Jamaican fruits and foods are gaining popularity across the globe. It has become noticeable that some plants that are endemic to other countries and regions take on better and unique characteristics when grown in Jamaica. Ginger, pimento, mango, papaya, and pineapple are just a few examples of Jamaican produce fetching higher prices on the world market because of their superior quality.
Let’s look at these 41 amazing Jamaican fruits. You may have to visit the island several times, during different seasons, to experience them all.
- Blim Blim
- Carambola/Star Fruit
- Coolie Plum
- Custard Apple/Cherimoya
- Hog Plum
- June Plum
- Locust/’Stinking Toe’
- Mammee Apple
- Otaheite Apple
- Rose Apple
- Star Apple
- Strawberry Guava
- West Indian Cherry
Ackee, native to West Africa, is cultivated widely throughout tropical and subtropical regions for its edible fruit. The ackee tree was introduced to science by William Bligh, hence its botanical name, Blighia sapida.
Ackee, designated as Jamaica’s national fruit, is also a component of the country’s national dish – ackee and saltfish. The fruit has been in Jamaica since 1778.
Ackee must be allowed to open fully before it is ready for consumption. Once open, the only edible portion is the yellow aril: the pink raphe that attaches the aril to its seed is deadly toxic and, together with the seed, must be removed completely and discarded.
Ackee is a nutritious fruit with a buttery-nutty flavor and resembles scrambled eggs when boiled.
Notwithstanding the risk, ackee (and saltfish) continues to be a favourite of visitors to the island and Jamaicans residing at home and overseas.
Ackee and saltfish gained international recognition in 2011 when National Geographic, in its book – Food Journeys of a Lifetime – ranked it second among the best national dishes in the world, preceded only by the hamburger.
Recipe for Ackee & Saltfish.
The almond tree (Prunus dulcis) is grown widely throughout Jamaica and is common on many beaches. The fruit of the almond tree is a drupe, consisting of an outer hull and a hard shell encasing the kernel, commonly called a nut but, in fact, is a seed. The hull, which comprises the skin (exocarp) and flesh (mesocarp) is the fruit eaten.
The developing fruit of the almond tree can be eaten when they are still green and fleshy on the outside and the inner shell has not yet hardened. The fruit has a tangy flavour.
Almonds contain lots of healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium, and vitamin E. The health benefits include lower blood sugar levels, reduced blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels.
Kids love this Jamaican fruit. Perhaps you will too.
The avocado (Persea Americana) is the fruit which belongs to the family of lauraceae, a group that also includes cinnamon and laurel. This Jamaican fruit was first cultivated in the island in 1696 before making it way to the rest of the Caribbean.
Avocado is a pear-shaped tropical fruit, the common name for which is ‘pear’ in Jamaica. Many varieties of avocado, ranging in size, colour and texture exist. The fruit has a rich yellowish pulp, and depending on its variety, the skin may be green, reddish-purple, brown, or black.
Avocados are known to be ripe for consumption when you can hear the seed rattle if you shake the fruit. Most fruits ripen between August and October, but a few varieties, such as Collinson and Lula, reach maturity ‘out-of-season’. When ripe the flesh has a buttery texture.
The avocado, often referred to as a superfood, is prized for its high nutrient value and is incredibly popular among health-conscious individuals. Its nutritiousness, great flavor, and rich texture make it a favourite with various dishes.
Banana, the fruit of the genus Musa, is one of the most important, commonly-eaten, and popular fruit crops of the world. Banana, grown in the tropics, and widely consumed worldwide, is highly valued for its nutritional value, flavour, versatility, and yearlong availability.
Ripe bananas are eaten fresh, most commonly. They are often used as an ingredient to flavour countless baked products, including muffins, cakes, breads, puddings, and pies. They are also used in juices, and are a great addition to cereal, yogurt, ice cream and smoothies.
Boiled green (unripe) bananas are a common food staple in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries. Additionally, they may be used to make chips, porridge, or mashed like potatoes.
This popular Jamaican fruit contain the following nutritional elements: potassium; vitamins B6 and C; magnesium; copper; manganese; fiber; and protein.
Blim Blim is the Jamaican name for the bilimbi fruit, a tropical fruit, botanically classified as Averhhoa bilimbi. The Bilimbi tree is thought to have originated in Indonesia or Malaysia but is now found in many parts of the Caribbean and central and southern America.
Bilimbi fruits are closely related to the star fruit and are oblong-shaped, with five discernible ribs. The fruit is green when young but turns to yellowish green or white when ripe. The fruit is glossy with a thin skin, and crunchy, juicy, tart, and tangy flesh.
Bilimbi fruits are referred to sometimes as tree cucumbers because of their resemblance to smooth-skinned gherkins.
Bilimbi fruit, because of its sourness, is best processed into pickles, relishes, chutney and preserves.
The bilimbi fruit has several health benefits: It is said to be rich in vitamins A and C, and potassium. Studies have also found that the fruit possesses strong antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. The fruit may potentially regulate blood sugar levels, helps manage hypertension, and treats hemorrhoids.
Breadfruit plants (Artocarpus altilis) was brought to Jamaica in 1793 by Captain William Bligh, for the main reason of feeding slaves. Despite the disreputable reason for which it was intended, breadfruit is now one of the most popular Jamaican fruits.
This extremely versatile fruit can be prepared and eaten in all stages of development and maturity: The young fruit can be boiled in soups, its potato-like texture makes mature fruits suitable for many dishes, and overripe fruits can be eaten like custards. Breadfruits can be boiled, baked, grilled, deep fried, or even juiced. Fried roasted/oven-baked breadfruit is considered as one of the 12 most favourite dishes in Jamaica.
Breadfruit, in addition tr being is gluten free, is packed with nutrients and is being touted as a “super food”. It is high in carbohydrates and a good source of vitamins A and C, antioxidants, calcium, copper, dietary fiber, energy, iron, magnesium, niacin, omega 3, omega 6, phosphorus, potassium, protein, and thiamine. Breadfruit also contains some carotenoids and lutein, both of which are absent in white rice and white potato.
Roasted/baked breadfruit combined with ackee and salt fish, brown stew chicken, liver, or mackerel run down, amongst other meat kinds, will leave you salivating in anticipation of your next meal of the fruit.
Breadfruit is a Jamaican fruit you must try!
The cacao tree is the source of chocolate and cocoa. The tree’s scientific name is Theobroma cacao: Theobroma is Greek for “food of the gods.”
Cacao plants have two edible parts: the seeds (also called beans) and the fruit. The beans are used to produce chocolate, cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and several other chocolate derivatives.
The white fruit pulp, encasing the cacao beans, is the other edible part. It is delicious with a sweet and sour flavor. Eating cacao is like eating sweetsop. You simply suck off the flesh and spit out the seed.
Considered a superfood, cacao has reasonable amounts of iron, calcium, and magnesium but is chock full of antioxidants called flavonoids, which may have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, improved digestive health, improved cognitive function, and lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
Though cacao is not a regularly eaten Jamaican fruit, this fruit is delicious.
Carambola, or star fruit as it is otherwise known, is the fruit of Averrhoa carambola. The fruit, which belongs to the same specie as the bilimbi (Averrhoa bilimbi), has distinctive ridges running down its sides and when cut in cross-section resembles a star. Hence, the name star fruit.
The carambola’s skin is thin and waxy and turns from light to dark yellow when the fruit is ripe. The fruit is crunchy and juicy and its flavour both sweet and acidic. It is great for juice, smoothies, jams, and pickles. This Jamaican fruit is chock full of nutrients such as vitamins A, C, B5, B9 (folate) and minerals such as zinc, sodium, magnesium, copper and potassium. It is also loaded with antioxidants, which beneficial in lowering inflammation, cholesterol levels and lowers the risk of fatty liver
Coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). Botanically, it is defined as a drupe but loosely defined, and acceptably so, as a fruit or nut.
This wonderful Jamaican fruit is used for its water, milk, oil, and delicious kernel, commonly referred to as the “meat”.
The coconut is one of the most popular and loved fruits in Jamaica. Its flavor, refreshing and potassium-packed water, culinary uses, and potential health benefits are responsible for its increasing popularity.
It is a favourite of many visitors to the island, who, on arrival, often can hardly wait to have cool coconut water straight from its nut. This explains why coconut vendors are usually in proximity to the island’s two major airports.
One of the great things about coconuts is that you can drink or eat them at various stages of their maturity. The water of the young coconut is refreshing and nutrient-packed and the scooped-out “jelly” is a ready and tasty snack. As the coconut matures, the “meat” hardens, and can be eaten raw or used for cooking. Coconut milk is a prime ingredient in the preparation of rice and peas, a favourite Jamaican dish.
Coconut oil is obtained from copra, the dried “meat” of the coconut.
Coconuts reportedly have several health benefits. They contain protein, several important minerals, and small amounts of B vitamins. Coconuts are especially high in manganese, which is essential for bone health and the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and cholesterol.
Coconuts are also rich in copper and iron, which help form red blood cells, as well as selenium, an important antioxidant that protects the cells of humans.
The Indian jujube, Ziziphus mauritiana Lam, is commonly known as coolie plum or crabapple in Jamaica. Other English names for the fruit are Indian Plum, Indian cherry, and Malay jujube. It is known as dunks in Barbados, and Trinidad.
In Jamaica, coolie plums grow in the wild on spiny evergreen shrub or small tree, and is popular among kids.
Coolie plums are of variable shape and size. They can be oval, obovate, oblong or round, and can be 1 to 2.5 in (2.5 to 6.25 cm) long, depending on the variety. The flesh is white and crisp. The fruit’s skin is smooth, glossy, thin but tight.
Fruits are first green, turning yellow as they ripen. Immediately before the fruit ripens it is a bit juicy and has a pleasant aroma. When fully mature, the fruit is entirely red, soft, juicy with wrinkled skin and has a pleasant aroma. The ripe fruit is sweet and sour in taste, with the flesh texture and taste reminiscent of apples. Overripe fruits are wrinkled with flesh that is buff-coloured, soft, spongy and musky.
This Jamaican fruit is eaten raw but consumed in other ways in different cultures.
Some of the most interesting health benefits of coolie plums purportedly include its ability to detoxify the body, improve skin health, cleanse the blood, relieve stress, stimulate restful sleep, strengthen the immune system, protect the liver, and increase bone mineral density.
Custard Apple, the common name in Jamaica, is the same fruit known as Cherimoya (Annona cherimola). Custard apples originated in South America and the West Indies but are now found in Asia, Australia, and other tropical countries. The fruits are typically heart or oval-shaped and can weigh up to 450g or approximately 1lb. They have light tan or greenish quilted skin that turns brown as the fruit ripens.
The fruit’s flesh is sweet and juicy with a custard-like texture. Its taste is described as somewhat between a pineapple and a banana. American writer Mark Twain described the cherimoya “the most delicious fruit known to men”. The creamy texture of the flesh gives the fruit its secondary name, the custard apple.
Custard apples are often eaten with a spoon and served chilled like custard. The creamy, smooth flesh of custard apples makes a great puree for smoothies and along with mashed ripe bananas and made into ice cream. It is also a good addition to fruit salads.
The cherimoya is often mistaken for the soursop and vice versa. This is quite understandable given the similarity of their flavours. However, the cherimoya is annona chermola and the soursop is annona muricata.
Custard apples are said to be rich in fiber and good sources of vitamin C, riboflavin, and potassium, that may boost immunity, fight inflammation, and promote eye and heart health Both the seeds and skin are toxic and should be discarded.
This is a must have Jamaican fruit.
Guavas give so much of itself, fruit, seeds, skin, leaves, and with such pleasure, it is no wonder that they are among the most favourite fruits, not only in Jamaica, but worldwide.
The guava, Psidium guajava L., may be round, ovoid, or pear-shaped, with green skin when immature. As the fruit ripens, the skin turns yellow, which is frequently tinged or suffused with pink.
When immature and until a short time before ripening, the fruit is green, hard, gummy within and very astringent.
As guavas ripen, they emit a sweet musky aroma and their flesh is juicy and creamy in texture. Some strains of guavas have more than one hundred tiny soft and edible seeds while some species are seedless. It hardly makes a difference. Just wash the guava and bite into it, eating skin, flesh and seeds.
While guavas are commonly great eaten fresh, they make delicious juices, jams, jellies, marmalades, pickles and candies.
People use guava leaf for stomach and intestinal conditions, pain, diabetes, and wound healing. The fruit is used for high blood pressure. But there is no good scientific evidence to support any uses of guava. Guava fruits are extremely rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Guavas are one of the richest food sources of vitamin C, adequately levels of which is important for protecting against illness and infections. Guavas are packed with many evidenced-based health benefits.
You have to try this Jamaican fruit.
Guineps grow and bear in abundance in Jamaica. During the harvesting bearing season (June- August), the fruit can be found in copious amounts across the island: They can be found in the markets, the supermarkets, and at most busy road intersections in cities and towns. Many motorists buy and snack on them while driving.
So, what are these popular fruits? Guineps grow in bunches and look like a cross between a small green lime and a lychee. So close are their physical features, some Jamaicans oftentimes refer to lychees as “Chinese Guineps”. In fact, both the guinep (Melicoccus bijugatus) and lychee (Litchi chinensis) belong to the soapberry family Sapindaceae.
Guinep is also known as Spanish lime, Skinip, Quenepa, Honeyberry, Mamoncillo, Mapo, and believe it or not, “Ackee” in Barbados!
Guinep is eaten mostly fresh by cracking the thin brittle skin (usually by biting) to reveal the soft edible layer of flesh beneath. The taste varies from tangy to ultra-sweet. The texture of the flesh varies from firm to watery and varies in colour from a light tint of orange to a light tint of reddish pink. salmon pink.
The seed of guinep is a choking hazard to young children.
The pulp of guineps make a refreshing drink and can be used in jellies, marmalade, and sauces.
Guinep, a low fat/low calorie Jamaican fruit, is packed with nutrients: They contain vitamins A and C, amino acids which can help to lower blood sugar levels, fibre, calcium, phosphorus, and important antioxidants (phenolic compounds) that can help to prevent cardiovascular disease and strokes.
Hog plums are about 2.5 to 5 centimeters in diameter and are slightly elongated. The immature fruits are green or yellowish-green and turns purple, red, or yellow when ripe.
The skin of the fruit has a waxlike sheen, and the pulp is yellow and sweet when ripe. The flavor of the fruit is sweet with a somewhat acidic aftertaste. The pit in the center of the fruit is inedible. Unripe fruits can be eaten, though they are much more tart and somewhat bitter.
The pulp of the ripe can be used to make juices. Whole fruits can be boiled in water with sugar to make a syrup or “honey”, which is eaten with ice cream or alone as a dessert. The fruits can also be cooked whole to make preserves: Seeds are strained from the liquid. Unripe fruits can be made into a tart sauce or pickled in vinegar.
What are the health benefits of hog plums? They are purportedly rich in vitamin C and carbohydrates and a source of calcium, phosphorus, iron and a small amount of dietary fiber. They contain carotene, B-complex vitamins, and several important amino acids. They are high in antioxidants, which help rid the body of free radicals.
Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that grows in Jamaica.
The large and varyingly shaped fruit averages 30 to 100 cm (10 to 40 inches) in length and 15 to 50 cm (6 to 20 inches) in diameter, and can weigh 10–25 kg (22–55 pounds) or more.
The fruit is encased in a thick spiky skin.
Jackfruit is an amazing fruit that can be used in various kinds of recipes. The most important thing to note about this fruit is that its seeds and leaves are poisonous, so if you do decide to eat this fruit, be sure to discard the seeds and any parts of the plant other than the actual fruit itself.
Jackfruit has become increasingly popular in western markets for its amazing ability to have the texture of pulled pork. Many vegans and vegetarians use it as a meat substitute, but it does require some cooking alterations.
Jackfruit is rich in vitamins A and is one of the few fruits that’s high in B vitamins. The fruit also contains folate, niacin, riboflavin, potassium, and magnesium. Carotenoids, which give jackfruit its yellow color, are high in vitamin A. Carotenoids, which are antioxidants, protect cells from damage and may help prevent diseases like cancer and heart disease, as well as eye problems like cataracts and macular degeneration. As a jackfruit ripens, its carotenoid levels may go up.
Try and enjoy this delicious, versatile, and nutritious Jamaican fruit.
Otaheite gooseberry Phyllanthus acidus, is known as Malay gooseberry, Tahitian gooseberry, country gooseberry, star gooseberry, starberry, arbari, West India gooseberry, or simply gooseberry tree. The fruit is called Jimbilin (in Jamaica), Raspberry (in Antigua and Barbuda), Damsel (in Grenada, and St Vincent and the Grenadines), and Sour Cherry (in Trinidad and Tobago).
Otaheite gooseberries(Jimbilins) are small oblate fruits that grow in dense clusters. Despite their biological name, they do not resemble the gooseberry.
Jimbilins are pale yellow, juicy, and very sour and tart. Though they are sometimes eaten fresh, they are more-often processed into relishes, preserves, candied in sugar or pickled in salt. They are used in chutneys, and combined with other fruits for juices: Of course, they provide a tangy flavour! used to add tang to. In the Philippines, they are used to make vinegar.
June Plum is an oblong-shaped medium-sized fruit averaging approximately 9 to 10 centimeters (3.5 to 4 inches) in length. The pit is fibrous but edible. The bitter and tannic skin is relatively thick and tough and sometimes has a russety appearance.
June plums may be eaten when ripe or unripe. When unripe, the fruit is crisp and subacid but as the fruit ripens it turns yellow, the flesh softens, and the flavour changes to a sweet and sour taste. Though the pit is spiky, it becomes softer as the fruit ripens and many Jamaicans delight in sucking it clean, even chewing it.
The ripe fruit’s flavour is sweet to acid, making it excellent for juices, smoothies, jams, chutneys and preserves.
June plums are a good source of vitamins A, C, K, and antioxidants.
Locust (hymenaea courbarilor), more commonly known as “stinking toe” is a brown, large seed pod, grown on one of the largest fruit trees in Jamaica and the Caribbean.
It is the general view that the fruit earned the nickname “Stinking Toe” because of its physical appearance and odor of its pulp.
The fruit’s pulp is sweet and has a dense and dry texture, similar to powdered skim milk. But the Stinking Toe, almost like a defense mechanism, does not make it easy to access and consume its delicious pulp.
The large brown and oblong-shaped shell of the pod is approximately 5 centimeters thick and very hard. Cracking it open requires a hammer, rock, or some other very hard instrument. Jamaican kids love cracking the shells. Once the shell is cracked open, the pulp emits a repelling odor.
If you are adventurous and can get past the aroma, only then do you get to enjoy the uniquely delicious pulp of this Jamaican fruit.
Longan (Dimocarpus longan), also known as “dragons eye” are brown in colour and oftentimes referred to as little brothers of the lychee fruit. In fact, longan, lychee and rambutan are from trees that belong to the soapberry family Sapindaceae.
The fully ripe and freshly harvested longan has a bark-like shell, thin, and firm, making the fruit easy to peel by squeezing the pulp out. When the shell has more moisture content and is more tender, the fruit becomes less convenient to shell.
The fruit has a sweet musky flavour like that of the lychee.
Longan fruit contains an appreciable amount of Vitamin C, minerals like iron, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. It is also rich in Vitamin A and antioxidants.
Lychee, (Litchi chinensis), also spelt as litchi or lichi, is a delicious small round fruit with a hard outer shell that peels off revealing a soft translucent fruit inside. The lychee is similar to a strawberry in color and size.
The fruit, whose pit is inedible, is usually eaten fresh, but it can also be canned. Alternatively, it can also be dried. The flavor of the fresh pulp is aromatic as well as musky.
Lychees contains vitamin C and are packed with antioxidants and minerals, all of which are great for your health. Its antimicrobial properties can help prevent infections.
The Mammee Apple is a fruit tree that produces edible fruits with soft pink pulp. Another name for this fruit tree is the “mamey sapote”, sourced from the mamey sapote fruits. Mammee apple trees often have almond-like fruits which are usually very sweet and somewhat creamy after being ripe and ready to be consumed. There are several different varieties of mammee apple trees with some of these varieties growing to be very tall, having a good growth height, and even a bit large in size.
Mammee apples, if you aren’t aware, are a very popular Jamaican fruit. They look like the lovechild of mango and an apple – hard and green on the outside but sweet and yummy on the inside. Though they are extremely high in calories, they also have lots of vitamins and minerals. One mammee apple has nearly 240% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C.
The flesh of the fruit can be consumed in various ways. The flesh can be served in fruit salads, or with wine, sugar, or cream. In the Bahamas, the bittersweet flesh is first placed in salted water to remove its bitterness, before being cooked with sugar.
Its enchanting hues, alluring flavours, and intoxicating aroma make mango one of the most captivating fruits.
Mango, known as ‘The King of Fruits’ and a ‘Super Fruit’ because of its health enhancing nutrients and rich creamy delicious taste, is arguably the most-commonly-consumed fruit in the world. It is, undoubtedly, the most popular Jamaican fruit. So much so, it is said that cooking stops during mango season. The words from a local song summarize it best: “Inna di height a di mango crop, when di fruit dem a ripe and drop, wash yuh pot tun dem dung, MANGO TIME!”
Mangoes, one of the most prolifically grown Jamaican fruit, can be found all over the island, but more abundantly in the parishes of Kingston & St Andrew, St. Thomas, Clarendon, St. Mary, and St. Elizabeth. With more than fifty known varieties growing in Jamaica, you have a wide choice. Is your favourite ‘Julie’, ‘East Indian’, ‘Number 11’, ‘Blackie’ or ‘Bombay’?
Some prefer their mangoes green, while others prefer them ripe. For others, it matters not.
Mangoes eaten green are cut into small pieces and salt added. Also, green mangoes are used for chutneys, pickles, and salads.
Ripe mangoes, in addition to being eaten fresh, are often used for juices, jams, and smoothies.
The Jamaican naseberry (Manilkara zapota), also known as sapodilla, is native to southern Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
The fruit is a large berry, whose size approximates a small to medium tomato with diameter varying between four and eight inches. The skin of the naseberry, normally brown when ripe, has a rough, grainy texture. The reddish-brown flesh is exceptionally sweet in taste and aroma.
The naseberry, a high-calorie fruit, is rich in vitamins A and C and is an abundant source of dietary fibre. It packs polyphenol compound tannin, which possesses astringent, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic characteristics that are well-known to treat haemorrhoids and gastrointestinal problems. Additionally, it contains appreciable amounts of other essential nutrients like potassium, copper, iron and vitamins B1 and B5.
You will love and be hooked to this Jamaican fruit.
Noni is one of the common names of the Morinda citrifolia fruit. It is known by some 100 names across different regions where it is grown. In Jamaica, it is known as ‘duppy soursop’. Some of the other names by which noni is known are great morinda, Indian mulberry, beach mulberry, and cheese fruit.
Though noni is a staple in some cultures, it is not eaten in many others, including Jamaica, because of its obnoxious odor and bitter taste. However, it is a sought-after juice because it is packed with nutrients and medicinal properties. Such is the demand for this miracle fruit, it has been introduced as a supplement in various formats, such as capsules, skin products, and juices.
Noni juice is known widely for its high levels of antioxidants, which prevent cellular damage caused by molecules called free radicals. Researchers believe that noni’s powerful antioxidant properties are the main reason for its potential health benefits.
The primary antioxidants in noni juice include beta carotene, iridoids, and vitamins C and E.
This Jamaican fruit is jam-packed with nutrients.
Among Jamaican fruits, only mango is arguably more popular and loved than Otaheite apple (Syzygium malaccense).
In 1793, Captain Bligh reportedly brought the Otaheite apple plant to Jamaica from Tahiti, previously known as Otaheite, hence the name of the fruit. Otaheite apple is known by several other names: Titi apple; Malay apple; Malay rose apple; Mountain apple; Rose apple; Jamaican apple; Plum rose; Pommerac; and Water apple are some.
The pear-shaped fruit has a smooth tender peel, which bruises easily. As the fruit ripens, its colour changes from whitish pink to crimson red. The darker the red, the sweeter the apple seems to be. The fruit has one seed, the size of a boiled egg yolk.
The fruit is juicy with a mildly sweet roselike flavour. The texture varies from crispy to mushy.
Otaheite apples are consumed in various ways, with raw seemingly the most common. It can also be used to produce wines and juices, sauces, jellies, and jams.
Otaheite apples are rich in minerals, vitamins A, B, and C, phosphorous, fiber, flavonols, phenolic compounds, sesquiterpenes, and carotenoids. Some of the health benefits of Otaheite apples are improved skin health; hair growth; stronger cells, teeth, bones, blood vessels, cartilage, and muscles; and improved nervous, cardiovascular, and digestive systems.
What’s a breakfast fruit salad without papaya? With its exceptionally sweet and delicious flavour and succulent and buttery texture, papaya is a fruit lover’s delight. Its no wonder that Christopher Columbus referred to the papaya as “the fruit of the angels.”
Papaya (Carica papaya) is indigenous to the West Indies and South America. This Jamaican fruit bears all year round. Different varieties, in terms of size, shape, and fruit sweetness, are grown in Jamaica but the small sweet pear-shaped Solo Sunrise variety is the preferred variety grown by Jamaican producers. It is the variety you’ll most likely find in the markets and supermarkets.
The Solo Sunrise papaya is characterized by its high sugar content, attractive orange-red flesh color, and a cavity not considered deep.
Ripe papayas can be served in several ways – the most common and popular being to cut the unpeeled fruit and remove the seeds, then use a spoon to scoop out the sweet and juicy flesh. They may also be processed into juice, smoothie, puree, or jams. Green papayas are used for sauces and pickles. Papaya is a rich sources of vitamins A, C, E, K and B. It also contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and minerals. It is said to boost blood circulation and prevent intestinal cancer, and control arteriosclerosis, diabetes, heart diseases, cholesterol, and digestive disorders.
Enjoy this Jamaican fruit, like Columbus obviously did.
Passion fruit is a well-known superfood that not only provides valuable nutrients but also transforms your mood and energy level.
The flesh of passion fruit is highly palatable and can be eaten by using a spoon to remove it from the rind. The rind is not edible!
Because it has a mild sugar coating, passion fruit can be used to sweeten foods making it a versatile fruit to include in your daily diet.
This Jamaican fruit has been shown to reduce high blood pressure, improve circulation, lower cholesterol and enhance memory function.
The pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a tropical plant with an edible fruit. The Taino Indians are credited with introducing the plant to Jamaica.
Four main varieties of pineapple — ripley, smooth cayenne, sugarloaf, and cowboy — are grown in Jamaica: The latter two are the most common.
Weighing an average of 4 to 6 pounds, sugarloaf pineapples are cylindrical in shape, slightly tapering at the crown. They are taller and leaner than the cowboy variety and are usually much sweeter.
The juice-filled flesh of the ripe sugarloaf has a floral aroma, with hints of honey. Unlike the other varieties, the flesh of the sugarloaf is not woody or fibrous and the edible core is just as sweet to the taste.
The pineapple can be sliced and eaten as is. It is also juiced or pureed for smoothies and other cocktails or beverages. The versatile fruit can be added to salads, used to flavour meats and fish, used in baked goods, or cooked as a topping for custards and cheesecakes. The pineapple is an excellent source of manganese, and a good source of potassium, calcium, vitamin C and fiber. They also contain magnesium, phosphorus, copper, folate, and vitamins B1 and B6. The fruit’s overall nutritional content provides anti-inflammatory benefits as well as digestive and immune support.
A must have Jamaican fruit when you visit.
Pomegranate is a large, round, red fruit with hundreds of edible seeds within. Each seed is sheathed in a red covering known as an aril, which contains sweet, juicy nectar.
The seeds and arils — eaten either raw or processed into pomegranate juice — are the edible parts of the fruit but the peel is discarded.
Pomegranate is a popular addition to yogurts, salads, smoothies, and juices. But cutting one open and getting the seeds is the hardest part. It can be a very time-consuming task, but the reward is well worth it.
Pomegranates are said to contain a broad range of beneficial plant compounds, unmatched by other foods and so are regarded as being among the most nutritious fruits on Earth.
Pomegranate contains calcium, fiber, vitamin A and K, potassium, folate and a host of other natural nutrients. Pomegranate juice is loaded with loads of minerals and antioxidants: The anti-inflammatory properties of the latter help stave off chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.
Some Jamaicans refer to pomegranates as panganats: clearly a case of malapropism.
Though originally from Southeast Asia, you can find rambutan throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.
Rambutans, though relatively small, are difficult to miss: At first they seem like sea urchins and are best described as the hairy version of the lychee fruit.
The flesh is slightly soft and packs a punch; you could also say it has a hint of honey coating it. The dried fruit pulp can be pressed for use in various recipes; this includes making jam, bottling it, or eating it as a snack!
Rambutans contain are high levels of antioxidants, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which can help to protect against diseases such as cancer.
An unusual looking but delicious and nutritious Jamaican fruit.
Rose Apple is so named because of its slight roselike taste. Often a bit longer than most apples, the rose apple can easily be distinguished from the rest. Its appearance is quite different from most apples. But beware of its seeds, which are said to be poisonous!
Rose apples are crisp when they’re fresh from the tree, but they bruise easily and don’t keep well.
The flesh of the rose apple is highly regarded due to its nutrient-rich content. Some say that consuming the skin reduces stress and promotes good digestion. The flesh can be eaten raw, processed into juice, or used in various recipes. In Jamaica, these fruits are preserved by stewing them in very heavy sugar syrup with cinnamon. The fruit is made into jam or jelly with lemon juice added, or more frequently preserved in combination with other fruits.
The fruit has long been used in Southeast Asian countries as a natural medicine and has gained popularity in recent years in America due to its health benefits.
By Mbopar at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2621420
Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is a subshrub called Red Sorrel in English speaking countries. The flowers are white to pale yellow with a dark red spot at the base of each petal, and, at the base, have a fleshy calyx, which becomes fleshy and bright red as the fruit matures.
The fruit of roselle has a tart fruity flavor like that of cranberry. The edible leaves and fleshy red fruit calyces are used for making fresh salads, tea, juices, jellies, jams, ice cream, and spices for cooking.
Roselle is well known for its high nutritional and medicinal values. It is a good source of antioxidants and contains vitamins A, C, and B2, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Soursop is a large, green fruit with a sweet flesh. So why is it called soursop? Only because of its slightly acidic taste when ripe.
The ambrosial taste of the soursop is described as a combination of pineapple and cherry, with a creamy flavor similar to coconut or banana. Its white pulp is embedded with inedible black seeds that are toxic and should be discarded.
In Jamaica, the soursop is used primarily to make juice, after removal of the toxic seeds, of course. The fruit is used also to make smoothies and flavor ice cream and sorbets. Soursops, while high in fibre, low in calories and having no sodium or fat, is nutrient filled. The fruit is loaded with vitamin C and a host of B-complex compounds. It contains a range of phytochemical compounds unique to it. One such compound is acetogenin, which is regarded as an anticancer agent. It is also rich in potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, and calcium.
A Star Apple looks a lot like a plum on the outside but is larger and quite different. In fact, you cannot eat the skin of this Jamaican fruit but the flesh inside is so delicious!
To eat, simply cut the fruit in half and scoop out the fruit with a spoon. The flesh of the fruit is milky and while some people prefer it chilled, it doesn’t need to be.
A combination of its chopped flesh and the chopped flesh of other fruits (like mango, citrus, pineapple, and other fruits) is frozen and served as Jamaican fruit salad.
It’s also very nutritious. The ripe fruit soothes inflammation in laryngitis and pneumonia. It has traditionally been used to treat diabetes, and it was often gargled as a treatment for angina.
But how does it taste? Star Apples have a soft pulp with a sweet and floral taste. The Star Apple tastes best when it’s soft and wrinkled. Its pulp has an aromatic, tropical sweet flavor with nuances of apple, lychee, and persimmon. Yum.
The season for this Jamaican fruit runs from November through March.
Strawberry guava, botanically classified as Psidium cattleianum, is a tropical fruits native to the Americas. Also known as cattley guava, cherry guava, purple guava, or Chinese guava, strawberry guava is a small, maroon-coloured fruit with a sweet aromatic flavor closely similar to that of a regular guava.
The fruit of the strawberry guava is soft, sweet, pink speckled, and yellowish-white with a few hard yellow seeds. It has a strawberry essence as well as flavors similar to passionfruit and lime zest.
Strawberry guavas can be eaten fresh or used to make juice, puree, jam, or jelly, mixed into yogurt and oatmeal, tossed into salads, or used as a topping for ice cream.
Strawberry guavas are said to be an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and antioxidants. The fruits also provide magnesium, potassium, and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which are beneficial for brain development.
A very delicious Jamaican fruit!
The sweetsop is a round or heart-shaped fruit that looks like the knobbly cousin of the cherimoya, and it is.
The sweetsop is also related to the soursop, yet it doesn’t have the spiked edges of the soursop. Also, it is smaller and also sweeter with a custard-like texture.
As its name suggests, this Jamaican fruit is extra sweet, with the flavor of banana and pineapple, and the texture of custard. You break the fruit open, suck out the creamy delicious flesh, and spit the seeds out as you go. You can also blend it into juice or made into ice cream.
Sweetsop is considered highly medicinal and a source of potassium, magnesium, iron, riboflavin, B vitamins and vitamin C.
Tamarind, fruit of the tamarind tree (Tamarindus indica), generally pronounced ‘tambrin’ by some Jamaicans, is an indehiscent legume. The fruit grows in pods that are approximately 12 to 15 cm (4½ to 6 in) in length and is brittle and brown when the fruit is mature.
The flesh of the mature fruit, coloured brown or reddish brown, is best described as sweet and sour (acidic) in taste. The flavorful flesh is either sucked off or scraped off the seeds and mixed with sugar to make juice or a popular candy called ‘tambrin balls’. The hard green pulp of a young fruit is considered by many to be too sour (acidic) for direct consumption but is often used as a pickling agent. Tamarind season in Jamaica is between January and March.
Tamarind is high in nutrients: It contains magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin B1 (thiamin), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (niacin), and trace amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), folate, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), copper and selenium.
The Jamaican tangerine is a small round citrus fruit that looks like a large orange or mandarin. It has a thin yellow skin and white sectioned flesh. The innermost part of the flesh has small tropical-looking pips of seeds. The rind is not difficult to peel, which makes the fruit quite convenient. The taste is pleasant and sweet, juicier than an orange but not as juicy as a mandarin.
Tangerines aren’t just tasty, they’re good for you too. The nutrient content varies by variety, but in general, tangerines provide plenty of vitamin A and C, with smaller amounts of potassium and calcium, and even a little bit of iron. This fruit is enjoyed for dessert or as a breakfast dish. The tangerine is mainly processed into juice. Tangerines are often put into smoothies as well, or just eaten alone as a snack.
UGLI® (Citrus reticulata x paradisi), is a uniquely Jamaican fruit. The fruits were discovered in Jamaica and are believed to have been developed from a grapefruit and Seville orange hybridization. Originally called the Exotic Tangelo from Jamaica, the fruit’s name was changed to UGLI®, which reflects the fruit’s unattractive appearance.
Though not visually appealing, the fruits are sweet, with a subtly tangy flavour. Its pulp has a delicate texture. The fruit is easy to peel: As a matter of fact, the peel can be removed easily from the pulp with the fingers. UGLI® can be eaten like other citrus fruits. The pulp can also be used in fruit bowls, citrus salads, green salads, and as a fresh topping over yogurt, or blended into smoothies.
UGLI® fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C and are also high in fiber. They contain small amounts of calcium, potassium, and folate.
Unfortunately, fruits are grown exclusively for the export market, primarily Europe and North America, as a strategy of preventing local demand, which may encourage other growers to sell the fruit.
West Indian Cherry
The West Indian Cherry, (Malpighia Emarginata) also known as an Acerola cherry, Jamaican cherry, and Barbados cherry, is much loved by Jamaicans and can be found planted in abundance all over the island.
The West Indian cherry is a small round fruit containing one seed. The fruit, which turns from green to red as it ripens, is pulpy and eaten raw or used for making juices, jellies, or liqueurs. The West Indian cherry is said to be the richest known source of natural vitamin C: One West Indian cherry packs more vitamin C than an orange.
There is hardly anything more refreshingly satisfying and nutritious during summer than watermelons. With a water content of 92 percent, this Jamaican fruit keeps you refreshed and hydrated on a Jamaican summer day.
While most will agree that watermelon is delicious and refreshing, they may be unaware of its many health benefits. Watermelons contain the following antioxidants:
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage from free radicals.
Carotenoids are a class of plant compounds that includes alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A.
Lycopene, which watermelon has more than any other fresh fruit or vegetable, is an antioxidant linked to decreased risk of cancer, heart disease and age-related eye disorders.
Cucurbitacin E is a plant compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.