Exotic Fruit

Written by Supernova

May 2, 2020

Whenever you get asked what your favourite fruit is, apples, pears and strawberries come to mind. But did you know that the world is jam-packed with other fruits which are just as tasty?
We hear more and more about all sorts of weird and wonderful fruits on various cooking shows. We’ve also seen some of these exotic fruits in our local grocers as the demand increases. But sometimes we stop dead in our tracks and wonder what type of fruit we’re actually looking at on the shelf. Here are some of the foreign fruits we’ve been fortunate to spot (and taste!) in our stores…

Dragon fruit

Dragon fruit, also called pitaya, originated in Mexico. It’s so beautiful that it has been given the name ‘Noblewoman’ or ‘Queen of the night’. When cut in half, it contains little black seedlings and white flesh.

This fruit, like any other fruit, can be eaten fresh or scooped with a spoon. If you’ve eaten a watermelon before, you will be able to tell how the two fruits taste similar. Dragon fruit is used in salads, jellies, soft drinks and to add flavour to ice.


You’ve probably seen kiwi in stores before. It has a hard, brown skin which appears hairy. This fruit is green on the inside, with little black seeds that can be eaten. The kiwi tastes sweet and a little sour when you really indulge in it. It’s used in fruit salads and in the production of liquor, like wine.

It originated in China and was known as the Chinese gooseberry. After it was introduced to New Zealand in the 20th century, it was called ‘kiwi’ after a local bird.


Starfruit is found in tropical Sri Lanka. It is also known as the carambola. Its star-like appearance, when you cut it crosswise, is what earned it its name. Starfruit is green when unripe and turns yellow when ripe. They have two distinct flavours of sweet and sour.

This fruit has vitamin C which helps fight colds and flu. Just like dragon fruit, starfruit is also used in fruit salads, juices and smoothies.


Gooseberries, also known as fayberries, are originally from Asia, Africa and Europe. They are green or red. They have a sweet and, sometimes, sour taste.

They’re often used in muffins, pies, and in jam and jelly. In the middle ages, gooseberries were used to treat fever. Today, its main uses include the curing of insomnia (the inability to sleep) and keeping hair healthy.


Do not confuse dates with prunes. Prunes are plums that have been dried out, while dates are naturally brown and wrinkled on the outside.

Dates originated in Iraq and have significance in some religions. For example, in Islam, they’re used to break the fast during Ramadan.

Dates are sweet and they have a fleshy feel in the mouth. They are used to make jam, soap and even eyeliners.


Pomegranates are hard fruits, which, when cut open, contain little red seeds that you can eat. They’re sweet and sometimes taste rather sour. They’re regularly used in cakes, but they’re also used to make alcoholic beverages, like Martini and wine.
Pomegranates are native to Iran. Some consider them to be the forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden, instead of the apple.
The red colour of pomegranates is so intense that it can stain anything you put it on.

This article first appeared in Supernova Volume 6,6.
Order the print version at our online shop.
Words by Andrea Vermaak

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