Tropical fruits explained, here’s everything you need to know

Everything you need to know about tropical fruit

Tropical fruits are fruits native to the tropics. It is commonly cultivated in regions with warm and humid climates. So basically, any fruits which are indigenous to tropical regions are considered as tropical fruit.

The tropics itself is a region of earth located in the middle of the globe between the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere and the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere. Here’s a world map of the zone of tropical countries:

World map shows the zone of tropical countries
© KVDP

The area inside the red line or crimson, between (23°27′ North) and (23°27′ South) are considered as a tropical country. Here are complete lists of 166 countries that have a tropical climate and are located in the tropics:

Algeria Ivory Coast 
Australia Jamaica 
Bahamas Johnston Island 
Bangladesh Kampuchea 
Chile Kenya 
China Kiribati 
Egypt Lakshadweep 
Lybia Laos 
Paraguay Liberia 
Saudi Arabia Louisiade Archipelago 
Taiwan Macau 
United Arab Emirates Madagascar 
Western Sahara Malawi 
Agalega Islands Malaysia 
American Samoa Maldives 
Andaman and Nicobar Islands Mali 
Angola Mariana Islands 
Anguilla Marquesas Islands 
Antigua and Barbuda Marshall Islands 
Barbados Mauritania 
Belize Mauritius 
Benin Mexico 
Bermuda Montserrat
Bolivia Mozambique 
Botswana Namibia 
Bougainville Nauru 
Brazil Navassa Islands 
British Indian Ocean Territory (Chagos Archipelago) Netherlands Antilles 
British Virgin Islands New Caledonia
Brunei Nicaragua
Burkina Faso Niger 
Burma Nigeria 
Burundi Niue 
Cameroon Oman 
Canton and Enderbury Islands Panama 
Cape Verde Papua New Guinea 
Cargados Carajos Peru 
Caroline Islands Philippines 
Cayman Islands Pitcairn Islands 
Central African Republic Puerto Rico 
Chad Réunion 
Christmas Islands Rodrigues 
Clipperton Islands Rwanda 
Coca, Isla del Sao Tomé and Príncipe 
Cocos Islands Senegal 
Coco Islands Seychelles 
Colombia Sierra Leone 
Comoro Islands Singapore 
Congo Society Islands 
Cook Islands Socotra 
Coral Sea Islands Solomon Islands 
Costa Rica Somalia 
Cuba Sri Lanka 
D’Entrecasteaux Islands Sudan 
Djibouti Suriname 
DominicaSt Kitts-Nevis 
Dominican Republic St Lucia 
Easter Island St Vincent 
Ecuador Tanzania 
Equatorial Guinea Thailand
Ethiopia Togo 
El Salvador Tokelau 
Fiji Tonga Trinidad and Tobago 
French Guiana Trobriand Islands 
Gabon Tromelin 
Galápagos Islands Tuamotu Archipelago 
Gambia Tubuai 
Gambier Islands Turks and Caicos Islands 
Ghana Tuvalu 
Glorieuses, Iles Uganda 
Grenada United States: Miscellaneous Islands 
Guadeloupe and Martinique United States Virgin Islands 
Guam Vanuatu 
Guatemala Venezuela 
Guinea Venezuela: Islands Vietnam 
Guinea-Bissau Wake Island 
GuyanaWallis and Futuna 
Haiti Western Samoa 
HawaiiYemen, Democratic 
Honduras Yemen Arab Republic 
Hong Kong Zaire 
India Zambia 
Indonesia Zimbabwe

So, if you’ve ever asked yourself “is avocado tropical fruit?” or “is kiwi tropical fruit?” then now you have the answer.

You can easily identify tropical fruit just by browsing it in google and look for where the fruit is originating from. If it is originated from a region in the tropics then it is absolutely a tropical fruit.

Some example of fruits that grow in the tropics? Well, okay here you go:

  • Anacardiaceae family includes mango, hog plum, imbu.
  • Annonaceae family includes custard apple, soursop, sugar apple.
  • Bromeliaceae family includes pineapple.
  • Passifloraceae family includes passion fruit.
  • Sapindaceae family includes rambutan, lychee, longan.

Did you know: Mango is the dominant tropical fruit variety produced worldwide, followed by pineapples, papaya, and avocado. These four varieties are referred to as “major tropical fruits”. Other fruits, such as lychees, durian, rambutan, guavas, and passionfruit are referred to as “minor tropical fruits”.

www.fao.org

Countries that produce the most major tropical fruits include India, Thailand, and Mexico for mango. Philippines, Thailand, and China for pineapple. India, Brazil, and Mexico for Papaya. And the avocado is produced mostly in Mexico, Indonesia, and the United States.

Meanwhile, countries that produce minor tropical fruits are mostly concentrated in the Philippines, Indonesia, and India.

Is tropical fruits good for you?

Throughout your childhood, you must’ve heard your parents told you to eat more fruits and vegetables. I’d be seriously shocked if you haven’t been told that once in your life. This is may be the most famous health advice told by moms and dads anywhere in the world. Truth is, you need to do the same to your kids too.

I’ll give you a quick reason why you need to encourage your children to eat more fruits and veggies.

Fruits are rich in minerals, vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and carbohydrates. Minerals are known to benefit our digestive tract, while vitamin C helps our immune system stay strong and healthy. It also rich in fiber which in turn helps regulate Bell transit time. Basically, what that means is it helps move things through if you know what I mean.

Tropical fruits have it all and it is absolutely good for your health. However, I do need to advise you on a few things.

Fruits still contain sugar, and too much of a good thing will influence your insulin and glucose levels in a bad way. So, if you have diabetes or need to lose some extra pounds or you find that actually losing the last few pounds difficult, limit your servings and opt for low glycemic fruits like berries.

There are also some tropical fruits that you just can’t enjoy it if you have a certain medical condition. For example, you should avoid eating snake fruit if you have an ulcer, constipation or typhoid. Check out my article on why you’re not allowed to eat snake fruit.

Tropical fruits serving ideas to impress your guests

So, you have some tropical fruits but you have no idea how to serve it? What about making it into salad or juices? It might sound boring, but with some creativity, you still can make them wow the crowd.

Here are 10 best tropical fruits serving ideas to inspire you;

1. Tropical fruit salad with grapes

2. Tropical fruit pickle with snake fruit

Pickle ice Snake Fruit

3. Tropical fruit juice with papaya

Tropical fruit juice
© Jubair1985

4. Tropical fruit smoothie with avocado & berries

5. Tropical fruit cocktail juice with orange & pineapple

Tropical fruit cocktail juice

6. Tropical fruit cake with passionfruit

Tropical fruit cake
© Kgbo

7. Tropical fruit milkshake with mango

Tropical fruit milkshake
© GoDakshin

8. Tropical fruit soup with coconut

Tropical fruit soup
© ecooper99

9. Tropical fruit ice cream with watermelon

Tropical fruit ice cream

10. Tropical fruit salad with kiwi & orange

Top 10 best tropical fruit lists | my favorite fruits

I consider myself extremely lucky to have been born and raised in Indonesia which lie on the earth equator. Thanks to its geographical location which happens to be in the middle of the tropical zone and crossed by the equator, Indonesia become home to an enormous variety of tropical fruits.

I have tried so many different kinds of fruits, from the most common, the rarest to some fruits that you probably didn’t know existed. And, these are my best tropical fruit lists, it doesn’t mean you’ll love it too, because taste is very subjective. However, down this list, you might find some interesting fruits to try.

1. Snake fruit

Snake fruit medical condition to not eat it

Snake fruit is a tropical fruit native to Indonesia, there are around 30 known cultivars but I prefer Salak Pondoh & Salak Bali, mainly because it tastes sweet and crispy. What I love about this fruit is that it isn’t a seasonal fruit, so I can eat it any time I want plus I have a snake fruit farm.

2. Duku or Lanzome

My favorite tropical fruit duku or lanzome

Even though Lanzome isn’t available year round but I find myself couldn’t stop eating it. The tree only produces fruits once in a year so when I was a kid and every time the fruit is in the season I would go to my neighbor’s garden at night, haha you know what happened. We used to call it “night bat operation”, it was silly when my neighbor caught me eating his fruit on the tree.

3. Durian

My favorite tropical fruit durian

I just can’t believe it, why do so many people hate eating durian? This fruit is a luxury for most Indonesian, especially Javanese people. Apart from being a seasonal fruit, the price tag sometimes isn’t something that everyone could afford. Ranging from IDR 30.000 to even a million rupiah isn’t a cheap price for most Indonesian villagers.

4. Passionfruit

My favorite tropical fruit passionfruit

In Indonesia, this fruit is known as Markisa. It is native to South America but has been wildly cultivated in Makasar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Since I live in central Java, the fruit is considered to be rare but the first time I ate it, I just fall in love with the taste. It tastes a little bit like pineapple, a little bit peachy and buried, it just really really amazing.

5. Dragon fruit

My favorite tropical fruit dragon fruit

Dragon fruit is native to Central and South America also known as Pitaya, it has these kinds of green sepals on its skin. I’ve tried both fruits which has the red and the white flesh, but I prefer the red one because it makes my lips look fresh.

6. Soursop

My favorite tropical fruit soursop

Soursop after working on the plantation eaten under the tree, that’s refreshing. It is watery and of course sour but is sweet enough. I’d say it tastes like pineapple, banana, and papaya mixed together.

7. Golden berry

My favorite tropical fruit golden berry

This weird berry is my favorite fruit too, yes because I cultivated them in my garden, haha. Golden berry is native to Peru but somehow it grows in my garden. I didn’t even know if that’s a fruit, I thought it was just grass. Luckily a friend told me that it is a golden berry so I tried to eat it. Tastes kinda like tomato and pineapple, I like it so I let them grow.

8. Wax apple

My favorite tropical fruit wax apple

Wax apple is native to the Philippines, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. It is juicy and tastes a bit like a snow pear, great fruit for a hot day. I usually pick the darkest red color as I think it tastes much much sweeter.

9. Sawo or Sapodilla

My favorite tropical fruit sawo or sapodilla

Sapodilla or we used to call it Sawo here in Indonesia is a tropical fruit native to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. It tastes like caramel but there’s some kind of sandy texture in it.

10. Longan fruit

My favorite tropical fruit longan fruit

Longan fruit is native to southern China, in the provinces of Kwangtung, Kwangsi, Schezwan, and Fukien. This is the last favorite fruit on my list of 10 favorite tropical fruits. It tastes like an over the top sweet but not like you will squirt it hard.

Basically, I love to eat any kind of fruit but if you give me many many different kinds of fruits to choose, those 10 fruits on the list will definitely get picked.

Can you grow tropical fruit trees in your backyard?

Believe it or not, yes you can plant tropical fruit trees in your backyard or even right in your living room. You just need to grow the right tropical fruit trees that thrive the climate and of course, you also need to follow a few tropical fruit growing tips. It is not that difficult to plant any fruit trees if you pay attention to the specific growing requirements.

I will share a lot of useful tips on growing tropical fruit trees here on this blog, so make sure to sign up the newsletter and I will send the best resources to help you grow yours, right to your inbox for free!

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I hope you find this information helpful, feel free to share your thought in the comment below.