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What are Some Different Types of Tropical Fruits?

Tropical fruits are nature's sweet treasures, bursting with unique flavors and vibrant colors. From the creamy, dreamy durian to the tangy zest of passion fruit, each offers a distinct taste adventure. Exotic lychees, juicy mangosteens, and refreshing guavas are just a few more to explore. Curious about how these fruits can tantalize your taste buds? Let's dive deeper into the tropics.
L. Hepfer
L. Hepfer

Tropical fruits come from some of the warmest parts of the world, and they are generally grown around the equator. These type of fruit need a tropical or subtropical climate to grow in and cannot tolerate frost. This is why most well-known examples are exported from tropical countries.

There are hundreds of different kinds of tropical fruits across the world. While the more well-known ones are exported, some are still only grown and marketed locally. Some of the more well-known examples are bananas, mangoes, papayas, pineapples, coconut, guava, dragonfruit, and avocados.

Papaya is typically eaten after removing the skin and skins.
Papaya is typically eaten after removing the skin and skins.

Bananas originated in the tropics of south-east Asia but are grown in almost all tropical regions today. Bananas grow on plants the size of trees and are loaded with potassium and other valuable nutrients. They are good for lowering blood pressure, speeding the recovery of diarrhea, and lowering the risk of strokes.

Mangoes were originally grown in southern Asia, parts of Burma, and eastern India but are grown in all tropical regions of the world now. They are often considered the "apple of the tropics."

Southern Mexico, Central America, and northern South America were the origins of papayas, but these fruits are grown in most tropical countries worldwide today. They tend to be eaten fresh after the skin has been peeled and the seeds removed.

Pineapples originated in southern Brazil and Paraguay. The inside of the fruit is eaten after the outside is removed. It is loaded with vitamin C and other substances that keep the body strong and aid in digestion.

Pineapple is rich in vitamin C.
Pineapple is rich in vitamin C.

The coconut's origin is unknown but is possibly thought to have originated somewhere in southern Asia or South America. This fruit is grown in the wet tropics all over the world. The coconut palm is grown for decoration and for its edible parts. Many parts of the plant are used to make roofing for huts and furniture.

Guavas were originally grown in Central America and southern Mexico, but these fruits are generally grown in many tropical and subtropical areas now. The leaves of the plant can be used medicinally for diarrhea or they can be used for tanning and dyeing as well.

Mangoes are nicknamed the "apple of the tropics."
Mangoes are nicknamed the "apple of the tropics."

People in Mexico, Central America, and South America originally grew the dragonfruit where it is still distributed today. This fruit's distribution has branched out to parts of Asia and continues to gain its popularity worldwide. It is the fruit of a cactus plant that only blooms at night.

Avocados originated in parts of southern Mexico and Central America, and are still are a large food crop in Central America. They are probably the most nutritious of the tropical fruits, but are often considered to be a vegetable because of their use in salads and various dips. Avocados work great for lowering blood pressure and controlling cholesterol in the body.

Dragon fruit cut in half.
Dragon fruit cut in half.

While there are hundreds of fruits grown in the tropical across the world, these are just a few of the more well-known ones. The more popular ones can be found in most supermarkets and farmer's markets, while others are marketed locally and can only be enjoyed when visiting their countries of origin.

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Discussion Comments


We use small berries which spontaneously grow in the mountains. I don't know the exact name in English.


Avocados are awesome! They taste so good sliced up and placed inside taco shells with ground turkey or beef and tomatoes. Their presence can make an ordinary taco outstanding.

They don't taste like fruit at all. They have the texture of meat and a flavor that is neither sweet nor salty, but they can really improve a meal.


@Oceana – The tropical fruit display at the grocery store always looks so exotic and enticing. Piles of prickly pineapples and smooth mangoes are tempting, but I actually prefer the taste of canned tropical fruit.

It's hard for me to tell if a piece of tropical fruit is ripe, because in general, this type of fruit has such a thick skin. I have bought unripe pineapples and mangoes before, and they were really awful!

When I buy canned tropical fruit, I know that it will be sweet. I get a can of mixed fruit that has been diced and preserved in syrup, and it makes a great dessert.

I buy tropical fruits from the supermarket all the time. To me, they are so much more delicious than regular old apples and grapes!

I love the exotic tartness and punch-like flavor of mangoes and pineapples. I can see how the mango would be called “the apple of the tropics,” because the flavor does have a hint of apple in it. However, the overall taste is much more interesting than that of a regular apple grown here in the United States.

I also love the fact that mangoes are so easy to peel. Once you get the peeling process started, the peel comes off of the fruit like a jacket.

The only downside to a mango is that the seed is so large. You don't get as much fruit as you'd think from a single mango, because so much of the volume is taken up by seed.


@BambooForest – I love the unique flavor of star fruit! Granted, it is an acquired taste. I hated it the first time I tried it, but as I kept eating it, the flavor grew on me.

My mother cannot eat it, though. She has a kidney disease, and star fruit is known to cause damage to already impaired kidneys. She isn't going to take any chances by eating this fruit, no matter how addictive it may be!


I had no idea that bananas grow in Southeast Asia.


@BambooForest - I love the tropical fruits, especially *fresh* tropical fruits. They're so much better than canned (in my humble opinion). Guava and papaya are my all-time favorites, but I admit, I've never heard of a star fruit.

I'll have to have look into it and see if they sell them here in California. It sounds interesting! I've never heard of dragonfruit either.


Another sort of "tropical" fruit that I would recommend avoiding is the star fruit. While they look so lovely and delicious, in reality they sort of taste like a cross between green tomatoes and melon rind. Some of these other fruits, like papaya and mango, are much better in my opinion, and much better for you as well.

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    • Papaya is typically eaten after removing the skin and skins.
      By: efired
      Papaya is typically eaten after removing the skin and skins.
    • Pineapple is rich in vitamin C.
      By: Malyshchyts Viktar
      Pineapple is rich in vitamin C.
    • Mangoes are nicknamed the "apple of the tropics."
      By: volff
      Mangoes are nicknamed the "apple of the tropics."
    • Dragon fruit cut in half.
      Dragon fruit cut in half.
    • Cut lychee showing showing the flesh and pit.
      Cut lychee showing showing the flesh and pit.
    • Golden passion fruit.
      Golden passion fruit.
    • Bunch of bananas.
      Bunch of bananas.
    • Dates.
    • Avocados originated in Mexico and Central America.
      By: Richard Villalon
      Avocados originated in Mexico and Central America.
    • Guava is a well-known tropical fruit.
      By: wuttichok
      Guava is a well-known tropical fruit.
    • Fresh coconut.
      By: picsfive
      Fresh coconut.
    • Mamey is a sweet fruit that is native to Central America.
      By: kmiragaya
      Mamey is a sweet fruit that is native to Central America.