I know for sure this is not an all-inclusive list of fruits and veggies of Mexico, but many of these are new and interesting to us, so we wanted to pass them on to you too!!
Agua de tamarindo is an agua fresca drink typically served throughout Latin America. It is made from tamarind (a legume: tamarindus indica) after it has been boiled in water, has had its seeds removed, and has been liquefied and combined with sugar.
The tamarindo was very tasty and I am going to try to add to my tea for something different.
Nopal (Paddle Cactus minus the prickly things)
Nopales are a spectacularly healthy type of cacti with a wide range of health benefits. These include their ability to aid in weight loss, prevent cancer, improve skin health, protect heart health, regulate and improve digestion, boost the immune system, optimize metabolic activity, build strong bones, cure insomnia, and reduce inflammation throughout the body.
I tried to eat the nopal fresh and it didn’t appeal to me, but after seeing all the benefits of the nopal, I think I will try some cacti juice when we go out for breakfast next time!
Aguacate Chiapis (Avacado)
LOL, I thought that this was an exotic fruit and found when I opened it that it was an avocado!! Yum!! Gotta love that guacamole!!
Carambola (AKA: Starfruit)
Now I know this is not an “authentic” Mexican fruit as it comes from a species of tree native to Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, and Seychelles, but it is exotic and it was in my Mexican grocery store and I’ve never had it before……So I added it here!!
It was sweet, crunchy and juicy and I would definitely buy it again.
Mexican Cream Guayaba (Guava)
Guayaba is a sweet fruit most often used in drinks. It can also be made into jams, candies, and sauces. When I tried it, I scooped it out with a spoon and it was reminded me of a fruity pudding.
Tuna (Not to be confused with Atun which is the gringo version of fish)
Tuna is also known as Prickly Pear and grows as flowers on cacti.
It is very similar to an apple but has loads of tiny little seeds. Definitely an acquired taste.
Pitahaya (Dragon Fruit)
The pitahaya is a cactus, that is, cactus family, which is characterized by having no leaves, having colorful flowers that open at night, which are white, red or yellow and then produces an edible fruit.
The leaf and flower of the pitaya are used in an infusion to improve insomnia, anxiety and nervous disorders, as well as relieve a headache or gum pain, improve circulation and prevent heart disease.
The seeds, which are edible, help regulate intestinal transit, helping to stabilize digestion and serve as a laxative, helping to prevent constipation.
The pulp of pitahaya, contains a high level of water and a low level of carbohydrates, with excellent energy and vitamin value, excellent for people with diabetes, rigorous diets, or to make diets to lose weight.
Membrillo is a cross between a pear and an apple. It is very hard and inedible for the most part until it is cooked and made into jams, cheeses and candies. Among its benefits, the quince reduces cholesterol, fights hypertension and increases the sensation of satiety.
El Azafran (Saffron)
This looked interesting, so I thought why not?
Now that I know what it is, I need to figure out how to use it!!
Naranja Agria (Sour or Bitter Orange)
Many varieties of bitter orange are used for their essential oil and are found in perfume, used as a flavoring or as a solvent.
In Yucatán (Mexico), it is the main ingredient of the cochinita pibil and many other Yucatecan delicacies.
Chayote with Espinas
(very prickly and painful when you forget it is in the bag!!)
The chayote hedgehog, also called chayote hawthorn, is dark green, with thick skin covered with thorns on the entire surface. It is globose, larger than the previous one; it commonly exceeds 500g. Its flesh is dark green, slightly lighter than the skin; its flavor, delicate, but with more character than the common chayote. Both are used equally: they are only cooked in salted water and eaten as a vegetable.
Limes of the Yucatan
There are two different kinds of limes in Mexico. The Key (or Mexican) lime and the Persian lime.
I have seen some that are green, some yellow and in a variety of different sizes too.
I am not a lime expert, but a lemon lover (which are not an easy thing to find in the Yucatan), but both Rich and I have come to love one of the most popular Yucatecan lime dishes: Sopa de Lima. The flavor of this Yucatecan soup is light, refreshing and with a citrus touch from the lime. But there is more because the soup is accompanied by chicken, tomato, red pepper, cilantro, tortilla chips and more ingredients that give it a sensational flavor.
I had no clue what this was the first time I saw it. I thought it was some type of cinnamon but was clueless. Once I bought it and started some research, I found that it is Piloncillo, whose name means “pylon” for its conical shape, a raw form of pure cane sugar that has not been processed. Because it has not been processed, it has a golden brown color and a deliciously rich flavor similar to molasses, although it does not have any molasses in it.
Now I just have to find a recipe that calls for it!!
We thought this might be a little watermelon, but have come to find it is a squash!!
Found in Mexico in late Summer, lychees are similar to the size of a large grape. The red shell that surrounds the fruit is inedible but can be easily opened to show the white fruit in the middle. It was a bit slimy when I tried it for the first time, but it strangely became addictive once I got used to the texture and now I would definitely get more again!!
Consumption of this fruit brings great benefits for health. It contains vitamin C, protein, and phosphorus, used to prevent problems of rheumatism, gastrointestinal, respiratory and kidney issues.
I think this Saramuyo has not matured because it was really hard and not at all like pudding!!
Again, this is in no way a comprehensive list of Mexican fruits and vegetables. These were just a few “odd” types of fruits and veggies that we found in multiple markets around town and wanted to try.
Hope you enjoyed this page and if you see these items in your grocery store, try it!! They were all very affordable and high in good vitamins and iron, so give it a shot!!