Sampling Exotic Fruit in the Daintree Rainforest

A tour group explores the lovely Cape Tribulation Exotic Fruit Farm
in the Daintree Rainforest in Australia. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

This time of year in the midwest, we begin to lust for the fruits of summer: tangy tomatoes just off the vine, ripe berries bursting with juice, melons with rampant sweetness that courses unguarded down our chins. It is a small comfort that somewhere in the world, right now, fruits are reaching their peak and being enjoyed with reckless abandon.

Fruit ready for sampling at Cape Tribulation Exotic Fruit Farm.
Photo by Charish Badzinski.

Were we in Cape Tribulation today, located in Queensland, Australia, we could sample sumptuous exotic fruits while our minds nestled into the sounds and scents of the Daintree Rainforest.

Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm offers this experience, which includes a guided tasting of at least 10 organic, exotic fruits freshly picked from their farm, as well as a tour of their lush grounds, for a nominal fee.

There’s no need to fear the intimidating-looking jackfruit, besides its incredibly sticky juice.
Here, it grows on a tree at Cape Tribulation Exotic Fruit Farm.
Photo by Charish Badzinski.
 

When I visited the farm, I got to sample a number of fruits I’ve never seen nor heard of before, and some that were vaguely familiar in name only. We first tried breadfruit, which is bland and actually tastes like bread, and was served toasted with a sprinkling of sea salt.

Breadfruit, toasted and served with sea salt, is fibrous and dry.
Photo by Charish Badzinski.

Next, we sampled jackfruit, known for its stubborn, sticky juice. Segments of the fruit taste similar to classic bubblegum flavor.

Jackfruit has such prohibitively sticky juice, it is recommended you wear latex gloves 
when preparing it. Photo by Charish Badzinski.
Jackfruit segments, soft, slightly stringy, and tasting faintly of 
bubblegum. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

We also tasted black sapote, known as chocolate fruit. This fruit is allowed to ripen to a point where it looks as if it’s gone rotten. The flesh is soft and the thin skin splits open easily to reveal a pudding-like inside. Sadly, it does not taste like chocolate. At all.

Chocolate fruit tastes unlike chocolate at all, sadly. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

Among the greatest taste revelations of the sampling were purple mangosteen. This tropical fruit is available in a can in the midwest, but I imagine eating it from a can is as ridiculous as eating canned peas and expecting them to taste fresh from the garden. Not gonna happen.

Purple mangosteen. As adorable as they are delicious. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

To open these palm-sized fruits, you simply grip it with both hands, pressing your thumbs in until the skin cracks. Then, you hold the top and bottom and twist them in separate directions to reveal the sweet, lovely segments inside, which you pluck out one by one and devour.

A close up of mangosteen segments, displayed on the breadfruit plate. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

The fruit I enjoyed most on this culinary journey was the rollinia.

Rollinia is the yellowish fruit to the left, which is so delicate, it darkens 
when it is handled. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

Rollinia are so delicate they must be handled with extreme care, and cannot be transported. They must be picked gingerly; if they are handled too roughly, they will deflate and turn to mush within minutes.

Needless to say, rollinia will probably never make it to my neighborhood grocer.

I have never forgotten the flavor of this fruit. It is a heavenly marriage between lemon merengue and key lime pie. If fruit only tasted this good year-round in the midwest, we’d have no trouble coaxing children to eat their daily five.

The great fruit love of my life: rollinia. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

 What exotic fruits have you enjoyed in your travels?

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Charish Badzinski is an explorer, foodie and award-winning travel and food writer. When she isn’t working to build her blog: Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World, she applies her worldview to her small business, providing strategic communications, media relations and writing support to individuals and organizations. 

Find Charish on Twitter: @charishb
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Creative Commons License
Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World by Charish Badzinski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at rollerbaggoddess.blogspot.com.
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