Whether you’re exploring the great world of fruit with your toddler, practicing for a trivia showdown, or simply trying to expand your produce horizons, this list of 15 fruits that begin with A will help.
Where you are located in the world may make it difficult to get your hands on some of the more exotic fruits on our list, but no matter where you are, learning about these fruits are sure to make your mouth water.
15 Fruits That Start With The Letter A
1. Akebi Fruit
Akebi fruits, when ripe, are a pretty purple fruit with an oblong shape, similar to eggplant. The thick skin, or rind, will split open when the fruit is ripe, revealing the flesh and seeds.
The small brown-black seeds are covered in mildly sweet, jelly-like flesh. You can eat this part with a spoon or straight from the rind. The seeds are edible and completely safe to eat, but it isn’t uncommon to spit them out like you would with a watermelon.
In Japan, where akebi fruit grows naturally, they stuff the thick, bitter skin of the fruit with different fillings and deep fry it.
Amanatsu oranges are tangy citrus fruit cultivated in Japan. They look like oranges, with bright orange, bumpy skin, but are about the size of a grapefruit. They are delightfully aromatic, sour pomelo hybrids.
Amanatsu are easily peeled and usually eaten fresh, though you probably won’t want to eat the cream-colored seeds. Amanatsu oranges make great jams and jellies and are also used in some juices and alcoholic beverages.
They don’t stay fresh for long after being harvested but can be stored in the fridge to kept for a few extra days.
3. Amaou Strawberry
Amaou strawberries, originating in Japan, are larger, redder, sweeter, and juicier than the American greenhouse strawberries you may be used to. Because they are a specialty variety, they can be hard to come by and priced at a premium if you are lucky enough to find some.
Amaou strawberries are best enjoyed fresh, starting at the bottom of the fruit and working your way up toward the sweeter top. These large berries are ideal for salads and as garnishes for desserts.
These little fruits are native to Malaysia and most often sold green. When ambarellas are fully ripe they turn yellow and become quite fibrous and very sour. The flavor and texture of the fruit when it is still young is dramatically different and more appealing for many.
Green ambarellas have almost no taste but do have a nice crunch to them, making them a useful foundation for seasonings and condiments when peeled and pitted. Anything from sugar to chili powder or even fish sauce can be sprinkled or spread onto a green ambarella fruit.
5. Ambrosia Melon
Ambrosia melons look remarkably similar to cantaloupes although they are smaller, sweeter, and juicier.
They have a sweet melon scent with a hint of summer flowers. The outer rind is a sandy color and has a net-like texture when ripe. The light orange flesh is perfect for eating fresh in simple slices or an addition to breakfast, dessert, smoothies, juices, and even jams.
Amla fruit is also known as Indian gooseberries. The bright green berries have almost translucent skin that shows you exactly where to slice for easy removal of the seed. Though often called a berry, they are about the size of a golf ball.
On their own, amla fruits are very tart, bitter, and astringent, usually prepared with salt to cut the flavor. They’re more commonly used in juices or sauces that are complementary to the bitter taste.
Amla are incredibly nutrient-dense and can often be found in supplement form, either as a powder or extract.
Annatto seeds are the bright red-orange seeds in the brown furry pods of achiote trees that grow in tropical Central and South America.
Annatto seeds have an interesting flavor that can be described as a combination of pepper, smoke, citrus, and floral. They can be processed into a powder, paste, or oil.
The most common use for these seeds is a natural colorant. Used in makeup, art, and food, annatto adds a beautiful color that can range from deep yellow to bright, rich red. It’s used to add flavor and color to different cheeses and an array of Caribbean and Latin dishes.
Annona fruits, also called sugar apples, look similar to small pink or purple pinecones. Unlike pinecones, they are delicious. The seeds, however, are quite poisonous and often used as insecticide and pest control.
Annona fruits are segmented like pineapples, making them easy to pull apart. The flesh is a creamy white color and texture.
These fruits can be served chilled or used in smoothies, ice cream, sherbet, and other nutrition-packed sweet treats.
Apples come in many varieties, colors, and flavors. From the appropriately named Red Delicious apples that are juicy and sweet, to the quite tart, bright green Granny Smith apples, there are enough variations to ensure everyone can find a favorite.
Apples are great to eat ripe and fresh off the tree; added to salads for that fresh, juicy crunch factor; or cooked in a variety of ways. Cooked apples offer extra flavor and juiciness to roast meat dishes and, of course, star in many different desserts, from pie to apple sauce. They also make great fresh juice or other beverages.
Apricots resemble tiny peaches at first glance. On the outside, they have smooth skin with an edible, velvety fuzz. Many people prefer to peel them because of the texture.
Apricots have sweet, juicy, light orange flesh that gets softer and sweeter as the fruit ripens. Depending on the variety and growing conditions, apricots sometimes have a slightly tart aftertaste.
Apricots are great to eat fresh from the tree or market, and they also make marvelous jams, marmalades, and other fruit spreads. Apricots are also commonly preserved by canning, drying, or by whipping them into a puree that can be used in cooking or smoothies.
11. Arava Melon
Arava melons are very much like a small cross between a honeydew and a cantaloupe.
What arava melons lack in size, they make up for in flavor. A little flowery and very sweet in taste, this melon is tender and smooth. When ripe, they’re golden yellow on the outside, and the inner flesh fades from bright to pale green as it progresses towards the center.
Arava melons are perfect to eat in slices or balls as a fresh, sweet, fruity treat, pairing equally well with salty or spicy snacks or main course dishes.
12. Asam Kumbang
At first glance, asam kumbang fruit looks like odd rocks. When this fruit is mature, the outer skin is an almost black, purple color.
Asam kumbang is a type of small mango and is generally eaten the same way. The fibrous flesh is yellow-orange and surrounds an inedible pit. The fruits are a refreshing combination of sour and sweet juiciness.
To eat fresh, peel the skin off and remove the seed. A sprinkle of salt will help offset the sourness. Asam kumbang can also be cooked or pickled.
13. Asam Payak
Asam payak fruits are the kind of sour that makes your eyes water and lips pucker. They are strange-looking cluster fruits that grow in swamps, covered in skin that looks like dragon scales and which flakes off easily.
The edible flesh of the asam payak fruit is divided into soft and juicy lobes that are pale yellow or cream-colored.
Asam Payak is normally used to add an extreme sour flavor to sweet and sour soups or fish dishes. If you attempt to eat one of the fruits raw, you may need to season it with some salt and/or chili powder.
14. Asian Pears
Asian pears are round, yellow fruits that are similar to a cross between apples and pears.
Asian pears are very juicy, with a mild sweet taste. They crunch like an apple but have a grainy texture similar to a conventional pear.
Also known as apple pears, they are best eaten fresh and raw though they’re also great in salads or served sliced with a wine and cheese plate. Many hot dishes also feature Asian pears, such as stir fry or stuffed apple pears for dessert.
Avocados are often mistaken for a vegetable because they are neither sweet nor sour. They actually have a mild, slightly nutty or even buttery taste with a creamy texture.
Avocados are also sometimes called alligator pears because of their dark green, bumpy, leathery skin, and pear-like shape.
Avocados are most commonly eaten raw; their flavor and texture completely change when cooked, not always for the better. Avocado is the main ingredient in the popular condiment guacamole. Avocados can be sliced and sprinkled with your favorite seasoning, or just spooned right out of the peel.
Avocados are used in many different ways and recipes, even hair and skin care, and can even be converted into a heart-healthy oil that has a very high natural smoke-point.
This fruit goes from unripe to overripe very quickly so keep your eye on them.
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