32 Mexican Fruit You Need to Try (Exotic and Ordinary)

I love tasting new fruits, don’t you? Mexico is a lush country with an extensive variety of fruits. From the exotic tropical guanabana, to the familiar mango, Mexico has it all. Explore this comprehensive guide of Mexican fruits and discover all the delicious flavors waiting to be savored.

View from above of a wood table filled with exotic Mexican tropical fruits.
Exotic Mexican Tropical Fruits

Amigos please note that at least otherwise stated, don’t eat the seeds or peels!

Mexican Fruits

Mexico is blessed to be a land of rich biodiversity, which means that there’s a colorful array of fruits that are not only delicious but also integral to its culinary heritage.

From the lush tropical regions of the Yucatan Peninsula to the fertile valleys of central Mexico, the country’s diverse climates nurture a wide variety of fruits, each with its own unique flavors and textures.

Yes, Mexico also has many of the same classic fruits available all over the World, but I’m not going to focus too much on those. This list focuses on fruits native to Mexico and also those brought to Mexico from foreign lands by the conquistadores and immigrants.

Getting to savor all these fresh, juicy, tart and sweet fruits has been one of the best parts of moving back to Mexico.

Ok amigos, after you review this list of names and pictures of Mexican fruits do leave me a comment letting me know which of these fruits you’ve tried and which you’d love to taste one day.

A collage of saramuyo fruit from Mexico which is also known as sugar apple in English.
Saramuyo or Sugar Apple

Saramuyo or Sugar Apple or Sweetsops

In Spanish this is called a saramuyo and in English it is known as a sugar apple or sweetsop or custard apple. This fruit is part of the  Annona family and they are all similar to each other. It is native to Mexico and parts of the Caribbean.

Once ripened the outer skin is thick and rough, looks like scales, and should feel soft when squeezed a bit. The inside is a creamy flesh with lots of hard black seeds that should be discarded. The taste is sweet and a bit like a mix of pear and hints of tropical fruit flavors like pineapple, mango and even vanilla. When very ripe it can have hints of tanginess to it. The texture is creamy but can also have some slight graininess.

My personal preference is to eat saramuyo chilled, it helps bring out the delicious sweetness and creaminess out more. It’s commonly eaten on it’s own or made into agua fresca or ice cream.

An AI generated image by Gemini of a Guanabana sliced in half and another left whole on a grey table.
Guanabana (AI generated image by Gemini)

Guanábana or Soursop or Custard Apple

This is another fruit in the Annona family. It’s a large green fruit with little soft spikes on the peel. Inside it has a creamy white flesh with large hard inedible seeds. The texture is creamy like a custard hence the name custard apple.

The flavor is unique and to me tastes like a combination of strawberry hits of pineapple and slight notes of citrus. In Mexico guanabana is commonly eaten fresh (cold is best) or made into agua fresca or juices and the pulp is often made into paletas or ice cream.

A wood table with a decorative cloth and a white plate on it with annona fruit one whole and one sliced in half.

Cherimoya or Chirimoya

Locally here in Campeche this fruit is called Annona but in other parts of the country it’s called chirimoya. As you can see in the similarities it’s related to saramuyo and guanabana fruits. Cherimoya has soft skin that has a scale pattern resembling other fruits in the Annona family. These fruits are round and almost heart-shaped.

The inside is white with a slight yellowish tone and the flesh is creamy and melts in your mouth. The texture is soft and can also have a slight graininess occasionally. The seeds are large, hard and black and are not edible. This fruit is delicious eaten fresh and chilled. It’s also made into agua fresca or popsicles and ice cream.

A Mexican fruit called sapote negro on a brown bowl and the other side is the fruit sliced in half revealing it's dark chocolate colored flesh.
Sapote Negro

Sapote Negro

Sapote negro or a black sapote is a small fruit in the same family as persimmon. This delicious fruit is native to Mexico and Central America. Other names for this exotic fruit are chocolate persimmon or chocolate pudding fruit.

It has thin dark green skin and ready to eat when it’s very soft to the touch and the skin is wrinkled. The inside is smooth and creamy and taste is reminiscent of chocolate pudding but quite unique. It must be fully ripened for it to become sweet otherwise unripe it can have some bitter flavors.

Sapote negro is enjoyed fresh or can be made into licuados (milkshakes) or other desserts. It’s delicious and definitely worth a try at least once.

A mamey sapote on top of a white plate and with a wedge sliced off of it.
Mamey Sapote

Mamey Sapote

This bright orange fruit is part of the Sapotaceae family but it’s not related to the aforementioned sapote negro. The word sapote comes from the Nahuatl tzapotl which refers to sphere shaped fruits with large seeds.

Mamey sapote It’s an oblong shape with a light brownish-yellow colored peel that’s quite stiff and firm. The peel is rough in texture but the inside reveals a vibrant orange color flesh that has a smooth texture similar to cooked sweet potato. It’s has a large and long dark seed.

If you love really sweet fruits then mamey is for you. To me the strong sweet flavor tastes similar to a mix of dark brown sugar with pumpkin and aftertones of cantaloupe. It’s quite unique tasting.

Mamey sapote can be eaten fresh or it’s quite commonly made into milkshakes, agua fresca, desserts, and candied. The oil in the large seed is extracted to make all sorts of beauty products.

One whole and one sliced chicozapote fruits on a white plate.


This is another fruit in the same family as the mamey sapote and it’s a native fruit to Mexico, Central America and parts of the Caribbean. The Spanish later spread it to the Philippines and from there across other parts of Asia.

Another name for chicozapote is sapodilla and this is the fruit that grows on the chicle tree or gum tree where chewing gum comes from. Chicozapote is a tropical fruit with a rough, brown skin and sweet, grainy flesh.

It’s very sweet and has flavors similar pear and dark brown sugar, the seeds should not be consumed. It’s often eaten fresh or used to make desserts, jams, and beverages.

One whole and one sliced in half caimito fruit also known as star apple, on a white plate.
Caimito or Star Apple

Caimito or Star Apple

This is one of my most favorite fruits! It’s round and small and has either a shiny dark green or dark purple thin skin. Caimito originated in the  Isthmus of Panama then later spread across parts of Central and Southern America as well as Mexico.

They should feel soft and a bit mushy when ripened and ready to eat. Caimito should be carefully sliced in half crosswise and when you hit the center you’ll feel the hard seeds, now you can twist it to pull the two halves apart. A little bit of white resin-like liquid will seep from the skin and this is quite sticky and you should try to avoid getting it into contact with the fruit.

The inside flesh of caimito is dark purple like a plum on the outer ring and the inner part is creamy, juicy white and holds the seeds in the center. The taste of the white part is sweet but like a creamy sweetness to it that reminds me of lychee. And the purple is a bite like dry slight touch astringent. Seeds should not be eaten. Typically caimito is eaten fresh (I like it chilled).

Five whole and one sliced yellow guava fruits inside a small brown bowl that's on top of a white cloth.
Guayaba or Guava

Guayaba or Guava

Guavas are small, round fruits with a fragrant aroma and sweet-tart flavor and they originated in Mexico, Central America and parts of the Caribbean.

Mexican guayabas can have peels colored in light yellow or green. They are firm and only soften a little when fully ripe. Their skin is very thin, the flesh inside is creamier and can be light yellow or pink. Guavas have lots of hard seeds that are completely edible.

They can be eaten fresh, in juices or agua fresca, made into desserts or used for making jams. Another popular use in Mexico is making ate de guayaba which is a jellied paste that’s used in Mexican candies and pastries – it’s also delicious paired with cheese and bolillo.

One whole membrillo or quince fruit laying on a colorful cloth and wood table.
Membrillo or Quince Fruit

Membrillo or Quince Fruit

Membrillo is a firm yellow fruit that has an intense and pleasant fruity smell. Quince is in the same fruit family as apples and pears but unlike those two it is usually cooked first before being eaten. This fruit is native to Iran, Turkey and Greece but has been grown in Western up to Northern Mexico since the 17th Century.

Due to the high pectin content in quince fruit it is usually made into jams, jelly, or sweet paste called membrillo or dulce de membrillo or ate. Additionally agua fresca, liqueur, wine and cognac may be made from quince. Sometimes it’s just poached with aromatic spices and enjoyed as a dessert.

Coco or Coconut

Pictured here is a mature brown coconut but have you ever seen the young green ones? The taste between is a little different, with the brown being more intense coconut flavor. Additionally the coconut meat in mature coconuts is thick and hard and more difficult to peel away from the coconut shell. Whereas the young coconut flesh is creamy, has a jelly-like texture and can easily be scraped away from the shell.

Both are incredibly delicious a for most of you you’ll only have access to the mature one at your local grocery store. But when you travel to Mexico for a tropical vacation you’ll find the young ones everywhere. Oh and if you ever have the chance do try a sprouted coconut.

A sweet yellow Mexican pineapple sliced on a cutting board.
Piña de Miel or Mexican Pineapple

Piña or Pineapple

The Mexican variety of pineapple is out of this world delicious! They are much sweeter and juicer and more vibrant colored than the ones available in the US and Europe. I swear even if you’re not a fan, munching on one of these golden, juicy beauties will quickly turn you into one — a fan not a pineapple.

Pineapples are native to South American then spread up to Mexico and beyond. In Mexico pineapple is eaten fresh, made into agua fresca, popsicles, ice cream, salsa, and even fermented into an alcoholic drink called tepache.

One whole Ataúlfo mango and one sliced in half and another piece cubed still inside the peel, all on a white plate.
Mexican Ataulfo Mango


Mangos are native to India and Southeast Asia but where brought to Mexico by the Conquistadores. They brought some the “Manila” variety and over time new varieties have sprung up. Mangoes are such a popular fruit in Mexico that it’s believed the average Mexican eats about 28lbs a year!

Mexico is one of the top 5 mango producers of the world and good thing because we use them in everything from snacks, drinks, paletas, ice cream, desserts, salsas and marinades. While mostly eaten when fully ripened and sweet and juicy, here in the Yucatan Peninsula you’ll often see green unripe mangoes sprinkled with chile on sale at the mercados.

Half of a Maradol or Mexican papaya on a blue plate showing the small black seeds.
Maradol or Mexican Papaya


Papaya is one of the more popular fruits in Mexico. This type of papaya cultivar is called a maradol or Mexican papaya. The peel is orange and very thin and the fruit inside is tender and in the middle is a hollowed out space full of edible small black seeds. It can be eaten fresh, made into agua fresca, or candied.

Mexican papaya is sweeter than the smaller Hawaiian variety you may be familiar with. The fruit has a strong somewhat musky smell to it but don’t let that fool you from the its juicy, sweet taste that will remind you of coconut, pineapple and tropical flavors. The seeds are quite spicy like horseradish and can be dried and ground to use like pepper or fresh in salad dressings.

A Mexican earthenware bowl with one plantain, six regular bananas and a small bunch of 7 yellow Manzano bananas.
Plantain, Bananas, and Manzano Bananas

Platono and Platano Macho (Bananas and Plantains)

In Mexico you will find a variety of bananas, but did you know that bananas come from Southeast Asia? I always thought they were from the Carribean, go figure!

Pictured above is a plantain, which is like a bigger and thicker skinned banana that has a firm texture and isn’t sweet when raw. Before eating, plantains are first boiled or fried then used in countless dishes. Next we have the regular banana everyone is so familiar with, then we have the mini bananas called platano Manzano. The small bananas are sweeter and have a thinner peel than your standard banana. They can be yellow or red, the red ones taste like raspberries and banana.

Red tunas or prickly pear fruit sliced in half.
Red Tunas

Tunas or Prickly Pear Fruit

This fruit grows on (paddle) cactus and has to gently be picked off so that none of the thorns pierce the skin. When you find them in markets the thorns have already been removed so it’s just a matter of peeling off the skin and enjoying the fruit inside.

Tunas can be red, yellow, orange, green, or white. I’ve always just eaten the fresh fruit but it can also be blended into drinks or used in making jelly and candies.

The taste is very unique and you simply must give it a taste yourself. The fruit is not too sweet but it is juicy and hydrating. The seeds are very hard but they can be chewed (if you have teeth of steel) or swallowed or spit out.

Two xoconostle or sour prickly pear fruits on a straw matt.


Xoconostle is another cactus fruit and this one grows on the nopal or cactus paddles but it’s quite different in taste. Typically they are smaller than tunas and are slightly more elongated in shape. Just like tunas these too have small spines on the outside flesh.

When sliced open the flesh is firm and all of the edible seeds are concentrated in the middle. But unlike tunas, xoconostle are not sweet but rather sour tasty. They can be made into agua fresca or cooked and used in making salsas.

Fresh unpeeled dragon fruits and one sliced on a brown table.
Pitahaya or Dragon Fruit

Pitahaya or Pitaya or Dragon Fruit

Pitahaya are known in English as dragon fruit. They are native to Mexico, Central America and some parts of South America. Like tunas these too grow on cactuses, just a different type.

Pitaya is about the size of a softball but shaped more oblong. The skin is smooth and somewhat leathery and it has long, soft scales growing from it. The peel can be a vibrant pink or yellow and the fruit inside can be white or magenta and all are speckled with tiny edible black seeds.

It has a mildly sweet flavor and is commonly eaten fresh or blended into smoothies and juices. When eating try to avoid the peel because it has an astringent taste to it. Watch this video to learn how to properly peel them.

An AI generated image showing several tamarind pods laying on top of each other on a grey table. One pod is cracked open to reveal the sweet, sticky fruit inside.

Tamarindo or Tamarind

Tamarind is native to India, Africa and the Middle East but was brought to Mexico during colonial times. The pods grow on trees and are are long, brown, and somewhat curved, with a hard outer shell that reveals the shape of the thick dark seeds.

Inside a tamarindo has dark brown, sticky pulp that surrounds the hard seeds and fibrous strands. This fruit is tangy and tart and a little sweet. In Mexico it’s used for making agua fresca, paletas, jelly, sauces and countless candies.

A small blue bowl filled with rambutan fruit on a white cloth and on a wood table.


Rambutan are red with softly spiny peel and are native to Indonesia and Malaysia. After a little research I found that rambutan was brought to Mexico in the 1960s and is grown in Chiapas in south-east Mexico. These juicy fruits have quickly become popular across Mexico.

Rambutan taste quite similar to lychee: juicy, sweet with a slight floral taste. To eat you carefully slice off the spiny shell and open it to remove the squishy fruit. You can either cut away the fruit flesh or put it in your mouth and eat until you get to the hard seed – but do not eat the seed, both it and the peel should be discarded.

My favorite way to enjoy rambutan is just fresh but occasionally you’ll see rambutan agua fresca on offer.

Three lychee stacked on top of each other. Two have their peel and one has been peeled to reveal the sweet juicy flesh.


Lychee are native to Asia, or China to be more specific. They have a somewhat thin pink skin that is bumpy but very easy to peel away. Just like a rambutan, you can either use your (clean) fingernail or a knife to make an incision and remove the skin. Again the same white squishy, shiny and smooth center is revealed. The flavor is very sweet and of course there are those floral scents and tastes. The seed of lychee is different than the rambutan, this one is a dark brown and very hard and completely smooth.

Here in Mexico on the rare chances that you find fresh lychee it’s best to either just peel and pop into your mouth, or some people also like to make agua frescas with them. I prefer to just eaten them fresh to really enjoy their flavor without any other distracting ones.

An exotic Mexican fruit that is native to the Yucatan Peninsula and also a relative of both lychee and rambutan fruits.
Huaya Fruit


Huaya (or guayas) are native to Southern Mexico and other parts of Central America and the Caribbean. This exotic Mexican fruit is a relative of both lychee and rambutan fruits. They have a tough green peel that cand be cut or pulled away to reveal a sweet and juicy flesh quite similar to lychee and rambutan.

It’s most commonly eaten fresh and you’ll also see it sold coated with chamoy or chile powder.

A pile of cashew fruit on a small white container in an open air Mexican market.
Marañon or Cashew Fruit

Marañon or Cashew Apple or Cashew Fruit

Marañon is a native fruit to Brasil that is grows in the Southern Mexican states of Campeche, Yucatan and Tabasco. The fruit is small and has a fruity and sweet smell but the taste is sour and astringent. Here in Campeche it is commonly made into an agua fresca.

The top part of the fruit is a raw cashew seed that must be roasted before consuming. Funny enough in Mexico we call the seed “nuez de la india” or nut from Indian. The main purpose of growing this fruit is for the seed not the actual fruit.

A few Mexican tejocote fruits on a green table.

Tejocote or  Mexican hawthorn

Tejocote is a small, yellow-orange fruit with a crisp texture and sweet and slight tart flavor that looks similar to a crabapple. It’s commonly used in traditional Mexican dishes like ponche (fruit punch), and it’s also used to make preserves and candies.

A pomegranate quartered and the seeds on a blue plate.
Granada or Pomegranate

Granada or Pomegranate

Pomegranate is originally from Iran and Northern India, but it’s become a part of Mexican cuisine like our famous chiles en nogada. It has a tough outer skin and inside filled with edible seeds (that look like small jewels) surrounded by a ruby-colored pulp.

Every bite is a little explosion of a delightful flavor that’s a perfect balance of sweet and tart, with hints of berries, citrus, and floral notes. Pomegranate arils are versatile, enjoyed on their own as a snack, added to dishes for bursts of flavor, or pressed into juice for refreshing beverages and sauces.

A collage of a closeup view and a small blue bowl filled with Mexican plums.

Ciruela or Plum

In Mexico we have several varieties of plums, these tiny plums are what I most commonly see in the Yucatan Peninsula during the spring months. The first variety is a tiny, round, smooth and shinny skin plum that’s incredibly juicy inside but it’s mostly seed. They can be green and more tart, or yellow and red when fully ripened. The flavor it fruity and sweet and similar to other plums but yet somehow different.

A collage of a closeup view and a small blue bowl filled with Mexican plums.
Mexican Plums

This second type of plum is a bit larger, shaped like a grape tomato, and has a tougher skin the flesh is more fibrous. It’s sweet, juicy and has like a starchy plum taste. The seed is quite large and takes up most of the fruit. They can be green but those tend to be sour and eaten with chile locally. There’s also dark red colored ones which are ripe and sweeter.

Mexican citrus fruits called lima and limon sliced and on top an orange surface.
Lima y Limon

Lima, Limon and Chinalima

Mexican limon is what in English is called limes, and they are small and green and taste sweeter than a yellow lemon. In addition to the limes we have a similar fruit called lima which is a sweeter and more floral tasting citrus fruit.

Limes and limas can be used the same: to make agua frescas, marinates, sauces, to drizzle over fruit or juiced and used in desserts.

A small brown bowl filled with sliced Mexican citrus fruits.
Chinalima, Limes and Limas

The larger citrus fruit in the bowl above is called “chinalima” here in Campeche. It looks like a giant lime and has the same tough citrus skin but can be green or more of a yellow green color. Much like a lima, this citrus too has sweet and floral tones and smells. The taste is a bit like orange blossoms.

My suegro told me it’s just eaten fresh and I quiet enjoyed it.

A woman with a pink shirt in a Mexican fruit market cutting into fresh jackfruit.
Yaca or Jackfruit

Yaca or Jackfruit

Jackfruit is native to India but somehow found it’s way to Mexico. It varies in sizes but it generally a very large (one fruit alone can be up to 80lbs!) and heavy fruit with spiky and fragrant exterior. The inside fruit when ripe is golden-yellow and has small pods that are soft and have a custard-like flesh.

A small pile of jackfruit pods on a blue plate ready to eat.
Fresh Jackfruit Pods

Jackfruit is smells sweet and tastes like sweet tropical fruits. I taste hints of mango, pineapple, and banana – but weirdly so, sometimes it even smells and tastes like chewing gum. Fresh young jackfruit is incredibly delicious. It can be eaten fresh or used for making desserts.

Once matured or preserved in brine jackfruit is commonly used as a meat substitute in meatless dishes like carnitas, tamales and tacos. But this is only in the vegan Mexican community, as a whole jackfruit hasn’t completely caught on across the central and northern parts of Mexico.

View from above of a wood table filled with exotic Mexican tropical fruits sliced open.
Exotic Mexican Fruits

More to Come

Ok amigos that’s all the fruits I have for you for now and as new ones come into season I will be adding them, so make sure to come back and check now and then.

Pin This Mexican Fruit Guide for Later!

A collage showing 13 different Mexican fruits on a white countertop and view from above.
Exotic Mexican Fruits You Need to Try!

Nancy Lopez author of Mexican Made Meatless


I’m so happy you stopped by. If you have any questions or want to let me know how you liked this recipe, do leave a comment. Muchas gracias, I appreciate you!

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  1. A fascinating list and description of a lot of my favourites. Membrillo sounded strange to me until I discovered it to be quince 🙂 ! I don’t think most Australians know the black sapote . . . I lived for a number of years in semi-tropical Northern NSW and grew both white and black sapotes tho’ moved on ere the trees fruited! I was told they came from S America . . . ? Thanks . . . .

  2. Nice job presenting these beautiful fruits! I am familiar with some of them: pineapple, coconut, prickly pear and one similar to the rambutan, which when in the Philippines it was a lychee. I love the photos.

  3. I enjoyed this so much Nancy! There is a whole world of food that we know nothing about. I would love to taste these exotic beauties.

  4. I just learned about the prickly pear in your recent post and I do know the other fruits except the membrillo, that one is new to me. The Sapote look different too in mexico but I knew that already, but I didn’t recognize the custard apple. It looks so different to the one we have in our garden. Awesome post Nancy, would love to discover more food ingredients like this.

  5. I adore rambutan!! I did not know they grow it in Mexico. It’s one of my favorite treats from Sri Lanka. 🙂 I few of these fruits are also new to me… gotta see if I can find them in my Asian/Hispanic Market. 🙂

  6. I love prickly pears! In Greece (mostly in the islands), they brought the trees/cacti (?) to use as natural fencing. Let’s just say that it didn’t work out that way, but at least I get to eat a couple dozen fruit during the summer. I have a friend who claims she makes a jam out of prickly pears, but I’ve never seen it.
    I’ve mostly eaten quince as a sweet, either as a jam or small pieces stewed in a heavy syrup, but recently I’ve eaten a veal dish with tomato sauce and quince at a few restaurants in Athens. It’s mostly found in the mainland as a savoury dish and usually in the winter.

  7. There is an orange fruit in the photo at the top in between the mango and the pineapple which you did not describe. I ate this while in Cancun, and would love to know the name of them. They have a hard skin somewhat like a soft shelled Gourd, and the inside is full of seeds surrounded by a sweet jelly-like flesh.

    1. Hi Wendy,

      That’s a mango too. I’m pretty sure that the fruit you are describing is a yellow passion fruit — they are wonderful, but not always available. Thanks!

  8. Yesterday I went to the local farmer’s market and saw rambutan for the 1st time, as apparently, so did everyone else the stand owner had them listed as rambutan) The stand owner was quite friendly and was giving everyone instructions on how to get to the fruit and getting free tastes. All I can say is——“WOW WHAT FLAVOR!” To say almost everyone who tasted them, including me, bought some would not be an overstatement!

    I am hooked on a new fruit. The fun I having showing my friends and relatives my “new fruit” is worth the price I paid. I encourage anyone finding a ramatan to give it a try!

    1. Hi Iva! That’s fantastic that you discovered and now are hooked on rambutan. They are delicious, aren’t they? And good for you for spreading the good word. I too love discovering new fruits and foods. Thank you and enjoy those rambutans.:)

  9. Woman, you need to get out of the Playa supermarket and into the countryside. I live an hour from Merida in the middle of nowhere and I eat fruit you will never see inside a supermarket. There are Kaymitos, Zapote (not just negro), Mamey, and a ton of others. Explore the countryside and you will see. This stuff is too fragile to ever make it to centro de abasto.

    1. Hola Regina!

      You are so right, there is so much fruit and foods to be discovered outside of the supermarket. When I wrote this article I had just arrived in Playa so was still exploring around. Now I’ve gotten the opportunity to taste many other things only found in the mercaditios or small villages. Of course there are tons more foods to discover — as I’m sure you already know, every region in Mexico has something different to offer.

      Thanks and bonito fin de semana!