Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

Mix up your fruit salad with these lesser known varieties you're sure to love. 

July 05, 2017

Fruit salads are a healthy go-to dessert. Crunchy apples, juicy peaches, and ripe mangoes in every bite make for a fresh and delicious end to any meal. Sure, we try to change things around with a dollop of Greek yogurt or whipped cream, but mixing up our favorite fruits into a big bowl can get really repetitive. 

The produce section of your local supermarket is full of unnoticed, fresh-picked wonders that are just waiting to be tasted. We know these mystery fruits can be a little intimidating, so here are our recommendations for new fruits to try this season. 

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

If You Like Grapes, Try Lychee

For a sweet floral taste, lychee is the way to go. This tropical fruit is common in Asian cuisine. The inedible prickly cover opens up to the soft, white center that is fantastic in cocktails and desserts. 

Try a lychee recipe: Pink Grapefruit and Lychee Cocktail 

If You Like Oranges, Try Kumquats

These tart fruits are just sweet enough to be your new favorite citrus. Slice up a few kumquats in place of any citrus fruit or as a garnish on your favorite drink. Bonus: You don't need to peel these fruits, the peel is entirely edible. 

Try a kumquat recipe: Beet, Blood Orange, Kumquat, and Quinoa Salad

Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Anna Hampton

If You Like Kiwi, Try Dragon Fruit 

You've seen these bright fruits, sometimes called Pitaya, in smoothie bowls all over Instagram, but they are also the perfect addition to your favorite fruit list. With varieties in magical colors like magenta and white, dragon fruit has the texture of a kiwi, but with a much milder flavor. 

Try a dragon fruit recipe: Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl

If You Like Blueberries, Try Huckleberries

Similar to blueberries, huckleberries have a much more intense flavor and sweetness. These larger, darker berries are perfect in baked goods. 

Try a huckleberry recipe: Rustic Huckleberry-Blackberry Tart 

Photo: Jennifer Causey

If You Like Peaches, Try a Doughnut Peach 

Sure, it's technically a peach, but this variety adds a subtle crunch all peach lovers will crave. The white flesh of the doughnut peach, sometimes called a Saturn peach, is less juicy but sweeter with a subtle honey flavor. They aren't as tart as the original, so you can replace them in most recipes or be enjoyed straight. 

Try a doughnut peach recipe: Peach-Thyme Galette 

If You Like Mango, Try a Persimmon

These fruits look similar to a tomato, but have the texture of a ripe mango. The jelly like flesh is sweet and sticky, but finger licking good. Be aware if you're buying the astringent or non astringent varieties. If you eat an astringent persimmon before it's ripe, your mouth will react uncomfortably. 

Try a persimmon recipe: Crisp Persimmon With Ricotta, Honey, Pecans, and Mint

Photo: Hector Sanchez

If You Like Apples, Try An Asian Pear

If biting into a crisp apple fills you with joy, Asian pears will fulfill all of your fruit needs. With the texture and crunch of an apple but the sweetness of a pear, this combination fruit is perfect for baking, eating raw, or slicing up in a slaw. 

Try an Asian pear recipe: Grilled Chicken Skewers with Asian Pear Slaw

If You Like Banana, Try Guava

This tropical fruit has notes of citrus and similar flavors to bananas, pineapples, papaya, and lemons. Guava is dense like a banana, and pairs well with strawberries like a banana would.  

Try a guava recipe: Strawberry-Guava Smoothie

Photo: Hector Sanchez

If You Like Cantaloupe, Try Papaya

Papaya has a similar consistency to a cantaloupe, but is a tad meatier. The flavors are sweet and tropical, and the seeds are edible, though slightly bitter.  

Try a papaya recipe: Glass Noodles & Green Papaya, Peanuts, and Chili Vinaigrette 

If You Like Pineapple, Try Jackfruit

Jackfruit has recently grown in popularity as a vegan, meat alternative. It's true that an unripe jackfruit has a similar flavor and consistency to chicken, but ripe jackfruit is light, tropical, and super sweet. The island flavors are reminiscent of your favorite pineapple dish. 

Try a jackfruit recipe: Jackfruit Tostadas