Exotic Fruits of Colombia

Colombian Fruit

Fruit juices are plentiful in Colombia. I love going to restaurants with a set lunch menu in Colombia because they always include (in this order): soup; fruit juice; plate of rice, salad, protein; and sometimes a dessert. Usually, we get a choice of two different fruit juices. I never know what they are (besides delicious…usually).

What better way to learn, than have a fruit tasting party! I went to the market and picked up some fruit I didn’t recognize and this is what I learned: 

Maracuya (Passion Fruit)

Passion Fruit

About the size of a large pear, this fruit is extremely sour. The seeds are covered in a delicious slime. Because it is so sour, it is usually used in a juice or as a sauce for a dessert. When enjoyed fresh, don’t eat the outer shell, only the seeds. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar to make less intense.

  • 17 calories per fruit
  • 2g Dietary Fiber
  • 2g Sugar
  • 5% Vitamin A
  • 9% Vitamin C
  • 2% Iron
  • 2% Potassium
  • Cost in Bogotá: 1,197 COP ($0.45 USD)

Guayaba Feijoa (Pineapple Guava)

Guayaba Feijoa

This tiny fruit is only about the size of a small potato and has a bright flavor like an apple. Cut in half and scoop out pulp with a spoon. 

  • 23 calories per fruit
  • 2.7g Dietary Fiber
  • 3.4g Sugar
  • 2% Potassium
  • 23% Vitamin C
  • Cost in Bogotá: 165 COP ($0.06 USD)

Guayaba Pera (Pear Guava)

Guayaba Pera

While in the same family as the Feijoa, this guava variety tastes and looks completely different. It is about the size of a pear. It doesn’t taste sweet, but it also doesn’t taste sour. Texture was similar to a papaya or a firm custard. The flavor was really mild. I didn’t like this fruit and thought it would have been much better in a fruit smoothie mixed with other fruit. To eat fresh, peel first.

  • 38 calories per fruit
  • 3g Dietary Fiber
  • 4.9g Sugar
  • 1.4g Protein
  • 6% Potassium
  • 6% Vitamin A
  • 209% Vitamin C
  • 5% Vitamin B6
  • 3% Magnesium
  • Cost in Botogá: 437 COP ($0.17 USD)

Lulo (Naranjilla or Little Orange)

Lulo

While from the picture, it looks like a yellow tomato, the outside had little hairs that pricked my skin. The texture on the inside was similar to a firm tomato, but it was sour like a lime. 

  • 25 calories per fruit
  • 1.1g Dietary Fiber
  • 3.7g Sugar
  • 11% Vitamin A
  • 5% Vitamin C
  • 2% Iron
  • 18% Vitamin K
  • 7% Niacin
  • 5% Vitamin B6
  • 6% Potassium
  • Cost in Bogotá: 360 COP ($0.14 USD)

Pitahaya (Dragon Fruit)

Pitahaya

About the size of my hand, this superfood tastes like kiwi fruit. Cut in half and use your hands to peel off the dragon-like skin to reveal the white flesh speckled with black seeds. 

  • 60 calories per fruit
  • 1.5g Fat
  • 3% Sodium
  • 1g Dietary Fiber
  • 8g Sugar
  • 2g Protein
  • 2% Iron
  • 205% Vitamin C
  • 3% Calcium
  • Cost in Bogotá: 3,096 COP ($1.17 USD)

Tomate Arbol (Tamarillo)

Tomate Arbol

This little fruit had the texture of a melon. Cut in half and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. It is good raw, but often it is cooked to make a spread for toast.

  • 40 calories per fruit
  • 4g Dietary Fiber
  • 2g Sugar
  • 2g Protein
  • 10% Vitamin A
  • 60% Vitamin C
  • Cost in Botogá: 342 COP ($0.13 USD)

My Favorite:

Dragon Fruit easily. Passion fruit was also delicious. The other fruit I liked, but they would have been tastier as a juice in most cases. This explains why I see so many fruit juice stands on the sidewalks here!

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