Tropical fruits and vegetables are widely available in many large cities. Tropical fruits stem usually grown in warm climate, around the equator. Tropical fruits grow on plants of all habitats. Tropical fruits require a tropical or subtropical weather to grow in and cannot tolerate frost. Therefore, from tropical countries, most well known tropical fruits are exported. There are different types of tropical fruits across the world. Famous tropical fruits are exported; some fruits are still only grown and marketed locally. Bananas, mangoes, papayas, pineapples, coconut, guava, dragon fruit, and avocados are the well-known tropical fruits.
- Custard apple
- Dragon Fruit
- Jack Fruit
- Star apple
- Star Fruit
- Water apple
Bananas are accessible in a wide variety of shapes, flavors, skin colors, and sizes, which can be as short as 3 inches and as long as 18 inches. Its flavor is sweet and mild to slightly acidic. Bananas are generally of two types such as sweet/desert bananas that are eaten raw, usually and a starchier type called plantains that are always cooked. Domesticated bananas are containing high food value, vitamins (B & C) and minerals (potassium). The dessert bananas are usually eaten raw, but can also be used in bread or cakes. Skin of undeveloped banana is generally green; it becomes yellow when it ripens. When it is getting over-ripe, it begins to show brown spots.
The coconut palm is an amazingly versatile plant. People used it as food, oil, fiber or wood. Coconut fruit are of different uses, which depend on its age. Immature coconuts include slightly sweet, effervescent water, which is a satisfying drink on a hot day. The water of coconut is safe to drink due to freshly opened coconut is sterile inside, it is served at room temperature, and it always seems cool. The mature coconuts is added to cooked dishes for its flavor and texture. Cooking oils and cosmetics are made by using its mature flesh, which is called copra. Mature coconuts should be at least 1/3 full of juice. Coconut is quite tasty and can be eaten raw.
Custard apple is grown around the world but it is native to tropical America and centuries ago, it was introduced into tropical Asia. Custard apple is available in many varieties and all of them share the same distinctive appearance. With overlapped fleshy green segments, the exterior of the fruit is covered. In the internal of the fruit, white segment of flesh is included, which is sweet and slightly acid. A shiny black seed is included in each segment. Custard apples are juicy and used as an appealing fruit drink. Its taste is little similar to banana and pineapple combined.
The dragon fruits are a group of closely related cactus plants that grown in tropical lowlands and it is also called pitaya. Dragon fruit is available in dozens of commercial varieties in production. The plants will produce fruit year round in the right climate, however, during the rainy season, yields may be reduced (and prices higher). When the fruit’s skin begins to turn from green to red, two to five days after that Dragon fruit is ready to pick. Skin of Dragon fruit can be yellow to pink or red. A large mass of sweetly flavored pulp and small black seeds are enclosed by the thin rind. The fruit is juicy, with subtle fruity flavors and is usually eaten chilled.
Duku and langsat are intimately related, members of the same botanical family (meliaceae), and are very similar fruits. With a thin, leathery skin, they both grow in clusters and are larger than a golf ball. Duku fruit is of golden brown color; the langsat is more of a cream color. Langsat’s skin contains sticky latex, which is annoying but not harmful. Duku does not have this latex sap, for that reason duku is considered a superior fruit. Each fruit contains 5 segments in its interior, these segments are similar to a small grapefruit and flesh is sweet and juicy, and tastes similar to a very mild, sweet, grapefruit. Small, bitter seeds are included in some segments.
A unique fruit, durian is dissimilar of anything else, which has ever eaten. Durian trees are very tall, and the fruits are quite heavy, hard sharp spikes all around their surface and about the size of an unhusked coconut. Durian is a native of Southeast Asia and it is highly appreciated for its distinctive flavor. It is the topic of a wonderful diversity of local legends and folklore. In some places, it is thought to be an aphrodisiac, unsafe to your health in others. In five segments, each fruit is divided lengthwise. Two or three pieces of soft, creamy flesh are included in each segment. Durians are usually eaten fresh, but in the Philippines and Viet Nam, durian ice cream is very popular.
Jackfruit is huge and some specimens can weigh over 100 pounds, while most are smaller. A white central core surrounded by yellow fruit sections is included in the fruit and each containing a light brown seed. Jackfruits grew on very short stalks, and appeared to be growing directly from the trunk of the tree. With the individual pieces of fruit sold in plastic bags, fruit is usually sectioned in the market. The flesh of Jackfruit has a crisp texture, with a strong, sweet flavor. It makes an excellent dessert, so people take it after dinner. After cooking by boiling in salted water, or roasting like a chestnut, its seeds can be eaten.
The large lime, kaffir lime, and kalamansi lime are the three types of limes that are commonly found in Southeast Asia. The large lime is almost round, with a thin green skin, which turns yellow when ripe. For its abundant juice, large lime is used, or added to food to provide acidity and taste. With dimples, the kaffir lime has a rough green skin that makes it seem a bit like a golf ball. Its flesh is too sour to eat but it has little or no juice. To flavor cooked dishes, the grated skin and leaves can be used. In Bali and Thailand, the leaves are widely used for seasoning. The kalamansi lime is inhabitant to the Philippines and it is very small, round, thin-skinned, and green in color, and as the lime ripens, it turns into yellow. The flesh is very juicy and juice is quite flavorful.
Mangoes are available in dozens of varieties throughout the tropics. Mangoes are eaten fresh and can be pickled. Mango has sap in the leaves, stem, and other parts, which can be allergenic, causing skin rashes. Mangos come in many sizes, shapes, and colors. All mangos have a large, flat seed inside and mangos can be eaten green, generally in salads or as pickles or chutney. Ripe mangos are generally eaten fresh, either alone or mixed with other fruits. In pies or crepes, jams, ice cream, etc, mangoes can be used. Fibers are attached to the see, which seem when mango is sliced down.
To grow, mangosteen is very difficult and if handled roughly, it bruises easily. Its color is dark purple and has a thick rigid skin. Six or seven segments of juicy white flesh are included in it and each segment is containing a large dark seed. The flesh is sweet and slightly tart. By slight pressure on each side, near the stem, the skin of Mangosteen can be opened. Taste of this fruit is very fine; it is served as fresh fruit.
Throughout Southeast Asia, a wide variety of melons is available. Honeydew and casaba melons, cantaloupe, and others are the verities of melon. As a dessert or snack, Melons are often simply sliced and eaten fresh. To make a number of desserts, melon can also be made into juices or mixed with other foods. Watermelon is a large juicy round fruit made up out of various types of plant that trail along the ground. Melons are a fruit that can easily be improved and crossed. As a result, there are many of different tasty sorts. Keep them at room temperature or in the sun depending on when you want to have them. If they are ripe, you best store them in the refrigerator. Serve melon cold as well.
Up to about 14-16 inches long, Papayas are large fruits when mature. Its skin is green and turning yellow or orange as the fruit ripens. The ripe flesh is a dark pink color, is eaten raw and black seeds are edible. Unripe papaya is also widely eaten in salads or cooked in soups. Papain, which is used as a meat tenderizer is an enzyme contained by Papayas. Papaya trees are either male or female but only the females bear fruit. There must be a male tree nearby to provide pollen for fertilization. The female trees bear their short flowers directly on the trunk of the tree. The males grow their flowers on long stems.
Bromelain enzyme, which breaks down protein, is including in fresh pineapple. It can be used as a meat tenderizer like fresh papaya. Fresh pineapple should not be added to cottage cheese or yogurt until just before serving, or it will digest the milk proteins. The bromelain enzyme is deactivated by Cooking. To produce a new plant, top of the pineapple can be transplanted. The very young fruit is of bright red color, as are the surrounding leaves. When pineapples have turned about 2/3 yellow, they are ready to eat. Fresh pineapple should be used immediately, either eaten raw, or baked, grilled, sauteed or stir-fried.
Rambutan is similar to lychee fruit. Skin of Rambutan is fairly thick, coated with soft “hairs”, and is available in red or golden colored varieties. In its skin, there is no sap. The flesh is sweet and white and it surrounds an oval seed, and may cling to the seed in some cases. It is a good source of vitamin C and eaten fresh. To release the fruit, twist the skin with both hands. Rambutan is not so juicy as to drip on eating and it will not create a mess of your hands.
The salak is a native of Indonesia and named for its scaly brown skin. Salak is also grown in Thailand and Malaysia. Salak grows at the base of a short palm tree. Salak has thin and strong skin but it is easily peeled. Three or four segments are included in its flesh, which is quite dry, crunchy, and tangy due to high tannin content. The flavor of Salak is quite different. Taste of salak is depends on its cultivars, some are semi-sweet, dry and crunchy but some are slightly juicy, soft and acidic. Taste of salak is different and unusual from other common fruits. You can smell the sourish aroma of salak fruit, if you put salak in an enclosed room.