Fresh Fruit Delights – ABC

Of the hundreds of varieties chosen as a food source, it must be said that one of the most attractive, as well as nourishing, is fresh fruit. Many of us may have our choice restricted to local fruits in season but we will naturally yearn to taste some of the other fresh fruit delights of the world.

The following is an ABC listing of some of the fruit varieties on offer in markets of the various countries of the world.

ABIU Pouteria caimita from Brazil and Peru. Known also as Caimo and Cauje.

ACEROLA Malpighia glabra has small, cherry-like fruit with somewhat apple flavour and high vitamin C content.

AMBARELLA Sondias cytherea from Polynesia

APPLE  Malus spp. The world’s favourite fruit – oranges come second. Origin S.W. Asia to Europe. 7,000 varieties of apples are found in modern cultivation, and offering a wide range of flavours.

APRICOT Prunus armeniaca. The sun ripened fruits are delicious and the apricot kernels contain amygdalin, that is considered by many to have a positive effect in reducing cancer.

ASIAN PEAR Pyrus pyrifolia from Asia

ATEMOYA  Annona atemoya from Central America

AVOCADO Persea americana from Mexico.  Fruit is eaten usually as a vegetable –savoury but others in Brazil and other countries eat it served as a sweet food.

BABACO  Carica pentagona from Ecuador produces a large 5 sided fruit with soft watery flesh. Skin pale green to yellow and flesh a pinkish orange. Delicate taste used in sorbets and fruit salads.

BAEL FRUIT  Aegle marmelos from Bengal

BAKUPARI Rheedia brasiliensis from Brazil

BANANAS  Musa sp. Bananas are nutritious, containing high carbohydrate content when green,converting to sugar when ripe. There are dozens of varieties found in tropical markets.

BANANA PASSION FRUIT OR  CURUBA  Tacsonia mollissima Is like an elongated passion fruit with soft yellow skin when ripe. Flavour similar to a passionfruit.

BELL FRUIT  Syzygium aqueum India

BILBERRIES – BLAEBERRIES, WHORTLEBERRIES, WHINBERRIES Vaccinium spp.from Europe found in wartime to improve night vision, along with carrots. Contain vitamin C and iron.

BILIMBI Averrhoa bilimbi Malaysia

BLACKBERRY Rubus spp grows wild and also is cultivated. A large thorny bush with shiny purplish black berries rich in vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus and potassium.


Native European berries hang in tiny bunches like grapes on the bushes. Each berry contains many small seeds. Eaten whole, but highly acidic so usually cooked.  Rich in vitamin C and pectin.

BLACK PERSIMMON – Diospyros digyna from Mexico

BLUEBERRY Vaccinium sp. similar to Bilberries but larger, with silvery bloom. Wild fruits are more flavoursome. American blueberries larger and sweeter than bilberries. Popular health food.

BOYSENBERRY – hybrid x between youngberry and a raspberry resembles a large red/purple blackberry, sweet fruit eaten raw and often into jam.

BRAZILIAN CHERRY – Eugenia uniflora

BREADFRUIT Artocarpus spp.from the tropical Pacific Islands is sometimes eaten raw when really ripe but otherwise is cooked as a vegetable.

CAIMIITO OR STAR APPLE, GOLDEN  Chrysophyllum cainito from West Indies

CAMU CAMU  Myricaria paraensis Amazon fruit

CANISTEL   Pouteria campechiana found in Central America

CAPE GOOSEBERRY Physalis sp.small orange berries encased in papers husks similar to chinese lantern with a unique and delicious flavour. Native to Sth Africa and Sth America.

CAPULIN  Prunus serotina var. salicifolia Central America

CARAMBOLA , STARFRUIT  Averrhoa carambola from Malaysia and Indonesia is a yellow ribbed 5 star shaped fruit. Refreshing eaten raw. Contain potassium, niacin, phosphorus and vitamin C.  CAROB, ST JOHN”S BREAD  Ceratonia siliqua Mediterranean sweet tasting bean eaten dried.

CASIMIROA Casimiroa edulis from Mexico and Central America

CHERIMOYA Annona cherimola from Ecuador. The skin is smooth but clearly segmented to indicate pine cone type of segments. Flesh is creamy like custard and very sweet when ripe.

CHERRY Prunus spp. orginated in China some 4000 years ago. Introduced to Asia Minor then to Rome and England. Henry 8th planted first cherries in Kent and first seeds were taken to America on the Mayflower. There are now hundreds of varieties in cultivation.

CLOUDBERRIES are orangey coloured relatives of the raspberry found in boggy lands in cold climates in Scandinavia, Siberia and even the Arctic. The berries ripen therefore very slowly allowing intense flavour to develop and sweet, like honey.

COCONUT  Cocos nucifera gives man provision for many utilities as well as food. Fruit may be eaten when unripe when flesh is creamy substance and the milk is sweet. When mature, the brown skin should be eaten together with the white flesh as it has nutritional value.

CRABAPPLE Malus spp. grown in the wild and once eaten in prehistoric time.Very small fruit, yellow, green, orange or red self seeded ones usually larger and more edible. Pectin content is high.

CRANBERRY- BOUNCEBERRIES Vaccinium macrocarpon wild fruits used by the native American Indians before settlement for their medicinal value and as well as a food. Common name derived because they were bounced 7 times as a test for firmness before sending to market.

CURRENT GRAPES Vitis spp.are small sweet grapes from Turkey and Greece which are marketed dried as ‘currants”.

CURRANTS Ribes spp are native and found throughout Europe with fruits white, red or black are used in liqueur call Cassis see also ‘Blackcurrants’.

CUMQUAT “MARUMI”, KUMQUAT Fortunella japonica with small, ornamental bright orange citrus fruit having sour flesh and sweet tasting skin – quite a taste sensation when eaten whole.

CUSTARD APPLE  Annona sp. is heart shaped, heavy and very large tropical fruit maturing to a lumpy looking irregular shape. Its delicious flesh is sweet and smooth, living up to its custard name.

Do you want to know more?  Then watch for the Fresh Fruits List – D-F

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