Fruitful Favorites in Costa Rica
The lush tropical climate of Costa Rica allows for some interesting fruits and vegetation to grow; since you’re vacationing in Costa Rica, this is your perfect opportunity to try something new.
Here are some of our favorite fruits in Costa Rica.
Spondias purpurea is a species in flowering plant in the cashew family, Anacardiaceae, that is native to tropical regions of the Americas.
Delicious with salt, the jocote can be consumed green or ripe, and is only available in season, which is the during green season months of July through September. Low in calories and carbohydrates, the jocote is high in antioxidants and a great source of vitamin C; it’s also said to be a great digestive.
These fruits are commonly known in English as “dragon fruit”, reflecting its vernacular of Asian names. The plant is actually a type of cactus, and the fruit comes in 3 colors: 2 have pink skin, but with different colored flesh (white or red), while another type is yellow with white flesh.
Dragon fruit is low in calories and offers numerous nutrients, including Vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium, plus fiber and antioxidants.
The rambutan is a medium-sized tropical tree in the family Sapindaceae. The name also refers to the fruit produced by this tree. The rambutan is native to Malay-Indonesian region, and other regions of tropical Southeast Asia.
You’ll find this wonderful fruit in grocery stores or from street vendors; be sure to ask for Mamon germinada; those are the juiciest and plumpest. You’ll cut open the outer layer and eat the flesh of the fruit inside; keep in mind that there is a seed inside that and you’ll want to throw that out.
Also known as star fruit, is the fruit of Averrhoa carambola, a species of tree native to the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Low in calories and high in fiber, this fresh, delicious tropical fruit is great for weight loss and can be eaten fresh or juiced.
Mangostin, and a variety of other xanthones from mangosteen, have been investigated for biological properties including antioxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities. This delicious white fruit is a wonderful little, health boosting snack anytime.
Psidium guajava (common guava, lemon guava) is a small tree in the Myrtle family (Myrtaceae), native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America.
In many countries, guava is eaten raw, typically cut into quarters or eaten like an apple, whereas in other countries it is eaten with a pinch of salt and pepper, cayenne powder or a mix of spices (masala).
Sometimes referred to as “booger fruit” because of the way it looks and its texture, the fruit of the granadilla is sweet and sour at the same time. The Granadilla belongs to the family of passiflora and grows like a climber. Native to South America, the round fruit and has a firm, but fragile, orange shell that is hard and shiny, which you break open to find the fruit, a yellow, jelly-like pulp with a scattering of black edible seeds.
Bactris gasipaes is a species of palm native to the tropical forests of South and Central America. It is well spread in these regions were it is often cultivated by smallholders in Agroforestry systems or, more rarely, in monoculture. Pejibaye tastes like a blend of roasted chestnuts and baked potato, and is great with a dollop of mayonnaise.