Have you ever noticed that some fruits seem to be named after other fruits? Here are 12 fruits with apple in the name. Some of them are named for their shape, some for their flavor. Either way, they’re certainly worth exploring!
Have you ever tasted a crabapple? Although the fruits of Malus sylvestris trees may look a lot like smaller versions of the domestic apples we known and love, they’re far from delicious. They tend to be very mealy and tart, but they DO have quite a bit of pectin in them. That makes them ideal for transforming into jams and jellies, as long as you add quite a bit of sugar to them.
2. Sugar Apples
These fruits are commonly known as “sweetsops”, and belong to the Annona family. There are several different varieties, but they all have sweet, creamy flesh that tastes a lot like apple custard. Although you can find them at most Asian and Caribbean markets worldwide, you can find them fresh in places like Cuba, Jamaica, and the Philippines.
Related Article: Fruits Like Apples
3. Wood Apples/Elephant Apples
These are the fruits of the Limonia acidissima tree, and are also referred to as “elephant apples”. The fruits are only a couple of inches in diameter, and have crinkled, grey-brown hulls that look and feel a lot like elephant skins.
4. Rose Apples
Are you familiar with rose apples? They’re fruits from the Syzygium jambos tree, which is part of the myrtle family. These trees are native to Southeast Asia, and apparently their fruits taste like a cross between pears and roses.
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As far as fruits with apple in the name go, just about all of us have tasted a pineapple at some point—even if it was just the juice in a pina colada. These fruits from the Ananas comosus tree are really quite tasty, and they contain an enzyme known as Bromelain. Interestingly, bromelain digests proteins… so when you’re eating fresh pineapple, it’s actually digesting you back. Yay!
6. Custard Apples
Pawpaw fruits (Asimina triloba) are indigenous to North America, but few people have ever tried them. Early settlers in what are now the United States and Canada took to calling them “custard apples” because their insides are basically just like pudding. They’re gaining in popularity again (hooray!), so you may be able to find them at local farmer’s markets. Otherwise, try growing your own!
7. Cashew Apples
You may be a big fan of cashew nuts, but did you know that their fruits are known as cashew apples? Neither did we! The fruits of the Anacardium occidentale tree bruise really quickly and easily, so they’re not transported the way the nuts are. Additionally, they can be eaten fresh or cooked, or transformed into juices, jams, jellies, and sauces.
Further Reading: Where are Cashews Grown?
This sounds like a weird pro wrestling move, but it’s not. Apparently, guapples are a huge guava hybrids that have been cross-bred with apples, hence their name. They’re grown primarily in the Philippines, and are spectacular sources of vitamin C.
9. Velvet Apples
Also known as “velvet persimmons”, Diospyros discolor fruits are native to the Philippines. They’re called mabolo or tálang fruits there, and their soft, creamy flesh apparently tastes quite a bit like peach or nectarine.
Related Article: 24 Fruits Found in the Philippines
10. Star Apples
Also known as caimito fruits, Chrysophyllum cainito are as tasty as they are fun to look at. They have deep purple skins, and when you slice them horizontally, you’ll see purple starbursts leaping out against pale pinkish white flesh. These are sometimes also referred to as “milk apples” because their juice looks… well, like milk.
Wine palm trees (Borassus flabellifer) are native to Southeast Asia and parts of China, and their fruits are downright alien to look at. Their fruits, which are known as both “ice apples” and “palmyra fruits”, are gelatinous and translucent: kind of like ice. They have a similar flavor and texture to lychees, but without the central pit.
12. “Love Apples” (aka Tomatoes)
This one gets an honorable mention because it’s such a cool nickname. When they were brought to Europe from South America in the early 1500s, the Spaniards called them “pomi d’oro“: “golden apples”. It’s likely that the varieties they first tasted were yellow in hue, rather than red. When they made their way to France, the frisky French renamed them “pommes d’amour“: love apples. They may have believed that these fruits had aphrodisiac qualities, or perhaps they just really, really liked them. Who knows?
Which of these apple-named fruits have you tried? If there are some on this list that you haven’t tasted yet, be sure to try them out when you can. You may be pleasantly surprised by their flavor and/or texture, and discover new ways to use them in recipes.