I’ve already posted about some exotic fruits and vegetables that we’ve discovered during our trip – think about the sour copao in Chile or the versatile chuchu in Brazil. Now, arriving in Arequipa, Peru we jumped right away into the colourful fruit selection of the local market, and shopped for a (yellow) exotic salad made of fruits from Peru.

Which are the most interesting fruits from Peru?

exotic fruits mango pitahaya granadilla banana full exotic fruits mango pitahaya granadilla banana full

On our chopping board from top left to bottom right we have the following fruits, all of them are locally produced:

  • Sweet pepino (pepino dulce)

Pepino means cucumber, but this fruit doesn’t resemble cucumber at all. The flesh is sweet, and the thick skin needs to be removed before eating.

  • Ataulfo (small mango)

It tastes slightly different to the bigger, green mango that we know (imported) in Europe. It’s very juicy and when ripe it’s too soft and difficult to cut, but the sweet taste is worth it!

  • Small banana

It is less sweet than the bigger one that we know in Europe, which is why I like it more. Everything else is the same. (Did you know that there are different types of bananas? No? Find out about them on The Spruce Eats.)

  • Dragon fruit (pitahaya)

It’s a super interesting fruit, its white flesh dotted with tiny black seeds reminds me of kiwi and the Chilean copao. The taste is medium sweet, which is nice – the only problem is that it’s relatively expensive.

  • Mountain papaya (Papayuela)

It’s a variation of the bigger papaya that made it to Europe as an import, but it has a slightly bitter taste. Wikipedia writes that it’s edible (well, just about!) and it’s usually cooked as a vegetable.

  • Granadilla

It has a hard skin and a protective thin layer underneath. The inside is full of seeds, it looks like maracuja. In fact, in Brazil this fruit is known as maracuja doce (sweet maracuja).

  • Tuna

Another, very popular exotic fruit called locally tuna. It’s a fruit of a cactus, so one has to be careful with the thorns. Luckily, street vendors sell them already peeled, ready to eat.

Check out more exotic fruits typical of Peru.

Fruits from South America

If you travel onwards from Peru, you’ll find these fruits in other South American countries which have the climate for growing them. I have to admit that I fell in love with granadilla so tried to eat as long as I could, knowing that once I’m back in Europe, I won’t have a chance. 

Some of these fruits from Peru are really tasty and would be nice to have it available on other continents too. Don’t know about other places but these above are not even available as imports in Europe, so really the only chance is to try them in South America.

Are you a foodie? Read our other foodie guides from other parts of South America!

Bolivian street food
Our Chilean favourites
Top bakery things in Argentina and Uruguay
All about yerba mate, the famous tea drink

exotic fruits tuna fig cactus
Tuna growing on cactus

Did you know any of these fruits before? Can you buy them where you live? We’re interested – leave a comment!


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Who am I?

Anna is a world citizen, an avid traveller, a passionate environmentalist. Writing about her year backpacking through South America, she tries to encourage everyone to discover this beautiful continent and pass on her love for responsible travel.

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5 Comments

  1. Hiya, I am really glad I have found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossips and internet and this is actually irritating. A good site with interesting content, this is what I need. Thank you for keeping this web site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

    1. Great to have you here and happy that you find our posts interesting. So many wonderful places to visit, wonderful things to learn about. We have only an email newsletter about new posts yet, but in the near future we want to start a proper one with stories not on the blog. To the one we have now you can sign up under any post or on the right hand side of the homepage. Happy reading!

  2. I love trying tropical fruits. I’ve only had pitaya with white and purple inside and once even found granadilla in Ljubljana’s market, but it was so expensive I passed, because most tropical fruits don’t taste that great when they are imported.

    1. Yes, I completely agree with you. Even if we can find them in Europe, it’s really not the same as the ripe fruit grown locally. During this trip I ate a lot of pineapple. (I just couldn’t stop, it was so tasty!) Fruits are definitely one of the best things in South America.
      Thank you for visiting our blog 🙂

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