Açaí to Yuzu: my fruit life list

As we speak, my little vacation refrigerator is stocked with a fresh coconut, three mangosteens, eight star fruit (10 for $1 at the farmer’s market!), 10 tangerines, three meyer lemons, two limes, a few papayas and avocados, and weird unknowable plum/cherry/lychee things that I couldn’t finagle a name for from the seller at the Kapa’a farmer’s market except “plum. Don’t eat the skin.” They taste far from any plum I’ve ever had–they have lychee-like seeds and Concord grape-like sour skins. Someone else called them cherries. Who knows. Who cares. I’m just trying to eat them before they start to ferment. (But if they do, no worries. Fruit vinegar!)


When it comes right down to it, all I really care about is fruit.

So let’s get serious about this. Let’s channel our inner David Karp. I’ve copied a list of edible culinary fruits from Wikipedia, and I’m going to start keeping track of, and making notes on, my fruit consumption. Here’s what I’ve got so far. Latin names are listed when possible and easy. All links are to other blog posts of mine with photos of or love poems to said fruits. I’m probably wrong about a few—beach plums, do I remember them from a book, or from actually eating them? Cloudberries I’ve only had in jam, but that counts, right? Sure.

My favorite fruit? Thanks for asking! It’s a two-way tie: mangosteen, the queen, represents the fruit I most love to eat (watermelon being a very close second), but my heart goes out to another, darker, fermented tropical fruit—one I don’t love to eat per se, but that nonetheless fuels my dreams. Number #22, baby, you’re my soulmate.


  1. Açaí (Euterpe oleracea; Arecaceae), or assai
  2. Aguaymanto / Peruvian groundcherries (in Peru, July 2018!)
  3. Apple
  4. Apricot (Prunus armeniaca or Armeniaca vulgaris)
  5. Atemoya (see “sweetsop”)
  6. Avocado
  7. Bananas

    banana flower

  8. Beach Plum (Prunus maritima; Rosaceae)
  9. Betel Nut
  10. Bitter gourd
  11. Black cherry (Prunus serotina; Rosaceae)
  12. Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis or Rubus leucodermis; Rosaceae)
  13. Black sapote
  14. Black Walnut (Juglans nigra; Juglandaceae)
  15. Blackberry, of which there are many species and hybrids, such as dewberry, boysenberry, olallieberry, and tayberry (genus Rubus)
  16. Blood Orange
  17. Blueberry (Vaccinium, sect. Cyanococcus; Ericaceae)
  18. Bottle gourd also known as Calabash (Lagenaria siceraria; Cucurbitaceae)
  19. Brazil nut
  20. Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis; Moraceae) (‘Ulu in Hawaiian)
  21. Buddha’s Hand Citron
  22. Butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata)
  23. Cacao
  24. Calimansi (January 2014, in Hawaii, I tried this tiny little orangey limey darling.) photo 1
  25. Cape gooseberry
  26. Cara Cara orange
  27. Carambola (Averrhoa carambola; Oxalidaceae), also called star fruit or five fingers
  28. Carob (Ceratonia siliqua; Fabaceae)
  29. Cashew
  30. Ceylon gooseberry (the same as a cape gooseberry?)
  31. Cherimoya (Annona cherimola; Annonaceae) (See “sweetsop”)
  32. Cherry, sweet, black, sour, and wild species (Prunus avium, Prunus serotina, P. cerasus, and others)
  33. Chestnut (Castanea dentata; Fagaceae)
  34. Chico

    The chico is that weird plum-looking round one cut in half–it tastes like brown sugar crossed with a plum. Also pictured: a very messy sweetsop, halved rambutans, a mangosteen, and a grapefruit.

  35. Chili pepper
  36. Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)
  37. Citron (Citrus medica)
  38. Clementine (Citrus reticulata var. Clementine),
  39. Coconut (Cocos nucifera; Arecaceae)
  40. Coffee
  41. Cranberry (Vaccinium spp.)
  42. Currant (Ribes spp.; Grossulariaceae), red, black, and white types
  43. Custard-apple (Annona reticulata; Annonaceae), also called Bullock’s Heart (see “sweetsop”)
  44. Damson plum (Chrysophyllum oliviforme; Sapotaceae), also called
  45. Date
  46. Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera; Arecaceae)
  47. Dragonfruit (Hylocereus spp.; Cactaceae), also called pitaya
  48. Durian (Durio spp; Malvaceae)
  49. Elderberry (Sambucus; Caprifoliaceae)
  50. Feijoa (Feijoa sellowiana; Myrtaceae)
  51. Fig (Ficus spp. Moraceae)
  52. Finger Lime (Citrus australasica; Rutaceae)
  53. Gooseberry (Ribes spp.; Grossulariaceae)
  54. Grape, called raisin, sultana when it is dried. (Vitis spp.; Vitaceae), green, Concord, red, Champagne
  55. Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi), ruby and yellow
  56. Greengage, a cultivar of the plum
  57. Guanabana (see “Sweetsop”)
  58. Guava (“Psilium”; Myrtaceae)
  59. Hazelnut (Corylus americana; Betulaceae)
  60. Honeysuckle: the berries of some species (called honeyberries) are edible, others are poisonous (Lonicera spp.; Caprifoliaceae)
  61. Horned melon (Cucumis metuliferus; Cucurbitaceae)
  62. Hubbard squash, Buttercup squash (Cucurbita maxima)
  63. Huckleberry (Vaccinium spp.)
  64. Hybrids of the preceding citrus species, such as the Orangelo, Tangelo, Rangpur (fruit) and Ugli fruit
  65. Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus Moraceae), also called nangka
  66. Juneberries, aka serviceberries (June 2013)
  67. Kaffir lime (Citrus hystix)
  68. Key Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)
  69. Kiwifruit or Chinese gooseberry (Actinidia spp.; Actinidiaceae)
  70. Kumquat (Fortunella spp.; Rutaceae)
  71. Lady apple (Syzygium suborbiculare; Myrtaceae)
  72. Lemon (Citrus limon)
  73. Lime
  74. Limequat
  75. Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)
  76. Loganberry (Rubus loganobaccus)
  77. Longan (Dimocarpus longan; Sapindaceae)
  78. Loquat
  79. Lychee (Litchi chinensis; Sapindaceae family)
  80. Macadamia, also known as a Queensland nut
  81. Mamey sapote (Pouteria sapota; Sapotaceae); also known as mamee apple; abricó in Portuguese
  82. Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)
  83. Mango (Mangifera indica; Anacardiaceae)
  84. Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana; Clusiaceae family)

    Passionfruit (tiny, in front), mangosteen (purple), and soursop (the heart shape), with a coconut in the background for good measure.

  85. Manila tamarind (or Monkeypod, Pithecellobium dulce)
  86. Melon (Cucumis melo): cantaloupe, galia, and other muskmelons, honeydew
  87. Meyer lemon
  88. Miracle fruit (Synsepalum dulcificum)
  89. Mulberry (Morus spp.; Moraceae) including: Mulberry, Cudrang, Mandarin Melon Berry, Silkworm Thorn, zhe
  90. Mung bean
  91. Muskmelon
  92. Neem
  93. Noni, aka The Worst Tasting Fruit In The Universe

    Noni plant.

  94. Nutmeg
  95. ‘Ohelo berry

    Soft skin like a fig, creaminess like a mangosteen, tart like a ripe tart cherry dipped in sugar, pretty like a mini-pomegranate. My new favorite. The hike we do three times a week in Hawaii is filled with ‘ohelo bushes!

  96. Oil Palm
  97. Okra
  98. Papaya, green + orange, Thai + Hawaiian (Carica papaya; Caricaceae)

    Thai papayas, as grown by my sweetheart’s stepmom. Perfect for Thai green papaya salad.

    Hawaiian-style papayas, eaten when ripe and orange.

  99. Passion fruit or Grenadilla (Passiflora edulis and other Passiflora spp.; Passifloraceae) Galendar in some part of east India (Darjeeling) (Lilikoi in Hawaiian)

    Passionfruit flower

  100. Pawpaw (Asimina triloba; Annonaceae)
  101. Peach (of the normal and white variety) and its variant the nectarine (Prunus persica)
  102. Peanut (Arachis hypogaea; Fabaceae)
  103. Pear, European and Asian species (Pyrus)
  104. Pecan (Carya illinoinensis or illinoensis; Juglandaceae)
  105. Peppercorns + pink peppercorns
  106. Persimmon (aka Sharon Fruit) (Diospyros kaki; Ebenaceae)
  107. Pigeon pea
  108. Pineapple (Ananas comosus or Ananas sativas; Bromeliaceae)
  109. Plaintain
  110. Plum (Prunus americana; Rosaceae)
  111. Plum, of which there are several domestic and wild species; dried plums are called prunes
  112. Plum/lychee/cherry things from the Kapa’a farmer’s market, I know not what they were.
  113. Poha or Cape Gooseberry (Physalis peruviana; Solanaceae)
  114. Pomegranate (Punica granatum; Punicaceae)
  115. Pomelo (also known as the shaddock) (Citrus maxima)
  116. Prickly pear (Opuntia spp.; Cactaceae)
  117. Pumpkin, Acorn squash, Zucchini, Summer squash (Cucurbita pepo varieties)
  118. Quince (Cydonia oblonga and Chaenomeles)
  119. Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum; Sapindaceae family)
  120. Red Elderberry (Sambucus pubens; Adoxaceae)
  121. Red Mulberry (Morus rubra)
  122. Red Raspberry (Rubus strigosus; Rosaceae) (My raspberry truffle tart recipe!)
  123. Rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum; Polygonaceae)
  124. Rose hip, the fruitlike base of roses (Rosa); used mostly for jams and herbal tea
  125. Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea; Cactaceae)
  126. Sapote (“Casimiroa edulis”; Sapotaceae)
  127. Sour orange (Citrus aurantium)—horrible childhood memories of my brother and I tricking each other into eating the sour oranges outside our door.
  128. Soursop (Annona muricata; Annonaceae), also called guanabana (see “sweetsop”)
  129. Strawberry (Fragaria spp.; Rosaceae) (My lemon thyme-pine nut cookies with strawberry frosting recipe!)
  130. Strawberry guava (Psidium litorale; Myrtaceae)
  131. Sudachi (Citrus sudachi)
  132. Summer squash
  133. Surinam Cherry (Eugenia uniflora; Myrtaceae) also called Brazilian Cherry, Cayenne Cherry, Pitanga
  134. Sweet pepper
  135. Sweetsop (I’m beginning to think that sweet apples, custard apples, guanabana, sweetsop, soursop, atemoya and cherimoya are extremely similar, but I’m not positive.)


  136. Tangerine
  137. Tomato (“Solanum lycopersicum”; Solanaceae)
  138. Watermelon (Sigh. My third favorite fruit.)
  139. White Mulberry (Morus alba) (these are in my backyard!)
  140. Wolfberry (Lycium barbarum, Lycium spp.; Solanaceae)
  141. Yellow sapote
  142. Yuzu (my favorite citrus!)
  143. Lemondrop mangosteen (tasted January 2013, not that great!)
  144. Panama berry (2011 in Hawaii, my pal Maresa bought them at the farmer’s market–they taste like Berry Kix!)


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