin, but rigid layer of skin, traditionally cracked by the teeth.

They grow on a branch like grapes and are green in color.

Maracuya

Maracuya (photo: Vic Lic)

Maracuya (aka Passion Fruit)

Similar appearance to the granadilla, interior and exterior.

(Dave here, this is my favorite fruit in Colombia. I especially like it in juice form.)

Pitahaya

Pitahaya (photo: pellesten)

Pitahaya

Cactus fruit which are sour and refreshing with a juicier flesh and stronger taste.

The fruit must be cut to get to the fleshy center which is eaten together with its black crunchy seeds.

Tomate de Arbol

Tomate de Arbol (photo: Luna sin estrellas)

Tomate de Arbol

An egg-shaped edible fruit that looks like a tomato.

The flesh of the tomate de arbol is tangy and variably sweet, with a bold and complex flavor, and may be compared to kiwifruit, tomato, guave or passion fruit.

The skin and the flesh near it have a bitter taste and are not usually eaten raw but in juices with cinnamon.

Uchuva

Uchuva (photo: Mataparda)

Uchuva

Its most notable feature is the inflated, papery calyx enclosing each berry. Inside the skin is the tart, tangy, cream pulp (technically the seed coat), which is sucked by putting the whole fruit inside the mouth.

It is bright orange and sweet when ripe but can be extremely sour and face-puckering also.

Zapotes

Zapotes (photo: leoncillo sabino)

Zapote

This unusual fruit is round with a rough brown skin. The pale orange inside also has a slightly rough texture and a sweet, malty taste.

There are a few large black seeds but they are easy to remove.

Head to any of the local fruit markets to get the freshest and cheapest variety of these exotic fruits, or try them in juice form from street vendors and restaurants.

They are much more refreshing and revitalizing then coffee, or cheese bread.

Or, if you visit the coast, you can find many of these fruits hanging from the trees, waiting for you to pick and eat them fresh.

What’s your favorite Colombian fruit?

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Comments

  1. My favourite is LULO juice…. but I also tried MANGOSTEEN in a market in Bogota’ and I liked it.
    I never saw mangosteen before!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_mangosteen

    Ciao

  2. I love finding new fruits. Whenever I’m in Brazil, I go crazy for all the kinds of fruit (fresh and as juice). My favorites are passionfruit, some different types of bananas, and of course the delicious mangoes, but it’s always fun to try new ones from the Amazon.

  3. The fruit Zapotes is not “unusual”. In India, its called “Sapota” in the south and in north we call it “chickoo”. Its a very common and loved fruit.

  4. Guanabana tree is a miraculous, natural, cancer cell killer 10,000 times stronger than Chemo.

    In laboratory tests, graviola extract has been shown to kill certain types of liver and breast cancer cells that are resistant to particular chemotherapy drugs. One laboratory study also found that a compound isolated from sour sop seeds had 10,000 times the potency of one particular chemotherapy drug on colon adenocarcinoma cells. However, as yet, there have been no large scale tests on humans and there is no credible evidence to support claims that graviola is an effective cure or treatment for cancer. Moreover, graviola may have harmful side effects such as movement disorders and myeloneuropathy. Thus, while plant compounds in graviola may have properties that can kill cancer cells in vitro, claiming that sour sop is a “miracle unleashed” and a viable alternative to medical cancer treatments such as chemotherapy is highly misleading and potentially very dangerous.

  5. Great article! Thank you for the information. I am going to Colombia on vacation and want to try as many different fruits as possible. Can you recommend where to find these fruits in Medellin or elsewhere? Also, what is the Colombian name for cherimoya? Is it cherimoya? Thanks.

    • You can find most of the fruits on this list throughout the country, from the street vendors to markets, grocery stores and restaurants. Trust me, you won’t have a problem once you get here.

  6. You forgot Nispero.

  7. This was a great article but it could have been better had it included nutritional information about each fruit.

  8. COROZO EN JUGO THE BEST,CIRUELAS VERDES O MADURAS.UN BUEN MANGO VERDE,

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