Did you know that although Costa Rica represents only 0.03% of the earth’s surface, it contains approximately 5% of the world’s biodiversity? Costa Rica’s geographic location between North and South America means that it has served as a bridge for countless species, both animals and plants, including some incredible, delicious and exotic fruits.
These are some of our exotic fruits from Costa Rica:
This cactus fruit is native to America and grows in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and northern South America. Available in white, yellow or red, these beautiful fruits are known for their mild sweetness and the nutty flavor of their seeds. And it’s currently in season!
Cas is found almost exclusively in Costa Rica, although it is also cultivated in Guatemala and Nicaragua, and has recently been successfully cultivated in California. Cas is most popular in the form of a natural drink, mixed with sugar and water, although some Costa Ricans dare to eat these small, sour fruits picked directly from the tree.
A local favorite, this egg-shaped fruit contains a delicious combination of jelly-like fruit and edible seeds within its rugged exterior. It can be eaten alone or in soda, and is sometimes added to other natural beverages to enhance flavor and aroma.
A close relative of the lychee, the rambutan is actually native to regions of tropical Southeast Asia and is therefore known in Costa Rica as the “Chinese mamón.” Once you get past its strange furry red exterior, you will find a sweet white fruit on the inside, but be careful, the fruit itself contains a hard seed which you will have to avoid.
Fruit of the cashew family, jocotes grow on tall trees, start out green, and mature into red or yellow. Although many Costa Ricans enjoy ripe fruit, some prefer to eat it immature, green, and sour, while various species of monkeys seem to enjoy the fruit at any stage of maturity. Delicious!