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?
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.
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).
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!