10 Fruits & 10 Vegetables Americans Have Probably Never Seen Before

10 Fruits & 10 Vegetables Americans Have Probably Never Seen Before

Aside from the usual potatoes, bananas, spinach, and broccoli that we buy at the grocery store to cook and eat, there's a whole world of exotic fruits and vegetables just waiting to be explored. Let's dive into 10 fruits and 10 vegetables that you've probably never seen or even heard of before.

1. Rambutan

Yes, these hairy little fuzzballs that you're looking at is actually a fruit. This tropical fruit is called Rambutan, most commonly found in Southeast Asia. While its exterior might be rather unappealing (it looks pretty leathery, doesn't it?), the inside holds a delectable treasure - it's got a juicy, grape-like fruit hidden within that's both sweet and slightly acidic in taste.

Rambutan-4364311 1280Image by Kim Loan Nguyen thi from Pixabay

2. Durian

Next on this list is Durian, also known as "king of fruits" in Southeast Asia. Why that is, we have no idea, because believe us when we say this is one fruit not everyone will love. Notorious for its exceptionally strong smell, many find Durian too unpleasant to even come near it. Yet behind its spiky walls is a surprisingly creamy and custardy flesh. If you can get past the odor, you might just find it enjoyable. Might.

Durian-6579894 1280Image by Najib Zamri from Pixabay

3. Jackfruit

Fun fact alert! Did you know jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world, capable of reaching up to a whopping 80lbs in weight? Pretty cool, right? While you might've tasted this fruit thanks to it commonly being used as a meat substitute in vegetarian and vegan dishes, we're guessing you've never seen its natural form before. Because with its bumpy, scaly looking green shell, you probably never thought this thing was even edible.

Jackfruit-2108869 1280Image by Reinout Dujardin from Pixabay

4. Cherimoya

Cherimoya (now that's a fun name to say) is a heart-shaped, strawberry-looking fruit that's native to the Andes mountains. With its unique green exterior, you're probably wondering, what the heck does this taste like? Well, it's got a creamy and sweet flesh that's flavour is often compared to a mix of bananas, pineapples, and maybe even a hint of kiwi and strawberry. Sounds pretty tropical!

Cherimoya-Fruit-2668293 1280Image by Raghavendra Ch from Pixabay


5. Feijoa

Also known as the pineapple guava, Feijoa is a small green fruit that's commonly found in New Zealand, but is native to different countries in South America. It's pretty unknown in the United States, making this one mysterious fruit you're probably wondering what it tastes like. Well, given its nickname, many people argue that it tastes like a combination of pineapple and guava. However, sometimes you get other flavours thrown in there like apple and mint!

Elena-G-Xphy3U3Eevw-UnsplashPhoto by Elena G on Unsplash

6. Soursop

Despite its less than attractive name, Soursop aka Graviola, has a terrifying spiky green exterior that makes you want to run away from it. It seems like exotic fruits really love looking scary! But on the inside, you'll be pleased to hear it's soft and fibrous, tasting something like a cross between strawberries, pineapple, and citrus. You can find this fruit in beverages, desserts, and smoothies pretty commonly around Latin America and Southeast Asia.

Soursop-6782765 1280Image by Robert Lens from Pixabay

7. Longan

Look, Longans have got a pretty cool nickname. Often referred to as "dragon's eye" in Asia, this tiny, round fruit has got a nice surprise hidden inside. Peel open the shell to reveal a nearly translucent, juicy flesh that's incredibly sweet. Just think lychee, but with a drier sweetness and taste.

Mohd-Safri-6P5Apmqqll4-UnsplashPhoto by Mohd Safri on Unsplash

8. Sapodilla

Not very well-known outside of its native home in Latin America, we believe Sapodilla needs more attention. Although this unique fruit has got a bit of a weird grainy texture, its sweet flavour definitely makes up for it. Many people say it reminds them of pear and brown sugar!

Sapodilla-6834188 1280Image by NGUYỄN THỊ THY from Pixabay

9. Miracle Fruit

Just because it's called Miracle Fruit, we don't want you to expect this to be the greatest fruit of all time! This fruit does however, have one very neat trick up its sleeve. Miracle Fruit has been said to have a remarkable ability to temporarily affect people's taste buds, making sour foods taste sweet. For this reason, it's often treated as a novelty item rather than a fruit you should eat on the regular.

MiracleberryHamale Lyman, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

10. Pitaya (Dragon Fruit)

Becoming more and more popular in the US, Pitaya, also known as dragon fruit, might be spotted at your local grocery store. There are still a good number of people who don't know what it is though, which means it's the perfect opportunity to highlight it. Whether you've tried it before or quickly walked past it because it looks scary, dragon fruit is known for its bright pink, scaly exterior that's contrasted against its white, speckled with seeds interior. If you manage to pick a ripe one, it's got a mild and sweet taste you might associate with pears or kiwis.

Maddi-Bazzocco-G3Rqa1Twf-0-UnsplashPhoto by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash


1. Romanesco

If you're wondering what exactly is it that you're looking at, we're here to tell you that's a romanesco. Looks sort of like a cross between cauliflower and broccoli right? There's something mesmerizing about it, thanks to its visually striking and spirally pattern. But what about its taste? It's said to have a nutty, slightly sweet taste, and is even rich in vitamins C and K.

Venus-Major-Uc8Hqc0Udqy-UnsplashPhoto by VENUS MAJOR on Unsplash

2. Kohlrabi

Sometimes called the German turnip, the Kohlrabi has definitely got a unique appearance to it. It just looks like a plant growing out of an onion! Known for having a mild, sweet flavour complemented by a crisp texture, people usually compare it to a broccoli stem or radish. You can even eat it raw or cooked, making it a versatile vegetable you can throw in a salad, soup, or stir-fry.

Ashleigh-Shea-Wxbniid01H4-UnsplashPhoto by Ashleigh Shea on Unsplash

3. Celeriac

Celeriac, also called celery root, is one ugly looking root vegetable. No offense to the vegetable, but just look at that! It looks like something straight from outer space. But despite what it look likes, it's got a pleasant and subtle celery-like flavour and a unique starchy, potato-like texture. So...let's just call it a celery x potato cross. Commonly used in European cuisines, this is one vegetable worth experimenting with.

Yuval-Zukerman-Kluf3Bl0Veu-UnsplashPhoto by Yuval Zukerman on Unsplash

4. Chayote

Part of the gourd family as you can easily see, Chayote is a mild and crisp squash that can be eaten raw or cooked. Because of this, it's an easy ingredient to toss in your salads or soups! Coming all the way from Mesoamerica, many people also refer to it as a vegetable pear thanks to its weird shape and green colour.

1024Px-Sechium Edule Dsc07767David.Monniaux on Wikimedia Commons

5. Samphire

Looking like innocent, harmless, skinny cacti, Samphire is a very unique vegetable that thrives particularly in coastal regions. It's also known as sea asparagus if you like that name better. Having a crisp bite to it and an incredibly salty flavour, you can probably guess where it got its "sea" asparagus name from. You can eat it raw or cooked, and is used most often in salads as a garnish.

1024Px-Samphire Growing At The High Tide MarkGaoithe on Wikimedia Commons

6. Jicama

This root vegetable is known and beloved for its crunchy texture and sweet, nutty flavour that's often compared to an apple or pear. Don't be fooled by its spelling though, because the Jicama is pronounced "hi-kuh-muh". Quite popular in Mexican cuisine, you can easily find this incorporated into plenty of salads or even used in slaws as taco toppings. 

1024Px-Starr-131112-2490-Pachyrhizus Erosus-Tubers-Hawea Pl Olinda-Maui (24860044339)Forest and Kim Starr on Wikimedia Commons


7. Oca

While you may initially be put off by the visuals of this vegetable, if you love potatoes, you'll probably like this too. Oca is a tuber native to the Andes and is noted to be similar in texture and use to a potato. It's even got the various colours: yellow, red, and dark purple! The only difference is the taste - it's a bit sweeter and slightly tangy. 

1024Px-OxalistuberosaMarkus Leupold-Löwenthal on Wikimedia Commons

8. Tiger Nuts

We're not a fan of when names are misleading, and sadly, this vegetable is just that. Because despite their name, no, tiger nuts are not actually nuts. Instead, they're tubers, noted for having a sweet and nutty flavour that's often eaten as a snack or used to make horchata in Spain. The good news is, these tubers are pretty good for you - they're rich in fiber and nutrients, making them healthy additions to any diet.

1024Px-Tiger Nuts (Brown)Flixtey on Wikimedia Commons

9. Moringa

Fun to say, Moringa leaves from the, you guessed it, moringa tree, are highly nutritious vegetables that have amazing health benefits. They're pretty simple to cook with (just use them like spinach!) and have a mild flavour that can easily be adjusted to fit into plenty of recipes. Moringa leaves are packed with all the goodies: vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which means America needs to see more of these in our grocery stores.

1024Px-Flower Of Moringa OleiferaRehman Abubakr on Wikimedia Commons

10. Daikon Radish

Commonly used in Asian cuisine, most Americans are still not very familiar with this vegetable. The Daikon Radish, is a very large, white radish that's beloved for its crispy, crunchy texture and mild flavour. It can be used in a variety of ways, whether it's pickled, eaten raw, or cooked. It's such a versatile vegetable, we should learn to cook with it more often!

Daikon.japanChris 73 on Wikimedia Commons