Now I would be lying if I said that “I have tried all of the exotic fruits of Costa Rica”. There are so many and we have only so much space to just name some of the favorites found in many Ferias and roadside fruit stands but at this point, I must admit that my favorite is Mamon Chino or Rambutan. We love this strange-looking sweet fruit and I‘ve seen it red and also yellow and both seem to taste the same to me but Tezzy says “not so”. She claims the red is sweeter. It’s consistency is gelatinous and soft inside. Rambutan season runs from late May to late October.
My second favorite fruit is Mango. They are available all year round and we often make homemade mango smoothies. Mango Creole, also called by the locals, Manguito Criolla, this is the little mango of Costa Rica (manguito) is the word used for small mango. There are about five or six different varieties grown in Costa Rica and they are the sweetest I’ve ever tasted.
Passion Fruit is also high on my favorites list. There are two varieties of passion fruit in Costa Rica, maracuya and granadilla. Maracuya has a greenish-purple exterior and granadilla has an orange outer peeling. The fruit has grayish, edible seeds enmeshed in a jellylike substance. I have friends here in Costa Rica that will often invite us over to pick from their mature trees. What a treat! Oh, and don’t forget about the juice, quite often served during breakfast in many hotels and restaurants. it’s amazing!
Another one is Carambola or Star Fruit. This fruit is very tasty and resembles a star, which is where its nickname comes from. You can most often find these fruits at your local Feria (Market), Mercado or vendors along the roadsides of Costa Rica.
We haven’t been eating much guava (guayaba) lately but it is always available. You can find guava almost everywhere, farmer’s markets and supermarkets. The best months are June, July September and October but can be found all year long. The seeds can be eaten along with its soft flesh. The inside is sweet.
There are three varieties of coconuts found in Costa Rica. The large young coconuts called coco pipa are green and filled with a clear liquid that is very nutritional. The smaller, brown coconut, known as coco playa that we usually buy for the meat and eat it as a snack.
The jacote fruit is in season from August to September in Costa Rica. They turn almost red when they are ripe, juicy, and sweet although some locals eat them while still green but are bitter. During the harvest season, you can buy them at farmers’ markets, grocers and roadside stands. What a tasty little treat.
Guanabana (Soursop) this is an amazing fruit because it’s known that this fruit has properties that help fight against cancer. I became familiar with it during my travels in the Philippines and there it’s called guyabano. In other places its known as Brazilian paw paw.
The jaboticaba is a special rare fruit tree that grows here in Costa Rica. Actually, we have one growing right here in our yard but its’ not bearing any fruit yet. It is a native Brazilian tree with grape-like fruits. Known as mamon brasileno in Spanish. The flavor is something between a cherry and a grape. The juice can be made into jams and jellies. Can’t wait for ours to bear fruit.
Now, quite often here in Costa Rica you can spot fruits growing right along the roadside such as avocado, guava, passion fruit, mango and lots of banana trees and wild berries.