We've all seen these before, but how many have actually prepared and eaten fresh coconut? The word coconut refers to the nut of the coconut palm tree. There are many different uses for cocunuts in cooking. If you haven't tried one, check it out.
Durian fruit comes from the Malvaceae family of trees (think hibiscus, okra, cotton, mallows, and linden.) In southeast Asia, this is known as "The King of Fruits." Durian fruit has a thick, spine covered exterior and a unique smell. (If you've smelled one before, it's something you won't easily forget.) Once you get past the physical appearance, though, it's a quite delicious treat.
Jackfruit comes from the Moraceae (mulberry) family of trees. This is one of (if not the) largest fruit that grows on trees in the entire world. The smallest jackfruit is usually around 10 inches in diameter. Some of the larger fruit can grow to 36 inches long, 20 inches around and weigh over 80 pounds!
To differentiate it from the bird (or the people), this is sometimes also called kiwifruit. Small in size, it's considered one of the largest berries that grow on vines in the Actinidia genus.
This fruit is sometimes referred to as Litchi in the United States. Native to China, the lychee grows on trees in the soapberry family (Sapindaceae.)
This melon grows on Mamey Sapote trees. It's native to MExico. The orange colored melon is typically 4 to 10 inches long and 3 to 5 inches wide.
Papaya comes from the Carica papaya plant, which is in the Carica genus. Native to South America, Papaya tastes like a combination of pineapple and peach.
Persimmons grow on trees in the Diospyros genus. Their color ranges from a light yellow-orange to a dark red-orange. Persimmons are a somewhat dry fruit. They're also considered a berry.
Plaintains look a lot like bananas, but they're not as sweet. Because of this, they're usually used for cooking rather than eating raw. Unlike traditional bananas, plantains are usually used when under-ripe and green in color.
Starfruit comes from the carambola tree and is sometimes known by that name. Ranging in color from golden yellow to a golden green, the fruit got its name because it looks like a five pointed star when cut down the middle.
This is just the tip of the exotic fruit iceberg. If any of these sound tempting, do a little more research and expand your horizons a little.