Exotic Fruit of Medellin and Where to Find
Gawwd, yet another post on the fruit of Colombia? Yea ’cause all the other ones are missing fruit! Both being a fruit obsessed gringo who’s lived in both Barranquilla and Medellín nearly 5 months I’ve search and come across some fruit that make you wonder what mother nature was thinking when it thought these up.
Goose berry’s is the first thing that comes to mind. Flavor: these orange cherry tomato sized fruit have the sourness of a sour strawberry and something else I can’t quite describe. I like them because they’re convenient. No peeling necessary, just chomping.
Where to find: Relatively easy to find in any of the main grocery stores like Éxito and Olympica. I’ve even seen them sold at the local general store. Otherwise find them in many a fruit store in Envigado.
These small pods with some of the tastiest seeds you will ever find are luckily found everywhere in this country. Flavor: the sacs are the perfect refreshing mix with the sweetness of a nice ripe strawberry.
Where to find: everywhere… Any fruit, grocery store will have them. If you want them cheap go to the center of Medellin where you’ll see people with wheelbarrows full of them where you can get about 20 of them for $5.000 pesos.
Zapote is a brown mango sized fruit that has a flavor similar to really juicy Canteloupe but slightly better (I’m not a canteloupe fan, so I’m biased).
Where to find: This one can be a lil tricky to find as I’ve only seen it once in Éxito and once in a fruit store in Guatapé. If you know a reliable spot, please share.
Here’s a strange fruit… Guama is like a massive pea pod (over a foot long) on steroids with white furry coated seeds. Important to note that you only eat the white furry seed part.
It has the sweetness of an unripe banana though the flavor otherwise isn’t comparable to a banana’s. The texture surprisingly isn’t too weird.
Where to find: I’ve only ever seen it sold from the back of pickup trucks and/or wheelbarrows in the center of Medellin. If you’re lucky you’ll find them similarly in the other neighborhoods of Medellin.
This is a strange recent discover for me. It’s a fig which you will more often see sold as a dessert or in a sugary syrup. On it’s own, the fig has almost no flavor at all, I don’t even know why I kept eating it…
A quick google search can show you all the things you can do with this.
Where to find: I have only ever seen this in Éxito though I’m sure they exist elsewhere.
Possibly my favorite fruit here. Unfortunately these are expensive compared to the others, costing around $2.000 pesos each. You only eat the white inside part, but be careful since some of them have seeds, some don’t. Flavor: magical… More sour than sweet. That’s all I can say.
Where to find: You can find them in most Éxito’s. If you’re lucky will hear a fruit cart walking down your street yelling Mango-steeeeeh-nos. If you do, run to it! They will be a lot cheaper from these than in Éxito.
Technically not a fruit but worth mentioning. These are tiny uchuva sized coconuts that you will need a hammer, or something similar to open. Flavor: is almost exactly like that of a coconut.
Where to find: I saw these sold all over the roadside on my way to Jardín as well as in a fruit store in Envigado. If you know a reliable place to score these miniature red coconuts, please share!
These colorful (fruit?) are a bit of a mystery to me. You can buy them as a snack in el centro (of Medellin) for about $3.000 pesos where they’ll sprinkle sugar and honey on it and serve it to you already peeled. If I’m not mistaken it’s even an aphrodisiac for men. Flavor: similar to a sweet yam, they’re dry and go perfectly IMHO with arequipe.
This fruit you’ll often see coated in green and they’re somewhat common here. You eat the entire inner pink part along with the crunchy seeds. I like to think of it as a South American apple. Similar hardness without the apple core but flavor, well, South Americany. Flavor: not too powerful, nor distinct but sweet.
Where to find: Any of the main grocery stores including Consumo, Éxito or a fruit store in Envigado.
Related to the Guanabana fruit though much smaller. You eat it in a similar fashion to Guanabana: take a mouth full and spit out the seeds like you would with sunflower seeds. The flavor is creamy, sweet and desserty.
Where to find: I’ve seen it at Mayorista and on my way to Jardín I found them in the lowest area around Medellin in the village of Bolombolo which has an elevation of almost 550 meters compared to Medellin’s 1,500.
Known in English as dragon fruit, except yellow instead of red. My other favorite fruit here, unfortunately also expensive costing anywhere between 6-22k pesos/kilo. I like to compare it to super compact granadillas with less crunchy seeds, slightly sweeter flavor and more consistent texture, similar to biting into a strawberry.
Where to find: The cheapest I’ve seen were in fruit stores in Envigado near the center. Not all of them have it, simply ask for it since they’re sometimes hidden. Otherwise I’ve occasionally seen them in Éxito, Olympica, Consumo and you’ll reliably find them at La Mayorista.
Not to be mistaken with Durian, and luckily doesn’t stink like Durian. This fruit is better eaten mushy (like in the bottom part of the picture). The flavor is a nice gentle sour. To be honest, this fruit surprised me how much like I like it.
Where to find: Guanábana is easier to find than Pitahaya and Mangostinos but more difficult than Granadilla’s. You’ll find it in your local fruit stores and even in Éxito.
Higo’s are a cactus fruit. You can watch the first few secons of this amusing video to see how they grow. I would compare this to a crossbreed between a crossbreed between Pitahaya and Guayaba. Flavor: sweet though not as strong as Pitahaya but it also has a few crunchy seeds similar to that of Guayabas.
Where to find: Not very difficult to find, like Guanábana. Found in many of your local fruit stores or Éxito.
These are small balls that look like limes and grow abundantly on branches like berry’s. Then once you open em up they are orange and they have a massive seed in the center of them which you do not each. The edible orange part is super tasty. It has a distinct sour flavor that’s not too overpowering.
Where to find: I had difficulties finding this. Your best bet would be to go to the Mayorista or hope to come across a cart on the street selling them.
Though mangos may not seem exotic to you, have you seen these other varieties? Medellin has a variety of mangos that are tiny and sweet (the left one), sweet and vibrant, and your typical large mangoes.
Where to find: Large Tommy mangos are found everywhere. Smaller ones can be found in varying fruit stores.
Here’s a list of fruits that are usually served in juices rather than eaten, usually because they’re too sour as is.
This is a juice and dessert fruit. The flavor of this fruit is a little sour and appear to be the closest thing to a cranberry replacement.
Where to find: I have only ever seen this at the Mayorista.
This fruit is similar to maracuja. Nothing much to say about it. It has a very sour flavor.
Where to find: Rarely you will see these in grocery store chains. I’ve seen them in Consumo but your best bet is La Mayorista.
Lulo’s are these orange fruit balls that grow in bushes in various parts around Medellin in the hills. Like all juice fruits they are sour. Not as sour as maracuya’s but a lot more sour than strawberries.
Where to find: Lulo’s are common. Find them in almost any fruit/grocery store.
Curuba’s are bitter as hell… Not a big fan of them. They are like their own unique type of maracuya to me. Sour and in similar pod form though just too for my liking.
Where to find: Many grocery/fruit stores will have this. It’s only less common then lulo’s but I’ve seen them in Olimpica, Éxito, etc…
Looking through my photos I’ve noticed I don’t have photos for many. With that said there’s a lot more come like Tomate de Arbol and Maracuya! If you don’t see your favorite fruit, share it in the comments and I’ll hunt it down and add it.