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Exotic Fruit Identification

By Isabel Prontes ; Updated September 21, 2017
Mangosteen is a popular exotic fruit.

Exotic fruits are those that hail from exotic locations around the world, and that are not commonly available in the United States and Europe. Many exotic fruits hail from southeastern Asia, Africa, Central and South America and islands in the Pacific Ocean. Many different exotic fruits are commonly consumed abroad but not in the U.S.


The mangosteen is a tropical fruit known that originates in the southeastern Asian nation of Indonesia (particularly the Maluku Islands and the Sunda Islands). The fruit comes from an evergreen tree and is purple, with a soft and creamy texture. The flesh of the fruit is pleasantly fragrant and has a tart, sweet flavor with a hint of peach and citrus.


The durian is a popular fruit in southeastern Asia, and comes from Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. The fruit is well known for its strong odor, which is similar to that of onions. Due to its notorious smell, the durian is commonly banned in airports and hotels in southeastern Asia. The fruit is surrounded by a tough, thorny husk and has a creamy texture like custard.


The lychee is an exotic fruit that is a member of the soapberry family. The lychee comes from Taiwan, the southern portion of mainland China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and India (specifically the Bihar region). The fruit comes from an evergreen tree and is tiny and translucent white, with a reddish pink, hard rind covering. The fruit offers an abundance of vitamin C and has a texture similar to that of a grape.

Horned Melon

The horned melon is native to Africa's Kalahari Desert. The horned melon is also commonly known as the African horned cucumber, blowfish fruit, jelly melon, English tomato, kiwano, melano and the hedged gourd. It is characterized by a deep green pulp that has a taste reminiscent of banana, cucumber, passion fruit and lime. The fruit is a common ingredient in smoothies. When the fruit is ripe, its skin is yellowish-orange and the flesh is jelly-like in texture.

Passion Fruit

Passion fruit hails from South America, particularly the northeastern region of Argentina, as well as Brazil and Paraguay. The flesh of the fruit is juicy and soft, and full of seeds. The shape is either oval or round, and upon maturity, either deep purple or yellow. It is commonly used for its juice.