13 Jamaican Fruits To Try When Traveling To Jamaica

When you think of Jamaica, you probably think of beautiful beaches, reggae, and friendly locals. While these are all true, this Caribbean country is so much more especially when it comes to food including fruit. Jamaican fruits are among the best in the Caribbean and are not to be missed. In this post, we explore some of the best fruits on the island you must try when visiting.

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What Tropical Fruits In Jamaica Are Most Common?

Fruits from Jamaica are typically larger, sweeter, and more decadent flavors than fruits grown on the mainland continents. This is due to the tropical climate and high amounts of salt and nitrogen in the soil, encouraging more decadent flavors amongst the final fruit product. 

The most common tropical fruits found in Jamaica are mangos, passionfruit, pineapple, and ackee. While most of these are well-known overseas, in Jamaica, fruit varieties are often larger, sweeter, and juicier than their European and American counterparts. 

Look for unique Jamaican fruits like star fruit, alligator pears, and ackee fruit – these tropical fruits are a luxury in other parts of the world and have the price tag to prove it!

13 Fruits In Jamaica To Try

Jamaican Fruits To Try When Traveling To Jamaica
Jamaican Fruits To Try When Traveling To Jamaica

If you’re after something more unique to the region, here is our list of 13 fruits in Jamaica for you to try on your visit!

Jamaican Star Apple

Don’t be fooled by the bright ruby color of this Jamaican fruit – while you cannot eat the skin, the flesh is a deliciously refreshing delicacy that will have you coming back for more!

Jamaican star apple has a milky taste and Jello-like texture – often described as similar to a persimmon or custard apple. These fruits in the Caribbean are in season between November – March and are favorites with locals and tourists alike. 

This Caribbean fruit is most commonly combined with juice from the sour Seville oranges to create a drink called ‘matrimony,’ – referring to the marriage of flavor between the two fruits. 

Jamaican Pear

Jamaican pear is famous worldwide, particularly when crushed up on toast and sprinkled with feta and chili flakes. That’s right – Jamaican pear is another word for avocado! You may also hear them called alligator pears in reference to their tough, scaly skin. 

These fruits in the Caribbean have been around since around the 8th century, and you’ll often find the rich, creamy fruits growing in backyards and on the street. Due to the ideal climate, an avocado tree in Jamaica can produce hundreds of fruit during peak season, and people will often give them away rather than see them rot. 

In the season between August – December, avocado is most commonly eaten in place of butter on sandwiches or as a topping on a traditional spiced cake called bulla. You can find bulla in cafes and markets around the island, so make sure to try it yourself!

Jamaican Apple – Otaheite Apple

Jamaican Apple - Otaheite Apple

Hailing from the South Pacific islands, Otaheite apples are known by many other names. Malay rose apple, mountain apple, and Ethiopia apple are just some of the monikers this Caribbean fruit goes by. Regardless of the name, one thing is certain, its delicious taste. Just don’t go trying to make apple cider, it’s not that kind of apple.

This Jamaican fruit is less like your normal Red Delicious and more like a Packham’s pear. The fruit is shaped the same, and the light, grainy flesh feels and tastes very similar to the green pears sold in the US and overseas.

Otaheite apples are in season from February to April and can be found in fresh produce markets. For the most authentic experience, eat your Otaheite apples freshly sliced after a long day of exploring for a local pick-me-up.

Jamaican Plum

Originating from Hawaii, Jamaican June plums arrived in the late 18th century and exploded in popularity. Jamaican plums are also very popular in India, Sri Lanka, and many parts of Southeast Asia. 

When ripe, Jamaican plums have a sweet, sour taste similar to unripe nectarines. This Caribbean fruit is often made into jellies or drinks, perfect for the warm tropical weather. Want the most delicious, sweet ripe Jamaican plums? Despite the name, June plums are in season from September through to mid-January.

If the plum isn’t ripe, it has a strong, astringent taste that you will either love or hate. Unripe Jamaican plums are usually stewed into curries or eaten sliced with salt, pepper, and chili.

Jamaican Ackee Fruit

ackee and saltfish

Jamaica’s national fruit, the ackee is a common ingredient in Jamaican cooking. Ackee fruit has a mild, nutty taste, and features in many plates of seafood and traditional savory dishes. 

Originating from West Africa, this Jamaican fruit made its way over the seas in the 18th century and is now widely spread throughout the county. 

To try ackee, get your hands on Jamaica’s national dish – ackee and saltfish. Make sure you wait until it’s ripe though! These Caribbean fruits are toxic until the flesh ripens to a deep red color and will cause severe stomach upsets if ingested too early. In addition, the black seeds will remain poisonous, so avoid those when cooking or eating ackee fruit. 

Mammee Apple

Don’t let the name confuse you – this Jamaican fruit is more similar to an apricot than any apple we’ve ever seen! Known also as the Santo Domingo apricot, mammee apples are stringy and sour-sweet, just like the apricots you have at home. This Jamaican fruit is closely related to the mangosteen and is in season July through October.  

Mammee apples can be eaten raw and cut into slices but is most commonly stewed and made into jellies for eating with seafood and fresh bread. 

Breadfruit

This starchy fruit from Jamaica may just be the most nutritious fruit in the world – isn’t that something!

There are over 300 varieties of breadfruit in the world, and this tasty Jamaican fruit is used as a substitute for bread, potato, or rice in many recipes. Originally from Polynesia, breadfruit made its way to the Caribbean islands around the 16thh century and has remained ever since. 

This versatile Caribbean fruit is enjoyed baked, grilled or deep-fried and dipped in spicy sauces. When breadfruit is slightly overripe, grab a spoon and eat it straight out of the skin – the taste and texture are like that of rich, sweet custard.

Mango

mango

Mango is universally loved, and it’s very easy to see why! This versatile Jamaican fruit is one of the most famous fruits in the Caribbean and can be used in many dishes. You can find mango in Jamaican curries, salads and traditional juice drinks.

The best way to eat mango, in our opinion, is fresh! Cut your mango in half, remove the pit, and then slice into cubes for a sweet, summery Jamaican fruits experience!

Passion Fruit

passionfruit

Thriving in tropical climates, the passionfruit is endemic to Jamaica – this delicious sour fruit can be found growing wild, or in the backyards of locals all over the island. There are hundreds of varieties of this Caribbean fruit, but they all fall under the umbrellas of ‘yellow skin’ and ‘purple skin’.

The Jamaican passion fruit is popular for its wonderful, refreshing taste and its health benefits and aromatic properties. You’ll find passion fruit oils, butters, skin care and aromatherapy products all around Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean. Even if you’re not a fan of the sweet and tangy taste, you can’t deny the delightful scent!

Pineapple

Jamaican pineapple
Visiting a pineapple and fruit farm in Jamaica

Pineapple is easily one of the more famous fruits in the Caribbean, and one that you know well! However, do you know the history behind pineapples in Jamaica? These sweet, tangy Jamaican fruits were once considered to be the height of luxury, and English lords would rent a pineapple to display at their home to impress visitors. 

If you visit Jamaica, it’s a good idea to make a trip to Croydon Plantation. This beautiful 18th-century plantation was built and worked by Jamaican slaves up until the 20th century.  Today, Croydon is a working farm producing 17 varieties of pineapple for domestic and international consumption. 

Pineapples were first brought to Jamaica by the Tainos tribe, and are now featured on Jamaica’s coat of arms. So eat your pineapple the way the locals do – fresh, sprinkled with a bit of chili powder.

Sweetsop – Sugar Apple

Also known as sugar apple, this Jamaican fruit has a similar appearance to a custard apple. The outside is blue-green and the inside contains firm, creamy flesh that is reminiscent of vanilla or custard. Sweet sop is commonly used in Jamaican baking and desserts, and can also be found chopped up in fruit salads.

For a different taste experience, try sweetsop grilled and covered in jerk spices – the sweetness and salty tang work together to create something unforgettable. 

Tasty Jamaican Fruits

Jamaican fruits are rich, sweet, and definitely worth trying during your trip. Fruits from Jamaica don’t just taste good; many of them also have interesting histories and traditions behind them.  The unique flavors and ties to colonial history are just a couple of reasons for you to eat as many as you can when you visit Jamaica. Of course, this list only covers some of the best – if you have a favorite we haven’t mentioned here, let us know in the comments!

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