These Jamaican fruits have a burst of tropical flavors and unique textures! Look for one nearby and explore our recommended Jamaican recipes.
Jamaica is a tropical paradise where the essence of life seems to flow in rhythmic pulses, mirroring its iconic reggae beats.
But there’s more to this island than music, beaches, and history–it boasts a colorful array of fruits as varied and lively as its culture and people.
Many visitors might not recognize some of these fruits, but each offers a unique flavor and story of traditions, migrations, and integration.
If you’re here looking to explore more Jamaican fruits, this list is a great place to begin.
While these featured fruits are native to Jamaica or the Caribbean, some come from other parts of the world but are now essential to Jamaican cuisine and culture.
Where To Find Jamaican Fruits
While it can be challenging to find fresh Jamaican fruits outside of their native environment, some places in the U.S. offer a selection of these tropical delights. Here are some of them:
- Caribbean or West Indian grocery stores. Cities like Miami and New York have specialty stores with Jamaican fruits like ackee and soursop.
- Farmers’ markets in tropical areas. In tropical states like Florida, local farmers’ markets sometimes offer Jamaican fruits or similar varieties.
- Online retailers. Websites like “Miami Fruit” and “Tropical Fruit Box” deliver tropical fruits commonly grown in Jamaica.
Note: Due to import regulations and the challenges of transporting perishable items, not all Jamaican fruits will always be available, and prices can be higher than what you’d find in Jamaica due to import costs.
Best Jamaican Fruits
Ackee (Blighia sapida) is a tropical fruit that’s native to West Africa but is also widely cultivated and enjoyed in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries.
The fruit is pear-shaped and typically bright red when ripe, with three distinct sections that open to reveal glossy black seeds surrounded by soft, creamy, and pale yellow or white flesh.
Its flavor is described as mild and buttery, with a slightly nutty undertone.
Breadfruit is a staple food in many tropical countries, including Jamaica.
It originates from the Pacific Islands but has been widely cultivated in the country today.
Its versatile nature allows for cooking through boiling, baking, frying, roasting, or grilling.
The result is a subtly nutty, potato-like texture that offers a range of culinary possibilities, from crispy fried slices to hearty stews.
Cashew fruit, also known as cashew apple, is the fleshy structure that grows attached to the cashew nut.
The fruit is pear-shaped and typically has a vibrant yellow, orange, or red color, with a flavor often described as sweet, tangy, and sometimes slightly astringent.
The fruit is often consumed fresh; in some regions, it’s used to make beverages, jams, and other products.
4. Coolie Plum
Coolie Plum is native to the Pacific islands but has been widely spread throughout tropical regions, including the Caribbean.
The tree bears small green fruits that turn golden-yellow when ripe and have crunchy flesh, and its taste can vary from sweet to slightly sour.
Coconut is a fruit that is often associated with tropical regions, including Jamaica.
The outer husk of the coconut is usually brown and fibrous, while the inner shell is hard and woody.
Inside the shell, you’ll find the edible part of the coconut, which includes the white “meat” and the liquid called coconut water.
6. Custard Apple
While custard apples are not native to Jamaica, they might be cultivated in the country due to its suitable tropical climate.
They have a distinctive appearance with knobby green skin and soft, sweet, and creamy white flesh on the inside.
The flesh is often enjoyed by scooping it out and eating it directly.
One great recipe using this ingredient is Sitaphal Basundi (Custard Apple Basundi).
Guava is a tropical fruit that’s popular in Jamaica and belongs to the Myrtaceae family.
The fruit can be round or pear-shaped, and its skin can range from green to yellow or even pink, depending on the variety.
The flesh is typically creamy white or pink, with small edible seeds at the center.
Guinep, or Spanish lime, is a fruit that is commonly found in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries.
This small, round fruit has a thin, brittle shell that you can crack open with your teeth to reveal the edible pulp inside.
Its flesh is translucent and ranges from sweet to slightly tangy in flavor.
Here’s a fantastic recipe featuring guinep: Guinep Juice (Spanish Lime).
9. Hog Plum
Hog plum, also known as Spondias mombin or Spanish plum, is a tropical fruit often found in various regions worldwide, including parts of Jamaica.
It belongs to the Anacardiaceae family, which also includes mangoes, cashews, and pistachios.
The fruit is green and sour when unripe, often used to make pickles, chutneys, or sauces.
As it ripens, it can turn yellow or orange, becoming sweeter and more palatable.
One good recipe that uses this ingredient is Hog Plum Curry.
While jackfruit is not originally from Jamaica, it has made its way to the country and is enjoyed as a delicious and versatile fruit.
As a member of the Moraceae family, this fruit has a spiky green outer rind, and its interior is composed of edible yellow flesh and large seeds.
The flesh of the ripe jackfruit is sweet and has a distinctly tropical flavor that some describe as a mix of pineapple, banana, and mango.
11. Jamaican Pear
Jamaican pear is a common name for a fruit that’s not a pear but a type of avocado.
It’s a Jamaican name for the West Indian avocado (Persea americana), which is native to tropical regions of the Americas, including the Caribbean.
The ‘pear’ has a milder flavor compared to Hass avocados and is often enjoyed with saltfish, ackee, and avocado-based sauces.
12. Jamaican Star Apple
Jamaican star apple, also known as Chrysophyllum cainito, is a fruit that comes from Jamaica and other warm places.
The fruit is referred to as “star apple” due to the star-shaped pattern formed by the seeds when the fruit is cut in half horizontally.
It’s known for its unique flavor, which is sweet and mildly tangy, and its flesh has a custard-like texture.
Jamaican star apple can be eaten fresh, scooped out with a spoon, and enjoyed as a refreshing and exotic treat.
13. June Plum
June Plum, scientifically known as Spondias dulcis, is a tropical fruit tree that produces a fruit of the same name.
The fruit is also referred to by various other names such as ambarella, jew plum, and golden apple.
Its skin is smooth and thin, with a juicy, sweet, and tangy flavor combining mango, pineapple, and citrus elements.
14. Mammee Apple
Mammee Apple (Mammea americana) is a tropical fruit that’s native to the Caribbean region, including Jamaica.
It’s large, round, and has a tough, brownish rind, while its flesh is sweet and fragrant, with a custard-like texture.
The fruit is often eaten fresh, but Lignum Vitaecan also be used in culinary preparations like jellies, desserts, beverages, and jams like this Caribbean Apricot (Mammee Apple) Jam.
Mangoes (Mangifera indica) are a tropical fruit not exclusive to Jamaica but are widely grown in various tropical and subtropical regions worldwide.
The fruit is loved for its sweet and juicy flesh, which comes in various colors, including yellow, orange, and red.
Mangoes can be enjoyed fresh but can also be used in smoothies, salads, salsas, and even savory dishes, such as Jerk Chicken With Mango Avocado Salsa & Coconut Rice and Vegan Jamaican Mango Stew
This popular fruit is native to southern Mexico, Central America, and parts of the Caribbean, including Jamaica.
The fruit has a rough brown outer skin and a soft, grainy flesh on the inside.
It’s famous for its unique texture, which is often described as a mix between a pear and a baked sweet potato.
In Jamaica and other Caribbean countries, naseberry is often eaten fresh as a snack or treats like smoothies, ice creams, and jams.
Ortanique is a type of citrus fruit that is believed to be a hybrid between an orange (Citrus sinensis) and a tangerine (Citrus reticulata).
It has gained popularity in Jamaica for its unique flavor and appearance, combining the sweet note of an orange with the tangy and aromatic qualities of a tangerine.
Savor it by itself, mix it into salads, use it as marinades, or bring a zesty citrus twist to baked goods such as cakes, muffins, and cookies.
Juice it and create this delicious Crepes À La Mode With Flambéed Bananas.
18. Otaheite Apple
In places like Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean, Otaheite apple has become a cherished fruit and is popularly known as the Jamaican apple in that region, even though it isn’t originally from there.
Its flesh is white, juicy, and mildly sweet, with a taste and texture reminiscent of a crisp pear or watery apple.
Otaheite apple is eaten fresh or used in salads and desserts.
Here’s a great recipe that features this fruit: Apple Cobbler.
Papayas are a tropical fruit known for their distinctive pear-like shape, vibrant orange or pinkish flesh, and numerous black seeds clustered in the central cavity.
Its flavor is sweet and mildly tangy, and its texture is soft and buttery when ripe.
Plantains are believed to have originated in Southeast Asia, but this ingredient become a staple in Jamaican cuisine for its unique texture and flavor.
They are often mistaken for bananas due to their similar appearance, but plantains are bigger, have thicker skins, and their taste is a mix of slight sweet flavor and a touch of starchy note.
Pineapples are indigenous to South America but made their way to the Caribbean region, including Jamaica, centuries ago.
They’re famous for their spiky, diamond-patterned skin and sweet, juicy yellow flesh that’s best consumed fresh, cooked, juiced, and preserved.
The fruits are even found in smoothies, salads, and as a topping for burgers and pizzas.
Although it comes from Southeast Asia, rambutan can be found in the Caribbean and Latin American regions.
Closely related to lychee and longan, the fruit has a hairy outer skin and is usually bright red or yellow when ripe.
Inside, it has a juicy, translucent flesh that is sweet and slightly acidic, resembling the taste of grapes or lychees.
Soursop is a fruit of a tree in the custard apple family.
Although it isn’t originally from Jamaica, the fruit is cultivated and consumed there, just as it is in many other Caribbean islands.
The taste of soursop is a unique combination of strawberry, pineapple, and citrus flavors with a creamy texture reminiscent of banana.
Because of its distinct flavor, Soursop is often used to make smoothies, ice creams, and juices like this special Soursop Juice recipe.
Starfruit, also known as carambola, is a tropical fruit that, when cut crosswise, produces star-shaped slices, which is the reason behind its common name.
The fruit is yellow when ripe and has a crisp texture with a taste that can range from mildly sweet to tart.
It’s native to Southeast Asia but has been cultivated in many tropical areas around the world, including the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.
25. Stinking Toe
Stinking Toe fruit (Hymenaea courbaril) is found in Jamaica and is part of the island’s local cuisine and traditional food culture.
Its name might sound off-putting, but it refers to the fruit’s appearance and odor.
The fruit’s hard, woody outer shell resembles a large brown toe, and the fruit has a distinctive smell that some find unpleasant.
The fruit’s inner pulp is creamy and sweet, often described as having a taste similar to dried or sweetened condensed milk.
Here’s a fantastic recipe that includes this exotic fruit: Stinking Toe Juice.
Susumber is a fruit known in Jamaica and various parts of the Caribbean.
It’s a small, green, and sometimes slightly yellowish berry that grows on a bush.
The fruit is slightly bitter and is commonly prepared with saltfish and used in soups, stir-fries, juices, and smoothies, although this is not as common.
27. Sweet Sop
Sweet sop, sugar apple, or Annona squamosa is native to the tropical regions of the Americas but is now cultivated in many warm climates around the world.
The fruit has a unique appearance with its scaly, greenish-brown outer skin, and the inside contains a sweet, creamy, and aromatic flesh.
It can be enjoyed by eating it fresh, blending it into smoothies, making ice cream, adding it to fruit salads, and creating desserts like custards and tarts.
Consider this Custard Apple Or ‘Sweetsop’ Salad that highlights the famous fruit.
While tamarind didn’t originate in Jamaica, it has become a vital component of their cuisine due to the unique flavor it imparts to their dishes.
Tamarind boasts a unique taste that blends a sweet undertone with a tangy and sour kick.
In Jamaica and other countries in the Caribbean, tamarind is frequently incorporated into sauces, chutneys, and beverages.
29. Ugli fruit
The ugli fruit gets its name from its rough, wrinkled, and unsightly appearance, but its flavor is similar to a sweet tangerine with a slightly tangy and floral undertone.
The citrus fruit, a hybrid between a grapefruit, a Seville orange, and a tangerine, is commonly enjoyed fresh or used in fruit salads, juices, and desserts.
30. Yellow Passion Fruit
Yellow passion fruit (Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa) is a tropical fruit commonly grown in various regions, including Jamaica.
It has a vibrant yellow skin and unique sweet-tart flavor, and the inside of the fruit contains jelly-like pulp filled with small black seeds.
In Jamaican cuisine, the yellow passion fruit is sometimes used to make refreshing beverages, desserts, and sauces.
The bottom line
Jamaican fruits aren’t merely edibles; they are gateways to understanding the heart and soul of the island.
Their colors, flavors, and aromas are interwoven with the tales of the land, a dance of nature and culture that beckons every discerning palate.
More About Jamaican
- Coolie Plum
- Custard Apple
- Hog Plum
- Jamaican Pear
- Jamaican Star Apple
- June Plum
- Mammee Apple
- Otaheite Apple
- Stinking Toe
- Sweet Sop
- Ugli fruit
- Yellow Passion Fruit
- Find your favorite fruit from our Jamaican Fruits list.
- Decide what recipe you're going to make using the chosen fruit.
- Share your journey on our Facebook page.