If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you know we’ve traveled throughout Mexico extensively (especially Los Cabos).
One of the best things to do in Mexico is trying the local food and drinks.
The fresh guacamole – which tastes sooo much better in Mexico.
The flavorful shrimp tacos (with plump shrimps caught just hours before).
The real lime and tamarind Mexican margaritas.
This leads us to the fruit in Mexico…
There are so many delicious, interesting – and, yes, sometimes strange – Mexican fruits that we’re boggled by the variety!
Weird and wonderful Mexican fruits
Is it safe to eat the fruit in Mexico?
Let’s first get this out of the way.
We eat raw fruits and vegetables in Mexico and have never had a problem. So we’ll order salad when eating out at, say, Puerto Vallarta restaurants (PV is geared to tourists) and recommended restos in Mexico City.
If buying food at Walmart or a farmers’ market to cook in our condo, we’ll give the produce a wash and then we’re good to go.
(You can wash lettuce, tomatoes, apples, etc. with a little dish soap, then rinse them off with cooled boiled water or bottled water.)
You don’t have to worry about fruits with skins that you peel off – like oranges. There’s no danger getting sick from them.
If you have a sensitive stomach or are worried about getting sick in Mexico, you can try taking Dukoral before you go.
Dukoral is an oral vaccine for traveler’s diarrhea. We’ve taken it a couple of times. And you don’t need a prescription to get it in Canada.)
Here’s a look at 17 types of Mexican fruit you should try when in Mexico.
You can find some of these fruits in your local grocery store, so you can also try the flavors of Mexico at home.
A good fruit knife is oh-so-useful when cutting fruit.
1) Dragon fruit (pitahaya)
The fruit that causes a frenzy in Mexico?
Mexican pitaya fruit (also spelled “pitahaya”) – or dragon fruit.
One reason is its short season.
The fruit is only available between April and June. The other is its taste and texture – sweet (sort of like a kiwi fruit) and crunchy.
Dragon fruit was probably originally native to Mexico and Central America. Now it’s especially popular in Asia; it’s also cultivated in the Caribbean, Australia and elsewhere around the world.
About the size of a baseball, pitaya grows on a type of cactus.
Because of the hot pink color of the outside skin, it’s also sometimes known as “strawberry pear.” The flesh of Mexican dragon fruit is white, with tiny black seeds (which you can swallow).
How to eat dragon fruit?
Simply cut it in half and spoon out the fruit.
It’s delicious in fruit salads. It’s also used in desserts and ice cream.
2) Soursop (guanabana)
The soursop or guanabana is a large pear-shaped fruit from Mexico, with a dark green skin covered with big thorns.
Inside, the soft creamy flesh is white.
It smells a little like pineapple, but it tastes more like a combination of strawberries, oranges and bananas.
Be careful not to eat the big black seeds though (they’re toxic).
Soursop is said to reduce inflammation, treat diarrhea and have other health benefits.
But you might want to be a little skeptical about these health claims and just enjoy the fruit for what it is.
You’ll find it growing anywhere more tropical in Mexico (like Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit) and in Mexican grocery stores.
How to eat soursop?
Cut it in half and scoop out the flesh. Eat it raw as is, or add it to a fruit smoothie.
This red hairy fruit, the size of a golf ball, is commonly seen in southern Mexico.
They’re deliciously sweet, tasting a little like lychees.
Pick up a bag of rambutans from a roadside stand to nibble on when visiting the Mexico’s Mayan ruins!
How to eat rambutans?
If you have a knife handy, slice the rambutan in half and pop the slippery white fruit in your mouth.
You have to kind of suck on the flesh, which surrounds a big seed, then spit the hard seed out (too big to swallow).
In Mexico, you’ll also find rambutan turned into agua fresca (light fruit juice).
Ahhh! The Mexican lime!
Admittedly, they’re not as exotic as other Mexican fruits. But they sure are plentiful!
We buy bags of them when in Mexico. When taking an airport transfer in Cabo, we always ask to stop quickly at a grocery store on the way to our hotel to stock up on limes (and tequila) – they’re a food essential!
Anyway, the limes are smaller than what you find in Canada and the U.S., and soooo inexpensive.
We use them to flavor so many dishes – from salads and veggies to guac and baked chicken.
George has gotten so addicted to limes that he now squeezes the juice on practically everything savory when back home too.
How to eat limes in Mexico?
Squeeze them over whatever you want. Place a lime wedge on every dish. And suck on a lime when drinking tequila!
Mmmm… Mangos are one of our favorite fruits!
We love eating this fruit in Hawaii. And we love eating this fruit in Mexico too!
While native to Asia, mangos grow very well in Mexico.
The health benefits of mangos are many. They’re low in calories, high in fibre and rich in vitamins A and C.
Best of all, the orange-yellow flesh is unbelievably juicy and sweet.
We could eat mangos all day long and never tire of them.
How to eat mangos?
Dice them up and eat them for breakfast. Use them in salsas. Try mango juice – or a mango margarita!
All sorts of cakes and desserts use mangos too.
6) Zapote negro (sapote)
Chocolate pudding fruit?
That’s the best way to describe zapote negros (or sapote negros).
You’ll understand why as soon as you see inside this fruit.
While covered with a dark green skin, the flesh is dark chocolate in color (when ripe). And it’s so custard-like that it looks like a melted brownie.
Some people swear that it also tastes a little like chocolate, but in truth the flavor is more akin to prunes.
Whatever, it’s definitely one of the most exotic Mexico fruits!
How to eat zapote negro?
Cut the baseball-size fruit in half, scoop out the soft inside and press the flesh through a fine sieve to get rid of the seeds. Whip lightly with a fork.
Maybe add some whipping cream?
Now you’ve got a very decadent (but healthy) dessert!
Do you remember your Greek facts and mythology from school?
Hades, the god of the dead, tricked beautiful Persephone into eating four pomegranate seeds, which condemned her to live in the underworld for four months every year.
Anyway, pomegranates were brought to Mexico by the Spanish and are now widely cultivated in the country.
The pomegranate season is autumn (late August to November).
How to eat pomegranates:
Cut off the flower from the top of the pomegranate, then score the sides (make shallow slices) with a paring knife.
Now crack it open by pulling the fruit apart.
All those juicy red fruit-covered seeds inside are delicious to eat as is!
Or sprinkle them in a creamy dessert.
Pomegranates are also a key ingredient in chiles en nogada.
This traditional dish, from Mexico’s Puebla state, is made of poblano chiles stuffed with ground beef (or pork), goat cheese and diced pears, apples and peaches, then topped with a walnut cream sauce (called nogada) and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.
Not your typical Mexican food, right?
8) Mamey sapote
Like zapote negros (#6), mamey sapote is another type of sapote fruit native to Mexico in the winter.
Shaped like small footballs, the mamey fruit has a fuzzy brown skin.
Inside, the flesh is a bright salmon color. Its texture resembles the flesh of an avocado, but it tastes like a combination of apricots and sweet potatoes.
Hundreds of years ago, Aztec rulers drank a foamy chili-flavored cacao drink called tejate – the “drink of the gods” – made from the mamey pit.
Today, tejate is still enjoyed in Oaxaca, one of the most delightful colonial cities in Mexico.
How to eat mamey sapote?
It’s popular blended into ice creams and smoothies.
Mexicans love papaya. It’s a popular breakfast fruit in Mexico.
They come big in Mexico too – sometimes weighing up to 10 pounds each!
(We’ve personally never acquired a taste for the salmon-colored fruit, though a squeeze of lime admittedly makes them taste better.)
How to eat Mexican papayas?
Cut the papaya in half lengthwise and scoop out the small black seeds. You can then peel it and cut it in slices to eat as is.
Papayas are also found in salads and salad dressings.
10) Prickly pear (tuna fruit)
No, this “tuna” isn’t fish (known as atun in Mexico).
The tuna fruit comes from the nopal cactus, or “prickly pear” in English.
Find it everywhere in Mexico in late summer.
Oval-shaped, the skin color ranges from green to orange to burgundy. And it’s covered with clumps of scratchy hairs.
The fruit inside also comes in a rainbow of colors, including green, orange, bright pink and yellow, depending on the type of tuna. And it’s crunchy in texture (like an apple).
How to eat tuna fruit?
Cut lengthwise, slice off the ends, peel off the skin and eat.
It’s used in candies, jams and jellies, salads, drinks, desserts – anywhere you’d use apples.
And here’s a fun Mexican food fact: You can buy “tuna ice cream” in Mexico. (Made with the tuna fruit, it’s like sorbet, but creamier.)
11) Lulo (naranjilla)
Lulo (naranjilla) means “little orange” in Spanish.
The skin of these Mexican fruits is most often a shiny orange, and thejuice is green with a citrusy flavor – think maybe sour rhubarb or sour orange.
How to eat lulo:
You don’t eat the skin. Cut it open and then eat the fruit raw if you wish.
But lulo is most drunk as a juice called lulada (great for quenching your thirst when it’s hot).
12) Chirimoya (cherimoya)
“The most delicious fruit known to men” – so said Mark Twain of the chirimoya, also spelled “cherimoya.”
The English name for this fruit is custard apple.
It’s certainly delicious! (But we still think mangos are the best fruits grown in Mexico.)
Heart-shaped with green bumps on the outside, chirimoya fruits are quite strange looking.
But inside, they’re creamy and sweet, bursting with banana, apple and pear flavors.
Get them when they’re just turning soft (like an avocado), but know you can’t keep them on the counter for too long, as they have a short shelf life (a few days).
Their season is January to June.
How to eat chirimoyas:
You can eat a chilled chirimoya like custard. Slice it in half and scoop out the fruit with a spoon (getting rid of the seeds and the skin).
Chirimoyas also make a nice sauce over pancakes and plain yogurt.
13) Loquat (nispero)
The loquat (in English) or nispero (in Spanish) is a small orange-colored fruit.
Native to China, loquats now grow well in Mexico too.
They have two or three biggish seeds inside, and the fruit tastes like a blend of peaches, apricots and plums.
How to eat loquats:
Peel off the skin, and eat around the seeds.
(The skin of loquats can stain your fingernails brown, so wash your hands immediately after peeling.)
Or slice it in half, take out the seeds and eat the sliced fruit with a fork and knife.
Maybe also try a pineapple-loquat margarita? Blend loquats, pineapple, tequila, triple sec, syrup and lime juice – and enjoy.
14) Guava (guayaba)
Don’t think puny. Mexican guavas (or guayabas) are native to the country and grow much bigger than “normal” guavas – as big as baseballs.
Lime green, sometimes yellow on the outside, their flesh ranges from pink to white, depending on the variety. Mexican cream guavas, for example, have a creamy white flesh and are very sweet and aromatic.
If you like pineapples and passion fruit, you’ll like Mexican guavas.
How to eat guavas:
Rinse carefully, and then you can eat the whole guava if you wish (rind and seeds too). Or cut and slice to get at the flesh.
Most people also love guava juice. And you’ll find guavas in fruit cocktails too.
15) Starfruit (carambola)
A less common Mexico fruit, starfruit is shaped like a five-pointed star when cut horizontally.
Crisp and yellow, the flesh of the fruit is tangy, tasting a little like a blend of pineapple and lemon.
How to eat starfruit:
The whole fruit is edible, so you don’t have to peel the skin. Slice it to eat on its own.
Starfruit is also pretty as a garnish.
Other ideas? Substitute starfruit for pineapple in upside-down cake, or toss sliced starfruit into chicken salad.
Coconut also grows well in Mexico. You find lots of coconut plantations around Puerto Vallarta and in Jalisco state.
And, yes, coconut is a fruit (it’s also a nut and a seed).
How to eat coconuts:
When it’s hot outside, there’s nothing better to drink than clear coconut water from a fresh coconut!
In markets, vendors hawk young coconuts with straws for sipping the refreshing liquid.
Ask the vendor to hack out the meat afterwards to eat as a snack (it’s especially great sprinkled with lime or chili spice).
Coconut ice-cream is also popular in Mexico.
17) Mexican plum (ciruela)
Ciruela (Spanish for “plum”) has a very interesting taste – nothing like that of a plum.
They’re sweet and acidic at the same time (less sweet than plums you get in the U.S. and Canada). They have a yellowish-green skin, which ripens to orange and burgundy in color.
How to eat ciruelas:
Like regular plums, you can eat them, skin and all, except for the hard pit inside.
That’s a wrap for our list of Mexican fruit!
So, what do you think of these Mexican fruits? Are you up for trying them? Let us know! (You can comment below.)
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Also see these Mexican dessert cookbooks on Amazon. (As an Amazon associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.)
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About the authors:
Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.
Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews, insanely useful travel tips and more!
What is the most famous fruit in Mexico? ›
Orange was the most consumed fruit in Mexico in 2021, with an average of 36.1 kilograms consumed per person. Accordingly, Mexico's annual orange production has averaged above 4.4 million metric tons throughout the past decade. Lime ranked second that year, with a per capita consumption of 16.1 kilograms.What is the smelly Mexican fruit? ›
Soursop is a big pear-shaped green Mexican fruit with dark green skin covered with big spikes. The soft creamy flesh inside this Mexican fruit red with spikes, is white. The smell of this fruit is somewhat similar to the smell of pineapple.
Covered in spines and hiding a rich, colorful pulp, the pitaya, a type of dragon fruit, can make or break the economy of entire towns in Mexico during the growing season, when a batch of 4,000 pitayas can sell for over $7,400. Getting your hands on some in the US can cost up to $22 for a bucket of five fruits.What are names of exotic fruits? ›
- Durian. ...
- Pitaya or dragon fruit. ...
- Jackfruit. ...
- Lychee or rambutan. ...
- Kiwano or horned melon. ...
- Gold kiwifruit. ...
- Persimmon. ...
- Cherimoya or custard apple.
In Mexico, there are more than 20 varieties of pitahaya, or dragon fruit. It's gaining popularity with farmers here, thanks to its ability to adapt to dry climates. In Mexico, there are more than 20 varieties of pitahaya, or dragon fruit.What Mexican fruit is white? ›
The soursop or guanabana is a large pear-shaped fruit from Mexico, with a dark green skin covered with big thorns. Inside, the soft creamy flesh is white.What fruit smell like feet? ›
The fruit of the West Indian Locust tree may just win the award for the most unappealing nickname given to an edible plant. But in the case of the “stinking toe fruit,” the shoe fits: Its stubby pods are toe-shaped and its inner flesh does, in fact, stink like feet.What is the fruit that smells like garbage? ›
The durian, a spiky fruit native to Southeast Asia, has been variously described by its detractors as smelling like garbage, moldy cheese or rotting fish. It is banned from many hotels, airlines and the Singapore subway.Which fruit is expensive than gold? ›
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Which fruit has most vitamins? ›
Mango. Known as the “king of fruits,” mangoes are an excellent source of potassium, folate, fiber, and vitamins A, C, B6, E, and K. They're also rich in numerous plant polyphenols that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties ( 27 ). In particular, mangoes are high in mangiferin, a potent antioxidant.What is the oldest known fruit? ›
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miracle fruit, (Synsepalum dulcificum), also called miracle berry, evergreen shrub of the family Sapotaceae, grown for its mild fruits that make subsequently eaten sour foods taste sweet. The miracle fruit plant is native to tropical West Africa, where it is used locally to sweeten palm wine and other beverages.What fruit is a super fruit? ›
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- Ataulfo mango. The Mexican mango is sweet and has a distinct shape from the mangoes you would find in the United States, appearing much more petite. ...
- Papaya. ...
- Squash. ...
- Peppers. ...
- Tomatillo. ...
- Corn. ...
Pitahaya is a fist-sized flaming pink and green fruit that grows on a cactus native to the Sonoran desert in Mexico. It was later introduced to Southeast Asia, where it acquired its name in English, dragon fruit. A ripe pitahaya has a strong flavor and a kiwi-like texture.What Mexican fruit is like a grape? ›
Huaya. A classic Mexican street food, Huayas (pronounced “why-yah”) look a bit like bunches of grapes, and they taste a bit like grapes, too. But this tropical fruit has a tougher shell that you crack open by squeezing it with your fingers or by using your teeth to get at the softer flesh.Is there pink dragon fruit? ›
Dragon fruit's flesh can range from white (with pink, yellow or orange skin) to hot pink or deep purple with tiny black seeds. The colour of the flesh determines the flavour. For example, whitish dragon fruits can have a mild taste, and darker flesh can be sweeter and juicier.
Can you buy dragon fruit in the United States? ›
There are only three states in the United States that grow dragon fruit commercially: California, Florida, and Hawaii. There are only three states in the United States that grow dragon fruit commercially: California, Florida, and Hawaii.Does dragon fruit grow in USA? ›
The cultivars with deeper pink flesh are said to have the most flavor (McEachran, 2015). Dragon fruit are roughly the size of a baseball, but oval shaped. Only three states grow dragon fruit commercially: California (primarily Southern California), Florida, and Hawaii (Lobo et al, 2013).What is the most wanted fruit? ›
- bananas - 63%
- strawberries - 56%
- grapes - 55%
- apples - 55%
- watermelon - 50%
- oranges - 47%
- blueberries - 41%
- lemons - 41%
A tomatillo is a small, green, spherical fruit that looks like a small tomato. In fact, tomatillo means "little tomato" in Spanish. The tomatillo plant, which is a relatively disease-resistant member of the nightshade family, originated in Mexico. Tomatillos can be eaten raw or cooked.What fruit is pink white? ›
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Nanche is a small, yellow fruit—kind of like a kumquat. It has a sweet flavor that is slightly tart and very strong. Due to its pungent aroma and overpowering taste, it's often diluted in juices, or making nieves (sorbets), and can even be used in curing mezcal. It can be found throughout Latin America.What fruits make you smell good? ›
● Citrus Fruits
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Stinking Toe has strong antifungal properties that make it ideal for dealing with topical and internal fungal infections. These include; athlete's foot, nail fungus, urinary tract infections, and as a douche for yeast infection too. However, as a recommendation douching should not be practiced.What bacteria smells like cheese? ›
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The mangosteen, also known as the “queen of fruits” is a tropical fruit which originated in Southeast Asia.
What is the king of fruit? ›
The southeast Asian plant Durian has been called the King of Fruits but, like Marmite, it sharply divides opinion between those who love the taste of its custard-like pulp and those revolted by its putrid smell.What is the most smelly fruit? ›
This is Durian, the world's smelliest fruit, as introduced by Thomas Fuller for The New York Times: … when ripe it can smell like a dead animal. Yes, the fruit is difficult to handle, bearing likeness to a medieval weapon.What are exotic foods in Mexico? ›
- Chapulines. Chapulines are insects. ...
- Gusano del maguey. ...
- Huitlacoche. ...
- Escamoles. ...
- Avocados: $2.78 billion, up 25% from 2020 and up 57% from 2016;
- Tomatoes: $2.38 billion, no change from 2020 and up 22% from 2016;
- Berries (excluding strawberries): $2.17 billion, up 17% from 2020 and up 123% from 2016;
The Avocado is also the national fruit of Mexico, and of all the places I've eaten avocado in the world, I ate the best ones when I was living in Mexico for two months! Avocadoes are also used to make the famous guacamole.Is dragon fruit Mexican? ›
Pitaya or dragon fruit is native to the region of southern Mexico and along the Pacific coasts of Guatemala, Costa Rica, and El Salvador. The dragon fruit is cultivated in East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the United States, the Caribbean, Australia, and throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world.What is rarely eaten in Mexico? ›
- taco salad.
- Fajitas with sour cream on the tortilla.
- bowl of chili con carne.
- smothered burrito.
- queso with chips.
Corn is the most eaten staple among Mexican consumers. It is the base ingredient of tortillas, a type of slim flatbread and, one of the most representative and widely consumed food products in the country, used for the preparation of both tacos and quesadillas.What food does the U.S. get from Mexico? ›
Avocados, tomatoes, onions and bell peppers are popular vegetable imports from Mexico.
The U.S. suspends avocado imports from Mexico The U.S. suspended avocado imports from Mexico after a USDA inspector received a threat — highlighting the violence and criminal influence over the supply of the fruit.
What produce is Mexico known for? ›
Main crops include corn, sugarcane, sorghum, wheat, tomatoes, bananas, chili peppers, oranges, lemons, limes, mangos, other tropical fruits, beans, barley, avocados, blue agave and coffee. The most important crops for national consumption are wheat, beans, corn and sorghum.What is the tiny yellow fruit from Mexico? ›
Nanche is a small, yellow fruit—kind of like a kumquat. It has a sweet flavor that is slightly tart and very strong. Due to its pungent aroma and overpowering taste, it's often diluted in juices, or making nieves (sorbets), and can even be used in curing mezcal. It can be found throughout Latin America.What fruit looks like a dragon egg? ›
Is a tropical fruit native to Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, but it can also be found in Mexico. It is oval in shape, with green skin, and deep indentations, which make it look a little bit like a dragon egg.