Are you familiar with the delicious fruits found in the Philippines? You may have already tried some of these already, but if you haven’t, definitely try to get your hands on them! The 24 delicious beauties on our Philippines fruit list are some of the most amazing in the world. Read on to learn more about them!
Don’t rambutans look incredible? These luscious fruits taste like fruit jellies and are wrapped in almost alien-looking shells. To eat them raw, peel off their hairy red-green casings and chew the fruit flesh off the seed within.
While nobody wants to bite into a calamansi fruit, they’re amazing to cook with. These are some of the most sour/bitter citrus fruits around, but they’re also extremely flavorful. Use them in drinks, or to add a sharp citrus burst to some of your favorite dishes.
Further Reading: 33 Fruits that are Considered Citrus
3. Dragon Fruits
Although dragon fruits may look intimidating, they’re really quite exquisite to eat. Once you’ve sliced through their bright magenta skin, you’ll find creamy, white, black-flecked pulp inside. Scoop this out and eat it raw, or add it to smoothies, breakfast bowls, or your favorite dessert.
What looks like a cherry and tastes like cotton candy? The aratile fruit! These have an interesting gelatinous inner texture full of tiny seeds, so it crunches like a rice crispy treat while tasting like juicy cotton candy. If you ever visit the Philippines, try to get your hands on these immediately.
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Also known as “langsats”, lanzones kind of taste like a cross between grapes and grapefruit. Unlike both of these, however, they’re not particularly juicy. They have a similar flavor, but the texture of the fruit is drier and chewier.
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You’ve undoubtedly tasted bananas before, so you have a pretty good idea of what they taste like. In fact, most bananas grown worldwide are now clones of each other, so a banana that you eat in the Philippines will taste pretty much exactly like one you’d eat in Florida.
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8. Wild Mangosteens
You may have to wait until you’re actually in southeast Asia to try wild mangosteens. This is because they’re banned in the US unless they’re canned. Unripe mangosteens can be toxic when eaten, so when you go travelling, ask fruit sellers to hook you up with some properly ripe ones.
Related Article: 5 Fruits that are Banned in the US
Longans are related to lychees and rambutans. They have a similar chewy, jelly-like texture, but they’re not as sweet or aromatic as their cousins. Try canned longans in syrup rather than raw if you’d really like to highlight their flavor.
Further Reading: Bitter Fruits List: 7 Fruits That Are Bitter
If you can get past how horrible durians smell, you’ll discover that they taste absolutely delicious. Some people plug their noses in order to eat them, while others just drink the juice instead. They seriously smell so bad that they’re banned in many markets, hotels, and other indoor venues.
Related Article: What does Durian Taste Like?
These are also known as Indian or Java plums, as they’re a similar dark purple-blue. That said, these olive-sized fruits are only semi-sweet: much more sour than regular plums.
Did you know that there are fruits that actually taste and feel like custard? These traits are what gave cherimoyas their “custard apple” nickname. They’re creamy and super sweet, but just make sure not to eat the skin or seeds, as they’re toxic to humans.
Although calabash gourd flesh is quite sweet, people generally preserve the flesh for later rather than eating it raw. Once dried, it’s added to sweet-savory dishes year-round. Try adding it to congee to add a hint of sweetness, and interesting texture to the dish.
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Do you like pudding? What about strawberries? Then definitely try to taste a fruit that naturally tastes like strawberry pudding (with a hint of banana at that!). Although these large fruits look quite a bit like durians, their scent is usually compared more to diesel than rotting flesh. Yay!
15. Siniguelas (Spanish Plums)
Siniguelas are apparently nicknamed the “fruit of the gods” in the Philippines. Their flavor is like a cross between plum and mango, only slightly more acidic. They’re also sweeter and less acerbic when completely ripe.
These fruits have a delicious bittersweet pulp inside their pods. Use this to add an interesting umami note to curries and other sauces, or even in desserts.
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17. Philippine Mangoes
You may have also seen these referred to as Carabao mangoes, and they are the sweetest mangos on the planet. Furthermore, mangoes grown in Mexico are descended from fruits that were brought there by Spanish traders between 1600 and 1800.
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Young jackfruit is an amazing vegan substitute for meat, and can take on whatever flavors it’s marinated in. Once mature, however, it develops a flavor that’s somewhere between pineapple and banana. Only use mature jackfruit for savory dishes, or the flavors get really weird.
Further Reading: What does Jackfruit Taste Like?
19. Pakwan Melons (Watermelons)
Yes, watermelons grow in the Philippines too, and they’re known as pakwan melons. The varieties grown there may be smaller and sweeter than you’re used to in the States. They’re incredibly refreshing and hydrating on hot summer days, when the temperature stays around 94F, plus humidity.
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20. Santols (Cotton Fruits)
If you’ve ever eaten Tom Yam soup, then you’ve tasted santol juice or pulp. These fruits have a fascinating flavor that’s like a cross between peaches and apples, only slightly more sour. Some people like to scrape the pulp out of the skins to eat it raw, but most people add it to cooked dishes or drinks instead.
These are also known as sapodilla fruits, and you may have already had a taste of them but never knew it. A substance known as “chicle” is produced from their bark, and is used to make a chewing gum called “Chiclets“.
22. Star Fruits
Star fruits are commonly called carambolas as well, and have a really interesting flavor. Choose bright yellow fruits that only have a hint of green left, as these will be perfectly ripe. Cut them so you have perfect star shapes with every slice, and use them as garnishes and as toppings for various drinks and desserts.
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These are commonly referred to as “star apples”, and grow throughout the Philippines and other parts of southeast Asia. Their flesh is creamy and sweet, like apple pudding, and they taste incredible as juices or smoothies.
24. Soursops (Guyabanos)
Soursops are related to cherimoyas, and taste like a strange combination of strawberries, citrus, and apple, but with a banana-like texture. They got their name from the fact that even though they’re very sweet when ripe, they still have a sour/bitter aftertaste.
You can likely find most of the items on this Philippines fruit list at local Asian grocery stores. Ask the shopkeepers if they have them in stock, or if they can special order them for you. Alternatively, if you can’t find them fresh, look for canned versions instead.