TRAVEL AND TASTE: BEST FRUITS IN ASIA YOU CAN’T MISS

Travel and taste: best fruits of Asia

Travel and taste: best fruits in Asia! Most of the travels are still on hold. Yet, it doesn’t stop us from preparing ourselves well for future adventures and creating new bucket lists. And this is a unique bucket list: best fruits in Asia that you can’t miss! If you are considering to travel to one (or more!) of Asian countries, explore the below. If you do not have any plans yet, continue reading as well. Maybe this article will make you change your mind! 🙂

MY ASIA

The best fruits from Asia are a collection of my living in India and multiple trips to this country. It also includes my travels to China, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, Maldives, Sri Lanka. 

Living in Asia gave me great exposure to the local cuisine and many new tastes. I love fruits, and I always get excited to try new ones. Join me today, and let’s check the top 11 fruits. Make a small checklist, check your status. Bon appetit!

THE BEST FRUITS IN ASIA

MANGO – THE KING OF FRUITS

Best fruits in Asia mango

Most of us must have tried mango, that sweet and somehow ‘woody’ taste. Indeed, mangoes are very popular in the world. So what’s so special about trying it in Asia? Mangoes are native to the south of Asia where they have been cultivated for thousands of years. Before visiting India I never knew that there are around 300 varieties of mango in India alone, not including different types from Pakistan and Bangladesh. So if you happen to visit the south of Asia, try different varieties of mango. It is just incredible how the taste of mango can vary. And don’t skip one type: raw mango, very sour experience!

3 KEY BENEFITS
  • Helps with indigestion
  • Boosts immunity
  • Improves eyesight
HOW TO EAT

Mango: simply peel it and enjoy the pulp inside. The cool mango might be more delicious so you can store it first in the fridge.

Raw mango: peel it and eat with salt!

Dasheri mango (it is a special variety available in India): do not peel it, first squeeze the mango well, cut off the top of it and drink the juice and pulp from inside. Must have mango experience!

RECIPE

Mango Jam – shared in Motherhood: Growing Together post

Mango Lassi – shared in Secrets of Indian Cuisine: Authentic and Easy Recipes

did you know that?

Mango increases the heat of the body. It should be avoided during fever or nosebleed.

Coconuts stand in Pondicherry

COCONUT – TROPICAL SUPERFOOD

Coconut is believed to be a superfood of Asia, thanks to its nutritious properties. It became a symbol of relaxation and exotic holidays. The great thing about coconuts is that they’re available all year long. You can buy them nearly everywhere, not only on the beach. We have a fresh coconuts stand just 1-2 min walk from home.

Interestingly, about 74% of the world’s supply of coconuts comes from Indonesia, India, and the Philippines combined. One thing I learned in India: I used to say that coconuts grow on palm trees. Not really. These are coconut trees, not palms. They are one of the most useful trees in the world, known as trees of life. They provide food, medicine, fuel, cosmetics, household items, building materials, and more.

3 KEY BENEFITS
  • Provides good fats
  • Helps in weight loss
  • Keeps you hydrated
HOW TO EAT

Coconut: first, you need a bit of manpower to break it. The juice inside is perfect for drinking (it might be just challenging not to spill it while breaking), then additional skills are needed to remove the coconut inner portion for eating.

Green (also known as tender) coconut: this one is usually sold on the streets, someone will cut the top off for you so you can enjoy the coconut water and sometimes also ‘malai’ (coconut flesh).

RECIPE

Coconut chutney – shared in Secrets of Indian Cuisine: Authentic and Easy Recipes

DID YOU KNOW THAT?

An important item for travelers: dry coconuts are not allowed on the plane. Dried coconuts (known as copra) are flammable. They have a tendency of self-heating and hence are prohibited in checked-in baggage.

Best fruits of Asia guava

guava – SUPER FRUIT

Guava is believed to have its origins in Central America. There it is known also as ‘sand plum’.

It is round or oval with light green or light yellow skin. Its inside color varies from white to pink. Guava has plenty of tiny hard seeds at the center, they are edible. What’s more, guava leaves can be used as an herbal tea. Apart from its unique flavour and fragrance, guava has been known as one of the super fruits due to unlimited health benefits. Fruits are amazingly rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.

I am always undecided which one I like more: white or pink inside. Try and tell me your preference!

picture: guavas

3 KEY BENEFITS
  • Lowers risk of cancer (especially prostate)
  • Controls diabetes
  • Gives relief from menstruation pain
HOW TO EAT

That’s super easy: wash guava and enjoy it (including its small seeds)! If you prefer – you can remove the skin, although, it is fully eatable.

RECIPE

Who doesn’t like jams? This time try guava jam – a great recipe is here.

DID YOU KNOW THAT?

Guava is often called a ‘super fruit’ because it contains four times more vitamin C than oranges, four times more fiber and three times more proteins than pineapples, two times more lycopene than tomatoes, and a bit more potassium than bananas.

Best fruits in Asia jackfruits

JACKFRUIT – THE LARGEST FRUIT

It is believed that jackfruits come from Indian rainforests. They are the largest tree-borne fruits in the world. They can grow up to 90cm long and can weigh even 50kg! (wow, that’s me!). It is a wonder how these giant fruits grow hanging on the trees!

Jackfruit can be cooked as a vegetable when it is raw and eaten as a fruit when it is ripe. The nuts can be cooked, too. The fruit and the nuts are highly nutritious and have a lot of health benefits. Recently jackfruit has become more popular in the world, especially among vegans. It makes an incredible meat substitute due to its fleshy texture.

picture: jackfruits (and Our Bigger Angel)

3 KEY BENEFITS
  • Prevents anemia
  • Boosts energy
  • Maintains a healthy thyroid gland
HOW TO EAT

My recommendation is: buy in a store ready to eat pieces of jackfruit, that’s a bit more expensive but the best option. Otherwise, take a challenge and buy the entire fruit. It needs to be cut so that you can reach fruit pieces inside to eat. Just check my tip below!

RECIPE

Two fruits in one: give it a try and make jackfruit coconut muffins following this recipe.

DID YOU KNOW THAT?

Cutting fresh jackfruit at home might be very challenging since the jackfruit inside is very sticky. Therefore, before taking any action, apply oil to your hands. It helps a lot!

Custard apples and dragon fruits

DRAGON FRUIT – strawberry pear

The dragon fruit is a type of cactus that flourishes in the high temperatures of tropical regions. It originates from South America, and it arrived in Asia, initially Vietnam, thanks to French people, over a hundred years ago.

Dragon fruits outside are spiky. Inside they are white or pink with plenty of seeds. The flesh of the dragon fruit is refreshing and slightly sweet, comparable to a mixture of strawberry and pear. For me, dragon fruits, if eaten in big quantities, have a bit of flat taste. Once, back in China, I was so impressed with the low price that I bought many of them (just like I would buy apples), and later I struggled to eat all. 😉

picture: dragon fruits and custard apples

3 KEY BENEFITS
  • Keeps the kidney clean
  • Soothes nerves
  • Builds strong bones
HOW TO EAT

Ready to eat dragon fruits are a bit softer. Peel it or cut it in half with the knife so that you can use the spoon to eat the fruit out of the skin.

RECIPE

Excellent for all vegetarians: dragon fruit salad, directly from Food Network!

DID YOU KNOW THAT?

Interestingly, dragon fruit grows on a cactus that blooms for one night per fruit cycle.

CUSTARD APPLE – SUGAR APPLE

Custard apple, sugar apple, cherimoya, sitafal. So many different names that are commonly used in Asia. It has a green, round, or cone shape, with scaly skin and sweet & creamy flesh. Its taste might resemble a mixture of banana and pineapple. Custard apples have originated in the Andes mountains in South America. Later Spanish traders brought them to Asia. Cherimoya is grown in tropical areas. You will find it in the Philippines, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, among others. Super worth trying!

3 KEY BENEFITS
  • Has anti-aging properties
  • Helps with indigestion
  • Good for heart and blood health
HOW TO EAT

Custard apple, when ready for eating, becomes very soft. It should break in your hands. Remove the cover and inner seeds to enjoy the flesh!

RECIPE

If you enjoy making ice cream at home, then go for custard apple! Recipe by Tarla Dalal is here.

DID YOU KNOW THAT?

The raw fruits, roots, as well as leaves, can be used as insecticide and vermicide. In the Philippines, the juice of raw custard apples is applied to cure infected insect bites.

Best fruits in Asia passion fruit and rose apple

ROSE APPLE – perfumed fruit

Rose apple comes from South East Asia and is known in countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and India. It is known by various names water apple, Jamaican apple, paneer fruit, chambakka, and bell fruit. Rose apple has a bell shape and might be red, yellow, or green. It is more similar to small guavas, and not apples or roses, as the name suggests. Although, it has a beautiful taste and smell – exactly of roses. Ripe rose apple is crisp from outside, with a sweet and slightly bitter taste. Rose apples after 2-4 days get bruises. It is good to eat them fresh. As a result, they are not commercial fruits. They are mainly sold by the local farmers. I had it the first time only last month, and I fell in love with it. Must try when in Asia!

picture: rose apples and passion fruits (and Our Little One)

3 KEY BENEFITS
HOW TO EAT

Again, super easy: wash and eat with cover. Inside there will be few seeds that should be removed (or planted!)

RECIPE

Rose apples are excellent for juices but this time, more unique rose apple wine recipe!

DID YOU KNOW THAT?

Leaves of rose apples were used in the perfume industry. They have a beautiful light rose smell.

PASSION FRUIT – EXOTIC FRUIT

Passion fruit is the fruit of the Passiflora vine, a type of passionflower. It has a hard outer rind. Inside it is juicy and full of seeds. There are several types of passion fruit that might be different in size and color. The most popular ones are either purple or golden yellow/orange. The two most popular types include passiflora edulis (small round or oval shape fruits with purple skin) and passiflora flavicarpa (round or oval with yellow skin, usually slightly larger). Passion fruits taste has a mixture of sweet and sour, with crunchy seeds. Whenever you find them during your travels – try, fresh they taste the best! 

3 KEY BENEFITS
  • Promotes intestinal health
  • Reduces anxiety and stress
  • Prevents hair fall
HOW TO EAT

Ready to eat passion fruits get more intense skin color. Break the skin and enjoy the inner part, including crunchy seeds!

RECIPE

Very yummy and unique passion fruit salad dressing! Check the recipe here.

DID YOU KNOW THAT?

If you are on a diet, passion fruit is a perfect snack for you! As technically it’s a berry, one fruit has only 17 calories!

AMLA – Indian gooseberry

Amla has eight times more vitamin C than an orange, twice the amount of antioxidants of acai berry, and around 17 times of a pomegranate. The Indian gooseberry, known as amla, truly deserves its superfood status. The name of this translucent green fruit derives from the Sanskrit word ‘Amlaki’, meaning “nectar of life”. Amla can protect us from numerous health problems: cold, cancer, or infertility, among many. According to Ayurveda, amla can help balance the three doshas in the body, eliminating the cause of many diseases.

3 KEY BENEFITS
  • Cures respiratory disorders
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Enriches hair growth
HOW TO EAT

Just wash it and enjoy the sourness of amla 🙂

RECIPE

Try this great Indian-style amla pickle. A recipe from Hebbars Kitchen.

DID YOU KNOW THAT?

Amla has ‘double’ taste. As you bite it, it is very sour (I call it super sour), and as it goes through your throat, the taste changes to a sweet one.

Best fruits of Asia Amla and Mosambi
Amla and Mosambi

sweet lime – mosambi citrus

Mosambi is a citrus fruit. It is also known as citrus limetta, sweet lime, sweet lemon, sweet limetta. Its origins are from Asia, somewhere between India, Indonesia, and China. Mosambi’s size is similar to orange. It is light green or green in color. It contains less acid than limes, people like it for its mild and tasty flavor. It is very famous in the form of juice. Mosambi tastes exactly as its name – it is sweet, and at the same time, it gives a fresh taste of lime. Whenever it is warm, I opt for a glass of mosambi juice!

3 KEY BENEFITS
  • Boosts immunity
  • Treats urinary disorders
  • Keeps you hydrated
HOW TO EAT

Enjoy it the way you eat orange! Simple, peel and it is ready to eat!

RECIPE

Very famous and super easy mosambi juice! Click for the recipe here.

DID YOU KNOW THAT?

In case of a cold: mix 5 drops of ginger juice in a glass of mosambi juice for immediate relief.

Sapotas stand in Bangalore

SAPOTA – SWEET CHIKOO

Sapota, also known as sapodilla, lamoot, naseberry, sapoti, or chikoo, is a delicious tropical fruit. Its scientific name is Manilkara zapota. Its origins are from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean island. During Spanish colonization, it was introduced to the Philippines. Nowadays, you can easily find sapotas in India, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Mexico.

Sapotas have a rounded shape and are smaller than oranges or apples. Outside they have brown skin and light brown to golden yellow flesh inside. They are very sweet, with a texture similar to pears.

picture: sapotas

3 KEY BENEFITS
  • Reduces bacterial and virus infections
  • Helps to remove nose blockage
  • Good for moms-to-be
HOW TO EAT

The best chickoos are the slightly soft ones. After washing, break it into two. Eat flesh that is inside, remove skin and seeds.

RECIPE

Excellent and super easy sapota milkshake, a recipe by Tarla Dalal is here.

DID YOU KNOW THAT?

Very often sapotas as mistaken for potatoes! They look alike. I tested it twice today by sending out sapotas picture from my fruits shopping and got two messages back: oh, potatoes! Even the seller who was selling me sapotas today double-checked “you want to buy sapotas, yes?”

NOT ENOUGH?

Do you feel the list is not enough and you would like more sensations or even more unique tastes? Then go for durian and wood apple. Both are known as smelly fruits in Asia. Just today, I tried wood apple for the first time in my life. At home, only Our Little One was brave enough to try it too. Our reaction? We won’t have it for a while, for sure!
What is on my Asian fruits bucket list? Mangosteen! The royal fruit. I can’t wait to try it!


What is your favorite fruit from Asia? Or which one is on the top of your “yet to try list”? And of course, if I missed any of your recommendations – share below too! You know: I love trying new fruits!

Moments that matter, no matter which fruit.

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