If you’ve ever been to Southeast Asia, South America, Central America, or another tropical place you may have come across exotic fruits. Some of our favorites are the Jackfruit and Dragonfruit. The Durian was less than ideal due to its taste and smell, read on for the full details.
The below is how two Americans would describe these tropical fruits!
We heard that Jackfruit was the biggest fruit to grow on a tree and the hardest to cut, so we made sure to grab a 12 pound one at our local Asian market in California!
Appearance & Texture: The outside is rough but not spiky, most Jackfruit seem to be green on the outside.
Taste: Tasting like a cross between a mango and a melon or cantaloupe, this fruit has a unique taste that’s hard to describe.
Uses: Green jackfruit is actually a popular vegetarian substitute for chicken due to its meaty texture and large amount of protein. Some people use it to make tacos, tortas, or other dishes that are usually full of meat.
Is It Healthy? Jackfruits are packed with calories and carbs, making them our least healthy fruit on this list. However, they offer simple sugars like fructose which gives instant energy. These also have zero cholesterol!
One of the most colorful fruits you’ll ever see, Dragonfruit is also called Pitaya. Some call it a strawberry pear. Some just call it a tasty superfood!
Appearance & Texture: Dragonfruit looks like a soft pineapple with spikes! It also has scaly-leaves that are similar to the texture of artichoke. The black seeds are edible. The texture is also somewhat crunchy.
Taste: Something like a cross between a pear and kiwi, Dragonfruit are mildly sweet. Make sure to only eat the white part and not the pink, the pink is quite bitter.
Uses: Dragonfruit is typically used as fresh fruit and can be often found on breakfast plates in Asia and Central America!
Is It Healthy? Not only is it high in nutrients and low in calories, it might help you fight chronic illnesses! A phytochemical called captin is present in dragon fruit too. It is typically used in medicines that may help alleviate heart problems. Other known benefits of dragon fruit include boosting the immune system, promoting quicker recovery from wounds and bruises, and reducing the risk for respiratory problems.
Durian is potentially the most polarizing fruit of all time, inspiring either awe or disgust. It has been called the “King of Fruits” and is native to Southeast Asia. Check out the quotes below to see shock and awe in action.
The Durian fruit will leave one with breath that smells as if you’d been French-kissing your dead grandmother.Anthony Bourdain
It has been likened to rotting onions, unwashed socks and even carrion in custard, but the most accurate description by far is that of a sewer full of rotting pineapples.BBC
Imagine the best, most delicious, and sensuous banana pudding you can imagine, add just a touch of butterscotch, vanilla, peach, pineapple, strawberry, and almond flavours, and a surprising twist of — garlic! Like many of life’s greatest experiences, eating durian cannot be adequately described with words. Durian has a characteristic delicious flavour, creamy texture, and tantalizing fragrance that is just… durian! — the king of fruits, nature’s most magnificent fruit gift.Durian Palace
Appearance & Texture: The Durian is a large spiky fruit which looks sort of like a bulbous cactus. The outside shell is hard and uncomfortable to touch.
Taste: HOTLY debated, some think that Durian tastes like “wet garbage”. Impossible to describe but it’s kind of sweet, kind of sour.
Uses: Some people use Durian as a dessert filling such as in pancakes or tarts. Others use the fruit, bark, and leaves as medicine to treat fevers and swelling.
Is It Healthy?: Durian is actually very good for you, offering vitamin C, folic acid, riboflavin, vitamin A, B6, and more.
The Winner? Jackfruit.
Out of these 3 tropical fruits, Dragonfruits are easiest to prepare, but Jackfruit took the prize for overall taste. Durian is a unique option that may inspire you to write poetry, or perhaps never come near it again. Don’t forget to check out our other Thailand tips including what to pack, visiting Koh Lanta, tips for female travelers, and more!