My year of fun fruit!

Since early January, my trips to the grocery store have felt like a mini scavenger hunt.

Instead of just roaming the produce aisle picking up the usual apples and bananas, I’ve been searching the shelves for the most unusual fruit I can find. I’ve added bright pink dragonfruit and spiky orange kiwano to my cart. I’ve searched for the honey-flavored persimmons from my childhood, the wild-looking Buddha’s hand and the stinkiest fruit I’ve ever tried, the durian. I’ve noticed other shoppers giving my produce inquisitive glances, and I’ve been questioned by the cashier about how I planned to use these unusual finds.

These grocery store adventures are part of a pact I made for 2024 to eat as many unusual fruits as possible.

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Back in January 2020, I started making a list of 20 things I want to do each year. The list includes one-time tasks like learning to make creamed honey or going to the beach. Some of the things on the list aren’t as pleasant, like getting a colonoscopy. It’s fun to periodically review the list and check off anything I’ve tried. I don’t always complete the list, but it has brought fun adventures each year.

At the end of December 2023, I was thinking about what I should include on my list when I heard of someone who had taken a challenge to eat unusual fruit any time he had the chance.

On New Year’s Eve, we were hanging out with some friends, and after dinner, our host brought out a small plate with an Asian pear. She told us that it was customary in Korea to share a piece of fruit for dessert. When she offered to give me a large, yellow Asian pear to take home with me that evening, I took it as a sign that 2024 should be my year of eating fun fruit!

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So far, I’ve already tried more than a dozen unusual fruits. You can watch a short video of each of them here.

But the fun of this endeavor has been about more than just trying fruit. I’ve been making short videos of each fruit and posting them to social media. (I recently added them to my YouTube channel as well.) I love hearing other people’s reaction to each fruit and their suggestions of what I should try next.

It’s become a little research project. Each time I find an unusual fruit, I search the Internet for information about where it’s from and how to eat it. Believe it or not, it’s often not always super obvious how to peel or crack open the produce, especially with fruits like the Buddha’s hand or the rambutan. I have a spreadsheet with all of the fruit I’ve tried and my comments on each one. I’ve even had fun little taste testings with my family members and friends.

During a year that’s been challenging in many ways, searching for unique fruit and trying new flavors has been a fun distraction.

Curious to learn more? Here are all of the fruits I’ve tried so far and what I thought of each one:

DRAGONFRUIT

The dragonfruit might be an analogy for life. It’s beautiful on the outside, but a little disappointing on this inside. See what happens when I open up the dragonfruit!

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PASSION FRUIT

The passion fruit is a little scary on the outside, but what’s it like on the inside? Find out here!

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LYCHEE

The lychee looks like a hard strawberry on the outside, but it has a unique flavor and texture. Take a look inside this fun fruit!

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PERSIMMON

The persimmon was one of my favorite fun fruits so far. It took me back to my childhood. Take a look at what happened when I cut open a persimmon.

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RAMBUTAN

I tried the spiky, hairy rambutan. This one was too scary to taste! Check it out. 

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PINEBERRY

The pineberry looks like a white strawberry. I was hoping for a sweet surprise on the inside. Take a look at what I found!

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STAR FRUIT

I’ve heard that starfruit are wonderful, but even after several weeks, mine never turned ripe enough to enjoy. I’m looking forward to trying this another time!

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BUDDHA’S HAND

The Buddha’s hand has definitely been the most unique of all of the fun fruit that I’ve tried this year. The smell was amazing, but what about the taste?

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GUAVA

I was surprised that I didn’t actually know what a yellow guava looked like before this! Here’s what I found. 

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DURIAN

Even in ice cream form, durian was the stinkiest, most awful food I’ve ever eaten! Some people say it tastes like cheese cake, but I have to side with everyone who said it’s more like stinky cheese. Even the container smells bad! Watch my full review here. 

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APPLE PEAR

I started my fun fruit journey with the Asian pear. The apple pear seems to be another name for the same fruit. If you love pears and apples, then you can’t go wrong with the apple pear.

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KIWANO

Kiwano is also known as the African horned cucumber. This brightly colored fruit is as fun on the inside as it is on the outside. Check it out here

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KUMQUAT

Kumquat is the fruit that has been most recommended to me to try! It did not disappoint. It looks like a tiny orange, but it’s full of flavor — both sour and sweet!

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What was your favorite fun fruit? Have you tried any of these? Do you have any suggestions for a fruit I should try next? Let me know!

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