Fruits That Are Not Round

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If you love fruit, you may be looking for some way to expand your horizons beyond the typical fruits like apples, oranges, melons, and other round fruits.

If you hate fruit, maybe you’re trying to go the less conventional route, looking for something new that will tantalize your tastebuds. 

So, what are some fruits that are not round? There are several fruits that are not round, including bananas, dragonfruits, figs, horned melons, star fruit, pineapples, ice cream beans, and many more.

The following article will introduce you to 26 fruits that are not round, one unique fruit for each letter of the alphabet.

While this list is far from exhaustive, it’s a fun way to learn more about your food and challenge yourself to explore something new.

1. Avocado

Avocados may not be highly unusual, considering they’ve been a trending food item for a few years, but it still surprises many people to find out they’re a fruit, not a vegetable.

With a large pit in the center, this green, creamy fruit tastes delicious as part of any salad, sandwich, or dip.

You could even go the less healthy route and make deep-fried avocados for a delicious snack all on their own.

Most varieties of avocados are relatively pear-shaped, though some have extremely long necks and others are more oblong.

2. Banana

Bananas have a very distinctive long, curved shape that is unique to this fruit.

The thick yellow skin is easy to peel, revealing a pale off-white flesh speckled with tiny edible black seeds.

You may be surprised to hear that the peels are also edible, though they’re rarely consumed in North America.

As bananas ripen, their outer skin turns brown and the flesh inside gets softer. A green banana will have a firm, almost fibrous texture and mild flavor, whereas a very ripe fruit will be soft, turning mushy easily and very sweet.

3. Cherimoya/Custard Apple

These pale green, frosted fruits are roughly cone-shaped and covered in thick scales.

Underneath the odd skin is a creamy, soft flesh with a flavor similar to a mix of pineapple and banana.

They were named for the custard-like texture, and the fruit is often served simply chilled, exactly how you might eat freshly made custard.

The seeds and skin are inedible and contain trace amounts of toxins that can affect your nervous system and may be particularly dangerous for those with Parkinson’s disease or a predisposition for other conditions that involve the nervous system.

4. Dragonfruit

Dragonfruit, called either Pitaya or Pitahaya in Latin America where they’re primarily grown, are the fruits of certain varieties of cactus.

They’re known for their leathery pink-red skin, covered in large scales tipped with green. There are also yellow and white varieties. 

The flesh inside can be either white or a vibrant fuchsia, dotted with tiny edible black seeds. The texture is juicy and similar to a kiwi, though the flavor is closer to a strawberry-pear, though very delicate.

5. Eggplant

Eggplants are usually eaten as vegetables, but they’re actually fruits since they house their seeds inside their flesh.

There are many different varieties of eggplant, but they’re typically long and oblong with a somewhat bulbous tail end. They have thin, deep purple skin and spongey off-white flesh.

Eggplant has a very mildly bitter flavor. However, the flesh not only feels spongey but also soaks up flavors and sauces like a sponge. It’s commonly used in curries, pasta sauces, and other flavorful dishes to which it adds pleasant bulk and texture.

It is even commonly used as a meat substitute for its texture and ability to soak up salty and umami flavors.

6. Fig

There are multiple varieties of figs, ranging from pear or teardrop-shaped to more uniformly oblong.

They are generally more pointed towards the top, where they attach to the tree, and flattened at their bottom.

The interesting thing about figs is that their shape will vary not only on the type of fruit but also with the growing season. A single heavy rainfall can alter the shape of the fruit as it develops.

The entire fruit is edible, including the thin skin, spongey lining, and juicy, chewy flesh studded with crunchy seeds. Eating a fresh fig is a complex, sweet experience.

7. Guanabana

Guanabana, or soursop, is a large, irregularly shaped tropical fruit.

They’re vaguely legume or pear-shaped, though they often have bumps or misshapen features and are covered in small thorns or spikes.

The green skin is tough but thin. Inside is a translucent, pearly white flesh dotted with large black seeds. The seeds are indigestible, though not necessarily inedible. They’re often blended with the fruit into a puree that’s easier to digest.

Guanabana has a slightly acidic edge, but the overwhelming flavor is sweet and tangy, similar to banana combined with pineapple, apples, strawberries, and a hint of coconut.

8. Horned Melon

Horned melons, or kiwano, are oblong fruits covered in nub-like spikes or horns.

The thick outer skin is yellow-orange and speckled or striped.

Inside, the translucent green, juicy flesh looks like a cross between a cucumber, pomegranate, and citrus fruit, segmented and full of clear seeds.

These melons have a very mild flavor, reminiscent of cucumbers with a hint of kiwi-like flavor. They are enjoyed with either sugar or salt, depending on your taste preference and creativity.

9. Ice Cream Beans

Ice cream beans are a unique member of the Fabacaea family, relatives of the common green bean.

The pods are thick and fibrous with pronounced seams and grooves, giving them a multi-sided appearance.

They can grow up to 6.5 feet or 2 meters long.

Inside the pod is edible, cotton-like, snow-white pulp. When eaten, the texture is similar to cotton candy and the flavor is similar to vanilla ice cream, hence the name.

The pulp does hide large seeds which can either be discarded or cooked, similar to dried legumes.

10. Jackfruit

Jackfruit is most well-known for being incredibly large.

These bumpy, oblong fruits regularly weigh up to 50 pounds, despite being relatives of the comparatively tiny fruit, figs.

The outer skin is green with brown accents and the flesh inside is yellow or apricot-colored, like canteloupe.

The flesh is fibrous, studded with multiple large, edible seeds. Jackfruit is also known for its incredibly stinky and sulfurous smell, though it is not as and as durian, which is known as the stinkiest fruit on earth.

Ripe jackfruit is sweet and soft, enjoyed fresh off the tree, as many other fruits are. Young green jackfruit, however, has a very mild flavor that adapts itself to whatever sauce, spice, or flavorings it’s marinated in.

When shredded, the texture is remarkably similar to pulled pork or chicken. Since the fruit is relatively high in protein, it’s a very popular plant-based alternative in many traditionally meat-centric recipes.

11. Kiwi

Kiwi fruits are about the size and shape of an egg, but instead of being rounded at each end, they’re flattened.

The thin brown skin is covered in wiry hairs that are edible, but most people prefer to peel the skin away or scoop the flesh out with a spoon.

Inside, the flesh is bright green, soft, and juicy. Multiple tiny black seeds surround a stiff pale green or white core, both of which are edible.

Kiwi fruits have a sweet, sometimes tart flavor somewhat similar to a strawberry with light notes of citrus fruits.

12. Lakoocha

Lakoocha, also known as lakuchi or monkey fruit, is an odd-looking, bumpy irregular fruit about the size of a baseball.

The brownish-yellow to green skin covers a rich, apricot-colored, stringy, fibrous, and pulpy flesh similar to jackfruit.

The flesh is sour and tangy, similar to a citrus fruit with a light sweetness. They’re commonly eaten raw. However, the sour tang pairs nicely with the strong flavors of curries and chutneys and the flesh holds up well to cooking.

13. Mango

Mangoes are oval or heart-shaped tropical stonefruits in the same family as cashews.

There are a variety of cultivars, though most of them have peachy-colored skin, leaning more towards yellow or pink depending on the variety. 

The skin is edible, though it has a compound that can result in contact dermatitis in people with sensitivities, so they’re often peeled before eating.

The stone in the center is fibrous and clings to the fruit, making it difficult to core but worth the effort. 

The soft golden flesh is sweet and similar in flavor to melons. The green fruit is sour and commonly pickled.

14. Nipplefruit

Nipplefruits are alien-looking fruits that come in bright colors similar to bell peppers.

They are mostly pear or bell-shaped, but around the stem are several nubs that look similar to cow udders, which is where these fruits got their interesting, descriptive name. 

Nipplefruit is only edible when it’s young and unripe and after it’s been carefully cooked. Ripe and/or raw nipplefruits are toxic.

15. Olosapo Fruit

Olosapo fruits look similar to potatoes or strangely shaped lemons on the surface, with mottled pink-yellow skin that becomes bumpy as it ripens.

Inside, the soft dry flesh is bright yellow, deepening to brown as it matures. There is also a single inedible seed in the center.

Young fruits have green flesh that’s astringent to the point of being potentially harmful to your digestive system. Ripe fruits can be eaten raw, along with the skin, and have a distinctly custard-like flavor.

16. Pineapple

Pineapples are large tropical fruits. They are oblong with flat tops and bottoms and a striking crown of green spikes.

They’re covered in diamond-shaped segments, each with a small spike.

Pineapples are green when young and immature, ripening to a golden yellow-orange. The skin is inedible, and the thick, fibrous core is also usually discarded.

The yellow flesh is juicy and pulpy, with a sweet flavor that occasionally has a tangy bite to it. 

Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain, which can be used either medicinally or as a meat tenderizer. Some people find that their tongue is tenderized after eating too much of this fruit.

17. Quince

Quince is an irregularly shaped fruit, sometimes resembling a pear and other times a lemon, bell, or apple.

They may be knobby and bumpy or lined with grooves. Their yellow skin is always smooth, though it often is covered with a very light, grey fuzz.

Fresh, raw quince is incredibly astringent and is always cooked before eating. The fruit has tough, woody flesh that is oddly spongey.

The appeal of quince comes from stewing it in sugar water until it becomes beautifully fragrant, soft, and tender.

18. Rambutan

Rambutans are usually oblong or waterdrop-shaped, covered in stringy, hair-like soft spikes.

There are three main varieties, represented by the color of their peel: yellow, green, or pink-red.

Underneath the thin, hairy skin is a pulpy white flesh surrounding a single white seed. They are closely related to lychee fruits and have a similar texture and flavor.

They are slightly acidic, similar to grapes.

19. Star Fruit

Star fruits have deep grooves that, when cut horizontally, make up the shape of a 5-sided star.

The fruits are golden orange, sometimes with green edges.

The fruit has an edible skin, flesh, and very minimal core, so it’s easy to eat simply by removing the ends and few seeds you may find.

There are two main varieties, the larger one being notably sweeter than the more sour small star fruit.

20. Tamarillo

Tamarillos are sometimes called tree tomatoes because they bear a striking resemblance to tomatoes, though they’re more egg-shaped, tapering to a point at the bottom of the fruit.

They may vary in color, ranging from yellow and orange to pink and red, sometimes even purple.

The texture and inside structure is very similar to a conventional tomato, though somewhat more firm and with larger seeds.

Lighter orange or yellow fruits are sweeter, whereas the deeper colored red or purple fruits have a more acidic flavor, leaning towards sour.

21. Ugli Fruit

Ugli fruits are a type of tangelo that grows in Jamaica.

Ugli is actually a brand name, though it was chosen as a descriptor for the fruit, which is teardrop-shaped and full of knobs and bumps.

The fruits range from yellow to green, often having mottled coloring with brown spots.

Despite the unfortunate appearance and name, ugli fruits are a surprisingly sweet and refreshing citrus fruit with bright orange flesh and a thick rind that is loose and easy to peel.

22. Velvet Apple

Velvet apples are somewhat spherical, though usually squat with a flat top and random flat spots around their body caused by growing so close to their sibling fruits.

The thin, tough skin can range in color from a yellowish-brown to red or purple hues.

Inside, the crisp flesh is off-white and similar in texture to a conventional apple. The flavor is much more tropical, however, with hints of banana, mango, and strawberry.

23. Water Apple

Water apples, also known as rose apples, are bell-shaped, watery, rose-colored fruits.

They are crisp and sweet when ripe, with an astringent quality if eaten when immature.

Though the fruits are delicious and surprisingly nutritious when ripe, the green fruits are very popular for use in chutneys, pickles, and curries.

Ripe fruits are more commonly used for jams or other preserves. 

24. Xoconostle

Xoconostles are the pear-shaped fruit of a cactus, a type of sour prickly pear.

They grow to about 3 inches long in clusters that contain up to 12 fruits on a single cactus paddle. 

The mottled pink and green skin looks smooth, with the occasional eye which does have fine, hair-like spikes that need to be cleaned before the fruit can be prepared. 

Because the flavor is quite sour, they’re commonly used to flavor sauces and soups.

Though they’re related closely to dragonfruits and other cactus fruits, they have a different texture, more similar to an apple or pear than the soft, juicy, kiwi-like fruit of other cactus plants.

25. Youngberries

Youngberries are a variety of blackberry, very similar to the common berry in appearance, being a bumpy oblong cone-shape with a soft yet solid core.

They ripen to a deep purple that’s nearly black and are sweeter than blackberries, with a more delicate texture.

26. Zuriat Fruit

Zuriat fruits are roughly oval-shaped, though they have a woody skin like a nut that is bumpy and covered in grooves or divots.

They grow up to about 4 inches around and can be twice as long.

At the center of the fruit is a large, edible seed that looks like a tiny coconut and takes up most of the interior of the fruit. It’s surrounded by a thinner layer of spongey brown flesh. Both are edible.

The flesh has a flavor comparable to gingerbread, either eaten as a fresh, crunchy snack or baked into sweet goods like pancakes or bread. The seed is treated more similarly to a vegetable, though it’s best from young, unripe fruits.

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  1. Wonderful article about fruit! I love learning about rare and uncommon fruit around the world :). The Soursop section had a sweetsop pictured though.

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