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14 Ugly Spiky Fruits Come With Amazing Benefits!

Last Updated on January 15, 2024

Venturing into the world of exotic spiky fruits can be thrilling, yet daunting. Did you know there’s an entire group of these fascinating fruits covered in prickly spikes?

This blog post guides you around the globe as we explore everything about these weird-looking spiky fruits. Prepare your eyes for a wild opening! 😁

Types of Exotic Fruits With Spiky Skin

Why do these fruits have spiky skin and look so unfriendly? Well, the spiky exterior serves as a natural defense mechanism for the plant, protecting it from predators.

There are several types of fruit with spiky skin around the world. Let’s dive in:   

1. Dragon Fruit (Pitaya)

Bursting with a vibrant pink or yellow hue, this Central American native stands out not just for its flamboyant color but also for its unique leathery rind dotted with green scales, earning it the nickname “dragon”.

Cutting through its tough exterior reveals stunning white or red flesh sprinkled with tiny black seeds. In case you haven’t tried this fruit yet, we have another article about what dragon fruit taste like

2. Snake Fruit (Salak) 

Snake fruit, also known as salak, is a tropical fruit that originates from Indonesia. It gets its name from its reddish-brown scaly skin, which resembles the skin of a snake.

This fruit is cultivated in various countries across Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. 

The flesh of snake fruit is sweet, tangy, and slightly acidic, with a flavor profile that has been likened to a combination of apple, pineapple, and banana. The texture is crisp, similar to that of an apple, but with a slightly fibrous consistency. 

Snake fruit contains natural compounds that have been shown to have antimicrobial properties, aiding in the prevention of bacterial and fungal infections.

It is also a good source of fiber, which promotes healthy digestion and may aid in weight management. 

3. Rambutan

Rambutan is a tropical fruit that belongs to the soapberry family, and it is native to Southeast Asia (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia…etc.) With its brownish-pink exterior covered in spiky hairs, it can be quite intimidating at first glance.

Once you get past the spines, the white flesh inside is sweet and juicy. Rambutans are rich in vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds, they offer not only a unique taste experience but also numerous health benefits.

4. Durian Fruit 

Durian fruit is known as the king of tropical fruits from Southeast Asia. It is distinctive for its pungent aromatic smell and unique appearance with its tough outer shell covered in thorns.

The skin is tough and sharp, which deters potential predators from accessing the fleshy interior. The husk, which contains the edible creamy flesh of the fruit, is thick and rigid, protecting the delicious pulp inside.

5. Jackfruit

The jackfruit, often recognized for its spiky outer covering, is a warm climate fruit native to South and Southeast Asia. It is one of the largest tree-borne fruits, weighing up to 80 pounds and measuring up to 35 inches in length.

While its appearance may seem intimidating, jackfruit tastes pleasantly sweet and sour when eaten raw. The yellow flesh has a fibrous and dense texture, with a flavor profile that resembles pineapple, banana, and mango.

Its subtly sweet taste is accompanied by a hint of tanginess, giving it a refreshing quality. The ripened fruit is yellow or orange in color and emits a fragrant aroma reminiscent of bubblegum or candy.

Due to its naturally sweet taste, jackfruit is often used in a variety of desserts and sweet dishes.

It is also a popular ingredient in vegetarian and vegan cooking such as Pulled Jackfruit Burgers, as its texture mimics that of meat when cooked.

6. Pineapples 

The outer skin of a pineapple consists of rough, pointy spikes that give it its distinct appearance. They are also known as eyes, and serve as protective bracts for the fruit, shielding it from potential harm. 

When handling a pineapple, one must exercise caution to avoid getting pricked, as they can cause discomfort and sometimes even small cuts.

However, once its rough skin is carefully removed by peeling or cutting the fruit, the inside reveals succulent and juicy flesh that is sweet and tangy in taste. 

7. Horse Chestnut fruits 

This spiky green fruit is from the seed capsules of the horse chestnut tree, scientifically known as Aesculus hippocastanum. These fruits are usually round and prickly, resembling spiky green balls.

When the capsules ripen and fall from the tree, they split open to reveal shiny brown seeds known as conkers. However, they have been traditionally used in folk medicine for their supposed medicinal properties.

Horse chestnut fruits are known for their use in treating various vascular and circulation-related conditions, such as varicose veins and hemorrhoids.

8. Soursop fruit 

Soursop, a scientific name known as Annona muricata, is a tropical green fruit native to the Americas.

It is also commonly called Graviola or guanabana

The appearance of this fruit is similar to a custard apple, has a green, spiky outer skin, while the inside is yellowish, soft, and creamy with black seeds.

Soursop has a unique flavor that is often described as a combination of strawberry and pineapple with a hint of citrus

It is deliciously sweet and refreshing. In addition to being tasty, soursop is also highly nutritious. It is rich in vitamins C, B1, and B2, as well as minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. It is also a good source of dietary fiber

9. Spiny Cucumbers 

Spiny cucumbers, also known as hedgehog cucumbers, are native to Africa and Asia and have been cultivated for centuries. They possess a distinctive appearance and taste. 

These cucumbers are smaller in size compared to the traditional ones and have a round or oval shape. Their skin is covered in tiny spines or bumps, giving them their name.

The spines can vary in color, ranging from pale green to dark green or even yellow. The flesh of spiny cucumbers is crunchy and juicy, similar to regular cucumbers, but with a slightly tangy flavor.

Their unique texture and flavor make them a great addition to salads, and pickles, or even used as a decorative garnish. 

10. Indian Bitter Gourd (Bitter Melon)

Indian Bitter Gourd, also known as bitter melon, is a distinctive and intriguing fruit native to India.

The fruit, which can grow up to 20 centimeters in length, has green skin covered in uneven, rough, and sharp spikes. This gives it a distinct appearance. 

Despite its intimidating exterior and bitter taste, Indian Bitter Gourd is commonly consumed due to its numerous health benefits. 

11. Horned Melon (Kiwano)

The Horned Melon is a peculiar and exotic orange spiky fruit that originated in Africa but is now cultivated in several countries around the world.

Also known as kiwano or African horned cucumber, this vibrant yellow-orange fruit gets its name from the sharp, horn-like protrusions covering its skin.

When ripe, the exterior becomes bright orange, contrasting with its lime-green flesh inside. They have a unique flavor profile that can be described as a combination of banana, cucumber, and lime.

The taste is both sweet and tangy, making it an interesting addition to various culinary creations like salads or smoothies.

12. Prickly Pears 

Prickly pears, a red fruit also known as Opuntia, are a species of cactus that belong to the Cactaceae family. These plants are native to arid and semiarid regions in the Americas, particularly North and South America.

Prickly pear fruits are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants. They have a sweet and slightly tangy flavor, often likened to a combination of melon and kiwi.

In addition to being consumed as fresh fruits, prickly pears have been used for culinary purposes in various traditional dishes and beverages, such as jellies, jams, smoothies, and even alcoholic beverages like cocktails and liqueurs.

13. Heirloom Gac Fruit 

Heirloom gac fruit, also known as baby jackfruit, is a popular fruit native to Southeast Asia. It is a vine-like plant that belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae. 

The fruit has a distinctive appearance, with bright red or orange outer skin and spiky bumps covering its surface. Inside, it contains a pulpy flesh that is either deep red or orange, depending on its ripeness.

Heirloom gac fruit is highly nutritious and is known for its antioxidant properties. It is rich in carotenoids, such as beta-carotene and lycopene, which give the fruit its vibrant color.

In addition to its nutritional benefits, gac fruit is also used in traditional medicine due to its potential health-promoting properties. 

14. Prickly Chayote Squash 

Prickly Chayote squash, also known as Cucuzza or Mirliton, is a unique and versatile vegetable native to Central America. It belongs to the gourd family and resembles a pale green wrinkled pear, covered in spines. 

Despite its prickly appearance, the skin is actually tender and edible, adding a crunchy texture to dishes.

The flesh of the Chayote squash is crisp, juicy, and mildly sweet, making it an excellent ingredient in both savory and sweet recipes.

How to Eat and Prepare Spiky Fruits

To eat and prepare spiky fruits, start by rinsing them well to remove any dirt or residue. Next, use a sharp knife to slice through the peel of the fruit.

Once you’ve made an incision, carefully remove the peel to reveal the juicy flesh inside. From there, you can enjoy the fruit whole or remove any seeds if necessary.

In A Nutshell…

With their exotic flavors and intriguing appearances, these spiky fruits add a touch of excitement to any meal or snack.

Whether you’re looking to boost your nutritional intake or simply want to try something different, don’t be afraid to embrace the spikiness!

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FAQS

1. WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF SPIKY FRUITS?

Some examples of spiky fruits include durian, jackfruit, rambutan, and prickly pear.

2. HOW DO YOU PREPARE AND EAT A SPIKY FRUIT LIKE DURIAN?

To prepare and eat a durian, start by cutting through the thick skin using a sharp knife. Then, remove the flesh from the fruit’s inner core and enjoy it directly or use it in various recipes such as desserts or smoothies.

3. ARE THERE ANY HEALTH BENEFITS ASSOCIATED WITH EATING SPIKY FRUITS?

Yes, spiky fruits like rambutan and lychee are rich in vitamins C and B-complex which can support immune function and provide an energy boost. Additionally, they contain dietary fiber that aids digestion.

4. ARE ALL SPIKY FRUITS SAFE TO CONSUME?

While most spiky fruits are safe to consume, some individuals may have allergies or sensitivities to certain varieties. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns before trying new foods.

exotic spiky fruits

14 Spiky Fruits (Exotic and Weird)

14 Spiky Fruits is a blog dedicated to exotic and weird fruits from around the world.
5 from 15 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Author: SHU-CHUN

Instructions

  • To eat and prepare spiky fruits, start by rinsing them well to remove any dirt or residue. Next, use a sharp knife to slice through the peel of the fruit.
  • Once you’ve made an incision, carefully remove the peel to reveal the juicy flesh inside. From there, you can enjoy the fruit whole or remove any seeds if necessary.

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