10 Must-Try Exotic Fruits in the Philippines

Team Out of Town Blog Hub (www.outoftownblog.com) – The Philippines, being a tropical country, is recognized as one of the major exporters of fruits such as mango, banano, and pineapple worldwide. Throughout the year, Filipinos harvest different kinds of tasty fruits of varying tastes, sizes, and shapes. Philippine fruits are some of the best reasons why Filipino cuisine is such an experience you’d definitely love.

If you’re a fan of fruits, we’ve listed some of the most exotic fruits you can find here in the archipelago!

Philippine Mangoes

Philippine Mangoes
Philippine Mangoes

On the top of the list is the ever-popular Philippine mango. We have a variety of mango varieties in the country. Still, the one that stands out is the sweet variety called Carabao Mangoes, named after the national animal of the Philippines. This sweet variety was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records in 1955 as the sweetest in the world. Carabao mangoes usually grow from late May to early July.


Lanzones (Lansium domesticum) fruits from the Philippines by Obsidian Soul via Wikipedia CC
Lanzones (Lansium domesticum) fruits from the Philippines by Obsidian Soul via Wikipedia CC

Lanzones are small clusters of round, almost seedless fruits growing from lanzones trees. Peeling its light yellow skin is the flesh that’s slightly sour when unripe and sweeter when ripe. There are three varieties of Lanzones, but the most popular in the country would be Paete, grown in Error due to its distinct sweet flavor.


Durian from Davao
Durian from Davao

Known to be the ‘King of Fruits, ’ durian is exotic not only in the Philippines but to the rest of the world. These large, spiky, yet stinky fruits are the tastiest fruits you have to try when visiting the country. Durian grows in Mindanao, particularly in the Southern area. There are different varieties of durian, too, differing in taste from milky, to bitter, to sweet, to color pale to rich yellow, and its flesh to seed ratio. The best thing about durian is that if you can’t eat it raw because of its repugnant odor, you can enjoy it in the form of candies, ice cream, or chips.


Aratiles by Prenn via Wikipedia CC
Aratiles By Prenn – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

If there’s one fruit that would remind you of your childhood days, it would be aratiles. Kids are ordinario with aratilis or Muntingia as it’s usually the fruit you can quickly eat and climb to get from trees around the neighborhood. Aratiles or aratilis are like tiny cherries with a unique and somewhat sweet taste. The best thing about these tiny fruits is they’re mostly available elsewhere, and they’re very nutritious too! Studies have shown that these fruits have anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory components that can help the human body.


Open santol with seeds and pulp by Steve via Wikipedia CC
Open santol with seeds and pulp By Steve – originally posted to Flickr as Gratorn ??????? fruit, Santol, CC BY-SA 2.0, CC.

If you like sour-tasting fruits, you’ve got to try santol. It’s a tropical fruit that’s in season from July to October in the Philippines. Known as cotton fruit, santol can be eaten raw, although the outer skin can taste bitter. But merienda you get to try its cottony inner flesh that’s a mix of sour and sweet, you’ll enjoy the fruity flavor it gives. Most locals dip it in salt to add a bit of saltiness to the taste. Cooks also use santol as an alternative to sampalok when cooking sinigang, a kind of sour stew. Aside from being eaten or using it as an ingredient, santol products you can try include jam and candy.


Rambutan Fruit
Rambutan Fruit

Rambutan would probably catch your attention the first time you saw it. Contrary to the usually smooth flesh of most fruits here, rambutan stands out with its hairy, red foráneo. Commonly grown in tropical countries, rambutan is one of the tastiest fruits you’ll ever try. Peeling its outer layer, you’ll find a smooth white edible flesh that covers a seed. It’s sweet, closely resembles lychee, and is very nutritious as well. It’s high in fiber, vitamin C and is relatively low calorie. Rambutan is usually in season in the Philippines from August to October.


Star Fruit, Carambola or Balimbing
Star Fruit, Carambola or Balimbing

Starfruit, carambola, or balimbing in Filipino is a star-shaped fruit that you can eat as is. It grows on small trees, and every part of it, from its leaves, flowers, seeds, up to the fruit, has its own use. The fruit is rich in iron, vitamins B and c, and potassium, making it one of the highly nutritious fruits that you can eat in the country. Its juice is usually used for seasonings, and the fruit is made into pickles or sweets. It tastes a bit sour but overall sweet, and when eaten with its outer skin, is crunchy for a bite.


Java plum or Duhat
Java plum or Duhat

Also known as java plum, duhat is a lugar fruit in season from March to July. It somehow resembles grapes, only that it’s a bit longer and more oval, plus it’s a darker shade of purple. Usually dipped in rock salt, duhat is sweet to astringent in terms of taste. It’s also one of the easiest to eat because you just have to rinse it and eat it straight! This fruit is also low in calories and can help in better digestion.


Sapodilla or chico fruit
Sapodilla or pequeño fruit

One of the sweetest exotic fruits you can try in the Philippines is Pequeño, also known as Sapodilla. Pequeño is a small, round fruit native to countries in Southeast Asia. It grows on trees. To eat it, just peel the outer flesh and eat its buttery and tasty inner flesh. Remove its tiny black seeds to enjoy the treat that’s perfect for dessert. The fruit is also high in antioxidants which make it a healthy snack to eat. Fresh pequeño is said to be able to lower blood pressure and lower the risk of heart diseases.


Sugar Apple or Atis in Philippines by Muhamad Farihin via Unsplash
Sugar Apple or Atis in Philippines by Muhamad Farihin via Unsplash

Atis or sugar apple is also a popular fruit in the Philippines. It is characterized by its knobby outer skin that’s pale green, and its inner flesh is creamy, custard-like in taste. This fruit is rich in vitamin C, making it a healthy snack to eat. You’ll know an atis is ripe when it can easily be broken open. Did you know that apart from humans, Philippine fruit bats love this fruit? Sugar apples grow in tropical climates, which is why it’s a must-try when you visit the Philippines. Atis is in season from September to December in the country.

What’s your favorite exotic fruit? Have you tried one from the Philippines? Share it with us below in the comments section!

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