5 Exotic Fruits You've Probably Never Heard Of

There are approximately 2000 varieties of fruit on earth. In the western world, we only use about 10% of these fruits. That leaves 1800 types of fruit you may never have heard of or tried! At VanGo, we are all about exploring new and unusual flavors. We love to incorporate unique fruits into our juices, and some of our most popular flavors do just that. Many of these exotic fruits are the secret ingredient that set our flavors apart from the more common juices you’ll find.

Here are five exotic fruits you’ve probably never heard of (and that we love to use in our flavors)!

1. Cactus Fruit

Cactus Fruit, also known as Prickly Pear, is an edible cactus plant that flourishes in arid and semi-arid regions. Commonly found in South America and Mexico, this plant produces refreshingly sweet fruits with some important health benefits. High in fiber, rich in antioxidants and with strong antiviral properties, the cactus fruit has been used in Mexican folk medicine for millennia. This fruit is a key ingredient in some of our most popular flavors including Cactus Jango, Jango Chill and Ophelia. With a natural taste best described as a cross between watermelon and bubblegum, Cactus Fruit blends beautifully with other fruit flavors.

2. Jackfruit

Jackfruit is one of nature’s most impressive edible creations. Indigenous to India, Jackfruit spread across southeast Asia, and has become increasingly popular in North America in recent years. This large, green, spiky fruit can be used in both savory and sweet dishes depending on how ripe it is, but the really impressive part about Jackfruit is its size! A Jackfruit can weigh up to 50 pounds while the smallest of the species comes in at a hefty 15 pounds. When Jackfruit ripens, its orange-yellow flesh becomes sweet, sticky and perfect for use in desserts. At VanGo, we love to add Jackfruit to our juices for an extra kick of natural sweetness. Jango Chill and Cactus Jango are perfect examples of Jackfruit used strategically to complement other tropical flavors.

3. African Horned Cucumber

With its horn-like spines and jelly-like flesh, African Horned Cucumber certainly doesn’t lack in personality. This fruit is also known as Kiwano Melon, and for obvious reasons, is nicknamed the “horned melon”. Some describe its flavor as a cross between cucumber, zucchini and kiwi, while others have described it as a combination of banana and passionfruit or a combination of banana, cucumber and lime. Its exact taste depends a lot on how ripe it is, and a small amount of salt or sugar can greatly increase its flavor. This incredibly unique fruit is the secret ingredient in our popular Undika flavor which will be back in stock soon!

4. Passionfruit

Passionfruit is one of the only berries that doesn’t have “berry” in its name! Nonetheless, the fruit is a “pepo”, a type of berry that is round or oval, and is native to tropical South America. Passionfruit is either yellow or dark purple when ripe with a juicy interior full of seeds. Passionfruit has a distinct flavor and aroma. Fruity and very tart, it is often added to other fruit juices to enhance aroma and complements sweet or creamy flavors beautifully. The many nutritional benefits of the fruit have contributed to its growing popularity in North America, and these days, you can find Passionfruit in the tropical fruit section of select grocery stores. We love Passionfruit for its power to bring out the best in its associate flavors. Undika is a perfect example of Passionfruit in action.

5. Blackcurrant

Europeans love Blackcurrant, but the majority of North Americans have never even tasted it! This is because Blackcurrants were blacklisted in the early 1900s. Blackcurrants were responsible for spreading a fungus that killed white pine trees, so the federal government outlawed their commercial growth. Only in recent years has the ban been lifted allowing this “forbidden fruit” to come out of the dark. Blackcurrants contain a high concentration of antioxidants and vitamin C and are used in many health foods and drinks in Europe. Blackcurrant’s sweet earthy taste is unlike that of any other berry, and a touch of tartness makes it a great complement to other sweet flavors. You can experience this exceptional berry for yourself by trying our Midnight Berries flavor, and keep an eye out for our Black Pom Pom flavor, the latest addition to our Shiver collection, coming soon!

At VanGo, our most popular flavors are often our most unusual creations. We’re known for our bold exploration of flavor, and we’re not afraid to try new things. Incorporating tropical fruits into our juices is all part of our flaving mission to take taste to the next level.

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