From an exotic, tropical city like Singapore, you would not expect anything less than an amazing and colorful selection of fruits. Some of them are already familiar to you, some of them you only know by name, and some of them have so many myths wrapped around them that they will be sure to pique your interest. Exotic fruits in Singapore deserve a book of their own. 

We all know that fruits are rich in nutrients and that there is an enormous health benefit from consuming them, so we are not going to list all the vitamins and minerals for each fruit. Instead, we’ll describe the look and taste of each so you can narrow down what to try during your visit.

Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is a sweet and crunchy delight, with a taste that can be described as a mix between kiwi and a pear. Dragon fruit has a red, thick peel with curling leaf-looking parts that are greener in color. Other strains of dragon fruit can appear more yellow. The inside of dragon fruit can be very red, yellow, or white and it has small seeds that are edible. To enjoy a dragon fruit, you can peel off the skin and eat the inside or directly cut through the peel so that the fruit is quartered, and use a spoon to scoop out the delicate flesh.  

 Mangosteen

Mangosteen or the “queen of fruits” is a treasure in disguise. When you open the outer casing, you will find an edible part that resembles a clove of garlic. But it is soft, sweet, and filled with small capsules of delicious juice. That can be messy sometimes.

The sensation is much like eating an orange or tangerine. The taste is sweet and sour, can be compared to lychees and peaches, but with a tropical richness that is unique to the queen. Also, note that each “slice” of mangosteen contains a hard seed that you shouldn’t eat.

Jambu

 If you love the smell of roses, this is a fruit for you. The seductive smell is equally matched by a fresh, watery and sweet taste. They are eaten with the peel on: just wash them properly and cut the hard part on the bottom off.

Pomegranate

Not much to look at from the outside, but a pleasure to watch when you cut it in half.  It is full of tiny ruby red capsules, filled with sweet juice. The best way to eat them is to cut the fruit in half and take out the capsules with a small spoon or with your fingers.

Chiku

If you ever come across a tree with wrinkled newspaper on the branches, there is a logical explanation. The newspaper is wrapped around these fruits to protect them from the bats. They seem to enjoy their taste very much. And it is no wonder. The sweet and woody flavor is a mix that is addictive. 

They are eaten without the peel, the easiest way to remove it is to do I after you cut the fruit in half.

Durian

The last, but not least is the “King of Fruits “ that inspired many myths, Durian. 

Myths:

  • if you eat it and drink beer – you will die.
  • If you eat too much- your cholesterol levels will go through the roof and- you will die.
  • If you eat too much, your libido will rise significantly, and you may be exposed to much physical strain and- you will die.

We admit exaggerate these myths slightly, but they were asking for it. 

The truth is that drinking beer and eating durian may cause bloating and discomfort in some cases, it has good cholesterol which is good for you, and doesn’t have proven aphrodisiac effects. 

The flavor is described by a XIX Century naturalist as “a rich custard highly flavored with almonds”. The smell, on the other hand, is compared to “rotten onions, turpentine, and raw sewage”. However, only some people consider the smell and taste to be hard to stand so take a chance and see which category you fall in!

Because of the controversy around how much people love it or hate it, this fruit has become famous worldwide, and most tourists when visiting Asia have “try Durian” on their to-do list. 

The hard outside shell is not edible, so you should cut it in half and eat the soft interior. Our advice is to do it outside because the smell tends to linger. There are plenty of street vendors selling durian during season who will open one up for you or have pieces already opened. Be sure to use the provided plastic gloves as your hands will smell afterward.

Where to Buy Fruit in Singapore

You can buy them in one of the many supermarkets or farmers’ markets, you can even order them online, through several online shops, where you can take a mix of several fruits in the package. This is a good way to taste several kinds, and not be required to buy quantities of each fruit. 

You can take a walk down the Chinatown Complex on Smith Street as it has a great selection of fruit stalls. Long waiting queues should be an indicator of what is good and fresh. 

One area that is famous for durian stalls is in Geylang along Sims avenue. This is a great place to taste them because if they are not ripe, show them to the storekeeper and they will give you another one.

Whichever place you choose, you are in for a treat.  And you are not going to feel bad about it, because it is all healthy. A winning combination.