Published on February 4, 2016

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Photography by @lumadeline via instagram

Come winter, exotic fruits are aplenty at the grocery store – and as pretty as they may be, they’re equally intimidating. So we rounded up a few of the most commonly spotted tropical fruits and paired them with mouthwatering recipes you can make at home. Take a look!

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Photography by the creative vegan

rambutan

Similar to lychees, rambutans are found in the tropics of Southeast Asia. Once peeled, the single-seeded berry features a pale pink flesh and a slightly acidic and sweet taste.

how to eat it

Using a knife, make a shallow insertion along the width of the fruit and peel back the rind. 

recipes to try

rambutan gelato
summer rambutan curry
spicy rambutan cocktail

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Photography by Anastasia Korolevs

star fruit

Also known as carambola, this Vitamin C-loaded fruit is full of antioxidants and surprisingly easy to eat! With a consistency similar to that of a grape, this sweet fruit also features tart undertones.

how to eat it

Once the fruit is yellow with just a slight hint of green, it’s ready to be picked. Using a sharp knife, slice off the browned ridges of the fruit. Turn the fruit to its side and slice into thin pieces. Discard any seeds from the center before eating.

recipes to try

spicy chicken and star fruit
star fruit juice
star fruit sangria

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Photography by HD Wallpapers

lychee

This subtropical fruit is a mainstay in China and even a snack beloved by pandas! Featuring a sweet and delicate jelly insert, lychees come covered in a rough, pink rind. 

how to eat it

Gently slice off the rind and peel back the layers to expose the flesh of the fruit, and eat!

recipes to try

lychee coconut lime popsicles 
lemon lychee martini 
coconut pavlova with passion fruit jam and lychees

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Photography by Graviola

soursop

Also commonly known as graviola, this South American citrus features a unique flavor reminiscent of pineapples, bananas, and hints of strawberry.

how to eat it

The soursop is ready for consumption once it’s exclusively green and soft to the touch. Slice the fruit lengthwise in half, and scoop the flesh out with a spoon. Alternatively, you can blend the fruit to enjoy in juice or smoothie form. 

recipes to try

soursop tea
soursop pops
wild blueberry and soursop cream cake

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Photography by terrafreshfoods.com

mamoncillo

Mamoncillo, or Spanish lime, is a small, citrus fruit with a slightly orange color and juicy texture. Available in both sweet and sour form, this exotic fruit is often distinguished as a cross between limes and lychees. 

how to eat it

Use a knife to slice off the rind or simply peel with your fingers if working with the more ripe variety.

recipes to try

mamoncillo sunshine pie
mamoncillo summer bili

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Photography by terrafreshfoods.com

guava

With an outer fragrance similar to that of a lemon, guavas come in a variety of species, each with its own unique taste. The variety is consumed in a number of forms ranging from raw slices in fruit salads to juices used as a key ingredient in punch.
 

how to eat it

Peal and slice the fruit and consume in raw form, or topped with a cayenne pepper spice mix.

recipes to try

fresh guava juice
guava buttercream
guava dip

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Photography by eJuice Emporium

passion fruit

This exotic berry is loaded with vitamins and features a delectable center of sweet, seeded jelly. 

how to eat it

Simply slice the fruit in half and scoop the innards out using a spoon.

recipes to try

dark chocolate and passion fruit cake
passion fruit mojito
passion fruit s’mores

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Photography by foodfacts

dragon fruit

Also known as pitaya or strawberry pear, dragon fruit belongs to cactus species. With a mild sweetness and a fleshy, seeded center, this vibrant fruit is often likened to melons in taste.
 

how to eat it

Using a knife, slide the fruit open lengthwise, and scoop out the inside. Cut into cubes to serve in salads or convert into juice using a blender.

recipes to try

dragon fruit pudding
dragon fruit smoothie bowl
dragon fruit and creamy mint salad

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Photography by pinterest

pummelo

Known as the largest member of the citrus family, pummelo most closely resembles grapefruits. With a light green outer edge and a pink flesh, this fruit has a sweet yet mild taste, unlike the commonly found bitterness of a grapefruit. 

how to eat it

Slice pummelos exactly as you would a grapefruit or orange. 

recipes to try

pummelo, fennel, and radish salad
pineapple pummelo margarita 
pummelo thai rice salad with shrimp