Colombia

Trying out exotic fruits in Colombia: A must do!

“Experiencing places through its local food is one of the best ways to travel.”

One of the most remarkable features about Colombia is its unbelievable array of exotic fruits, many of which you have probably never tasted, seen or even heard of before.  

Colombian fresh markets bursts with flavors, textures and scents. That’s why when people come to Colombia, we always take them to Paloquemao, the biggest local market in our capital. It’s definitely one of the best places to taste some of the most unique fruits of our country.

Whether you decide to come with us or go explore the market by yourself, here’s a list of fruits you must certainly try before leaving:

Maracuyá
/ mah-rah-koo-yah /

Also known as: “Passion Fruit”

Flavor: Juicy, tropical and tart. The riper, the sweeter.
Benefits: Rich in vitamin C and key nutrients, low in calories and high in fiber.
Best as: Smoothies and juices. It’s also great for making creamy, perfectly tart ice cream.

Uchuva
/ oo-choo-bah /

Also known as: “golden berries”

Flavor: Tangy and bittersweet. A juicy bomb that stuffs your mouth after one bite.
Benefits: Helps with digestion. It contains so much vitamin D, that you can get about 40% of the daily requirements with a relatively small serving.
Best as: Jam for desserts or to top creamy cheeses.

Zapote
/ sah-poh-teh /

Also knows as: red mamey

Flavor: A dry and very soft fruit with a unique creamy flavor and nutty texture. Part sweet potato, part pumpkin.
Benefits: Anti-inflammatory and anti-viral. It also helps to prevent gastritis.
Best with: A bit of sugar or as basis for juices or smoothies.

Pitaya
/ pee-tah-yah /

Also known as: “Dragon Fruit”

Flavor: Very refreshing and sweet, similar to watermelon and kiwi.
Benefits:
Helps fight memory loss and control blood sugar levels.
Best when: Eaten raw. You can spoon into it just like you do with jelly or pudding.

Mangostino
/ mahng-gohs-tee-noh /

Also known as: Mangosteen

Flavor: A fleshy, refreshing and sweet hybrid between lychees and peaches. Its interior resembles the segments of tangerine ready to be eaten.
Benefits: High in antioxidants and essential nutrients, while still low in calories. It’s loaded with vitamin B, which helps alleviate menstrual symptoms.
Best when:
Eaten raw.

Curuba
/ koo-roo-bah /

Also known as: “Banana Passionfruit”

Flavor: Pleasantly refreshing, with a sour and milky taste.
Benefits: Full of powerful antioxidants.
Best
when: Eaten raw, but it’s just as delicious in juices or when used as pie filling.

Lulo
/ loo-loh /

Flavor: The greatest mix of sweet and sour on Earth. A tangy, pinappley citrus-like fruit.
Benefits: Boosts the immune system as it is rich in vitamin C. It’s also high in calcium and iron.
Best as: Lulada! Our travelers’ favorite drink –A perfect mix of lulo pieces, lime juice, water and sugar.

Guanábana  
/ gwah-nah-bah-nah /

Also known as: “Soursop”

Flavor: Always so hard to describe. Citrus flavor, tropical sweetness and creamy texture. Some say it tastes like a mix of pineapple and papaya, while others say it resembles the flavor of coconut or banana. We leave it up to you to decide.
Benefits: Soursop is high on vitamins and minerals and have even been proven to be a great ally in the treatment of cancer.  
Best in: Juice or desserts.

Corozo
/ koh-roh-soh /

Flavor: Very acid when eaten raw, but as juice people say is like a heaven-sent fresh tea.
Benefits: High in antioxidants, collagen and vitamins A, C and E. Known for preventing eye vision damage.
Best in: Juice.

Borojó
/ boh-roh-hoh /

Also known as: “Love Juice”,  due to its aphrodisiac properties.

Flavor: Slightly sweet and sour, its flavor is similar to that of tamarind.
Benefits: Packed with nutrients and high in antioxidants, borojó is a natural energy booster and helps control blood pressure.
Best in: Juices, jams and smoothies.

The list of exotic fruits found in Colombia is truly endless!

We could keep on going, but ultimately, the only way to truly understand our country’s fruit diversity is traveling to Colombia and trying them yourself!

Photo by: Alice Young on Unsplash

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