7 Weird Fruits & Vegetables You Probably Never Tried (But Should)

Most American’s stick to the same food, week in and week out without little variation at all. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet can be a lot more enticing when you have more options. So, look for these the next time you’re in the grocery store or at the farmer’s market.

 

Jackfruit

Bigger than a watermelon, jackfruit is eaten all over Southeast Asia, where it’s prized for its starchy qualities and often incorporated into vegetarian curries as a result. It has a second use, though, in canned form swimming in heavy syrup, making it suitable for dessert uses. Native to southern India, the plant is a cousin of the mulberry, and jackfruit is the world’s largest tree-borne fruit.

 

Loofah

Not to be confused with the plastic shower aids in bathrooms across the country nor the late great Luther Vandross, this fruit is also known as ridge gourd. When young and tender, it tastes almost like zucchini, but as the fruit grows old and woody, the flesh melts away, leaving the abrasive skeleton. As a tender young vegetable, loofah is indispensable to Chinese and Indian cooking.

 

Radicchio Variegato di Castelfranco

Yes, this leaf vegetable that looks like a blood-spattered flower opening is a form of radicchio—and has the slightly bitter taste associated with that popular salad green. This type of radicchio hails from the region around Venice, Italy and is occasionally available at fancier groceries that stock Italian products.

 

Cherimoya

No, it’s not a funky artichoke-this heart-shaped fruit native to South America is a cherimoya, also referred to as a “custard apple.” While it may be rough and bumpy on the outside, the actual fruit flesh is smooth and creamy, like custard. Described by Mark Twain as “deliciousness itself,” a ripe cherimoya blends flavors of pineapple and banana. Can’t find it in your grocery store? Bottled water brand Aquafina now makes a Tropical Cherimoya flavored water.

 

Pummelo

It may look like a giant grapefruit, but the pummelo is more than meets the eye. Hailing from Asia, the super-sized fruit has an ultra-thick skin that gives way to a fresh, citrusy flesh. Sweeter than your typical grapefruit, this widely-available gem makes a great breakfast side, salad topper, or fruit salad add-in.