Tropical Fruit Guide
Apple banana, you must wait until the bananas are soft, then peel and eat! They usually look like an over-ripe banana. These bananas are great for pies and fruit salads, as the fruit does not discolor. Apple bananas are available all year around.
Asian Guavas are available all year around and look like a large textured pear, but is hard like an apple. You can eat it either hard or soft according to your own preference. It tastes like a very sweet Granny Smith apple.
Avocados are usually available from August to February. They are a large green fruit. Florida avocados have a lower oil and fat content than other varieties, so they are considered a great idea for the health conscious. Florida Avocados have a rich almond-like flavor.
Black Sapote (also known as chocolate fruit) looks like a small green ball. You must wait until it turns black and juicy before you eat it. It tastes like chocolate pudding. Typically available December to February.
Caimito (Star Apple) is available from February to June. When it is soft, cut it in half and scoop out the fruit inside. It tastes like a sweet milky fruit.
Canistel (Egg Fruit) is shaped like a Hershey’s kiss, and is yellow. Wait until the fruit is extremely soft, then cut (or pull) it open and enjoy its sweet egg custard flavor inside. Available most of the year.
Carambola also known as star fruit, is a five-sided yellow fruit. Slice this fruit crosswise into little stars and eat all but the stem and seeds. It tastes kind of like a cross between an apple and an orange. Available August through February.
Ciruela is available only in June and is sometimes known in English as Yellow Mombin or June Plum. The Spanish name ciruela means "plum," and these tree fruits look and taste a lot like northern plums. After growing on leafless tree limbs for months, the fruits ripen at the end of the dry season, in June or so.
Water Coconut/Coconut comes from Coconut Palm trees. The water coconuts are picked before they fully mature (Immature), so the water has a great refreshing flavor to it. They vary in color and have a smooth hard skin on them. Husked coconuts hang on the tree longer and produce the thick coconut meat that can be eaten raw or mashed into milk and other juices. The water in the husked coconut does not have much flavor. Available year-round.
Dragon Fruit has a bright red skin with a beautiful crimson color fruit inside. This fruit tastes like a raspberry, strawberry, kiwi. Eat everything except the skin. The best way to eat Dragon Fruit is to cut it in half and scoop it out with a spoon, or cut it into slices. It is available June through February.
Guanabana (SourSop) is in the same family as a sugar apple, but tastes a little different. Known as sour sop, this fruit is anything but sour. Wait until the fruit is extremely soft, cut in half, and eat the pockets of fruit from around the seeds inside. It tastes like pineapple cotton candy. Available most of the year.
Jaboticaba is a dark purple, small fruit with a thick skin. Tastes like a tropical, sweet grape. Break the skin and squeeze the juicy center out of the skin and enjoy. Available February-April.
Jackfruit is the largest tropical fruit that grows on a tree and can get up to 80 pounds each. Inside the spiny-skinned fruit are pockets of sweet meat that surround smooth, round seeds. The meat tastes like sweet pineapple-vanilla, and the seeds, when boiled, taste similar to a bean. Jackfruit is the original flavoring in Juicy Fruit Gum and is available during summer.
Key Lime is smaller and seedier than a regular lime, and has a higher acidity, a stronger aroma, and a thinner rind. It is used in the famous Key Lime Pie--Florida’s state pie! Available year-round.
Kumquat is a very small citrus fruit that is eaten skin and all. The skin is sweet and the inside is tart. You must eat the entire fruit at once to receive the full taste. It tastes similar to an orange. Available November to March
Longans are small, brown, round fruits that taste sweet. Just peel the smooth skin and eat the fruit from around the seed inside. They are usually available in June or July.
Lychee is small and rounded with scratchy skin. They come in a mixture of greens and reds, and can be eaten by peeling the thin skin from around the sweet fruit inside. Eat the fruit from around the seed. They are usually only available from mid-May to mid-June.
Mangoes are colorful reds, greens, and golds. Wait until the fruit is moderately soft. The beautiful rich yellow fruit inside has a peachy-pineapple taste. Although we have them year round, our local ones are ONLY during summer time.
Mamey Sapote looks very similar to a small brown football. Wait until the fruit is fully ripe before slicing (extremely soft!). The skin will feel loose and wrinkled. Slice and eat the smooth reddish fruit inside. It has the consistency of cheesecake and tastes rather like a strawberry-pumpkin cheesecake. Available March through January.
Miracle Fruit is a tiny red berry that makes everything eat or drink taste sweet for about 1 hour after consumption. To eat, gently break the skin with your teeth and work the skin of the fruit and the fruit off the seed. Makes lemons taste like lemonade! Available year-round.
Monstera Deliciosa looks like a giant green ear of corn. You must allow this fruit to ripen naturally. The green kernels will fall off by themselves about an inch at a time starting at the stem. Throw the kernels away and eat the white fruit exposed. It tastes like a sweet pineapple-banana. Monstera can be found from July to November.
Papaya is a large oblong-shaped fruit. Wait until the fruit “gives” to slight thumb pressure. Slice just as you would a cantaloupe and enjoy. It tastes very similar to a tropical cantaloupe. Usually available year-round.
Passion Fruit is a round, dark red or deep yellow fruit about the size of a golf ball (sometimes bigger). Wait until the skin is wrinkled, then slice and eat the pulp and seeds inside. It tastes like a super-strong orange juice. You will recognize the scent from tropical fruit punch. Available year-round.
Sapodilla looks like a large kiwi without the fuzz. You must wait until the fruit is very soft, then slice and enjoy. It tastes like a pear with brown sugar. Can be found January through April.
Spanish Limes (Mamoncillos, Genipas) are small and green, but packed with a sweet tart, candy flavor. To eat, you crack the shell and pop the orange flesh and seed in your mouth. Work the fruit off the seed and spit out when finished. Available July and August.
Sugar Apples (Anon, Atemoya, Cherimoya) look like a green pine cone or a hand grenade. Wait until the fruit breaks open when gently squeezed. Eat the creamy white fruit around the seeds inside, the fruit tastes like a pineapple, banana custard. Usually available from August to October.
Sugar Cane is one of Florida’s main crops. Peel the bark-like skin back and chew on the fibers inside. Most people typically do not swallow the fibers, but spit them out when the juice is gone. Try a cup of sugar cane juice (guarapo) for a sweet treat. Can be found year-round.
Tamarind looks like a brown bean pod, but grows on a tree. Peel the shell off and eat the dark brown fruit inside from around the seeds. It tastes like a Sweet Tart candy. Available year-round.
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