Guanabana, parcha, carambola... oh my! Do you know what you're ordering off that batido menu? Now you do! We've put together a quick translating cheat sheet with the tropical fruits you're most likely to find on your travels. Here's what they look like, what they taste like, and what they are in ingles.
Guanabana is Soursop
Soursop is a flowering tree native to most of Latin America, including South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean islands. It thrives in humid climates with warm water (sounds like our ideal place for a vacation). It tastes like a cross between a pineapple and a strawberry with a creamy consistency like bananas. Try it for yourself in this soursop margarita.
Parcha is Passion Fruit
Passion fruits come from passion flowers, which are native to Brazil, Paraguay, and South America. They are cultivated commercially in tropical areas like the Caribbean and Asia and the fruits are widely used in cooking. With a gorgeous purple skin and a striking golden center, the passion fruit is quite the showstopper. To eat, slice in half and scoop out the edible insides (seeds and all!). Try it for yourself in this chocolate passion fruit tart.
Carambola is Starfruit
Carambola is a species of tree native to Southeast Asia, where it is widely used in cooking. It is cultivated in tropical areas and can be found in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the U.S. The fruit gets it name from the ridges going down the side (usually but not always five) that when cut in half, make the star look like a fruit. The whole fruit is edible and has a tart, sometimes sour taste. Try it for yourself in this melon and star fruit salad.
Higo is Fig
Figs are the product of flowering pants native to the mulberry family. It’s native to the Middle East and Western Asia but it’s widely grown in temperate climates. Fresh figs are sweet, plump, and chewy with crunchy seeds; dried figs have an almost caramel like consistency and are most often used in cooking (rather than eaten out of hand). Try them for yourself in cheese stuffed figs with peppery port syrup.
Guayaba is Guava
This one is an easy one! Guavas are small trees native to Mexico, Central America, and the northern part of South America (though they’re cultivated widely). The type of guava that’s most commonly consumed is the apple guava, it’s a fruit with a thick outer skin. Fresh guavas are light and refreshing and have been described as a cross between a strawberry and a pear. Try it for yourself in salmon with guava sauce.