Spain is a beautiful country with a rich history, magnificent architecture, and fantastic food. We lived in Spain (Girona) for three years and enjoyed our fair share of amazing Spanish food. In between tapas and Spanish wines, we managed to enjoy a wide array of tasty Spanish fruits. In this post, we look at some of our favorite, must-try fruits from Spain.
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What Spanish Fruits are Most Commonly Eaten In Spain?
Spanish food is often centered around cured and slow-cooked meats in rich broths and spices. The perfect accompaniment to the star of the show? Fresh Spanish fruits and vegetables!
Spain’s climate is mostly warm and dry, limiting the kinds of fruits that can be grown. However, its nutrient-rich soil means that the fruit trees of Spain are bountiful, often producing multiple harvests in one year.
The most common fruits eaten in Spain are citrus, grapes, and apples – however, there are so many more options when it comes to fruits from Spain!
If you want a more authentic experience, learning the names of fruits in Spanish will help! Spanish fruit names are often poetic and rhythmic in their pronunciation and helpful to know when ordering in smaller Spanish towns and provinces.
8 Spanish Fruits To Eat When Traveling
In our travels around Spain, we’ve been fortunate to explore from San Sebastian in the north, all the way down south to Gran Canaria and Tenerife. What we’ve learned is from cuisine to crops, Spain is a highly regionalized country.
What you find in Girona (Catalonia), you won’t necessarily find in Malaga (Andalusia). This means it’s important to eat what’s local, including fruit. Here’s our list of the 8 Spanish fruits to try when traveling around Spain.
|Fruit||🇪🇸 Spanish Name|
|🍏 Custard Apple||Chirimoya|
|Persimmon||Caqui or Kaki|
|🍐 Prickly Pear||Higo chumbo|
Avocados are a favorite fruit around the world, and Spain is no exception. Spanish avocados (known as aguacate) are green and shiny, with pale green flesh and ripe buttery texture.
These fruits of Spain aren’t just delicious; they’re also really good for you. Avocados are high in potassium and vitamins B, E, and K. They aid in lowering cholesterol levels as well as managing appetite.
In terms of growing, Avocados are in season from November to January and are one of Spain’s top produce exports – the Granada province alone produces around 44 million pounds of avocados each year!
Eat this popular Spanish fruit any way you please. Avocados are versatile and delicious in light salads, on toast, or in guacamole. A famous Spanish tradition is slicing the avocado in half, filling the hole with salt and balsamic vinegar, and eating with a spoon.
Custard Apple – Chirimoya
Of all the unique fruits from Spain on this list, custard apple is one of the most unusual. You find custard apple referred to as “chirimoya” and “cherimoya” but don’t worry, it’s the same fruit. This large tropical fruit is typically grown on the Costa Tropical and in Granada.
The green exterior is similar to scales and covers creamy, white flesh and shiny black seeds. However, don’t be fooled by the hardy appearance. Chirimoya bruises easily and can spoil quickly.
Custard apples are in season every Fall and winter. Make the trip to Granada in late Summer to see these fruit trees of Spain in full blossom before they fruit.
The Spanish usually eat their chirimoya fresh and raw, sliced in half with a spoon. Like avocados, custard apples quickly turn brown when overripe and don’t taste so great. Get yours fresh from fruit markets on weekends and enjoy on a sunny fall morning.
Fig – Higo
Do you know the difference between a higo and a breva? Now, this is one fruit from Spain that you should be careful of – it might not be what you’re expecting.
Fig trees in Spain have two harvests per year. Each harvest yields different fruits based on the rain and weather. Breva, the first harvest of the year, is green on the outside with pale red flesh. Breva are larger than higo, and because of their almost sour taste, are often soaked in syrup and spices before eating.
Higo fruits are purple-black on the outside, with a soft, sweet flesh that is delicious when grilled. You can find higo in grocery stores worldwide, or for the best local experience, bought from a street vendor grilled and drizzled in honey and goats cheese.
Persimmon – Caqui or Kaki
For a classic Spanish fruit, you can’t go past kaki. Persimmons were brought to Spain in the early 19th century from China and have become a firm local favorite ever since. Spanish persimmons are much larger than their Chinese cousins due to the growing conditions and nutrient-rich soil.
Kaki fruits grown in Spain are deep red and soft, with an over-sweet caramel flavor. The Spanish variety of persimmon is popular for its lack of seeds and rich taste. Growers use a particular cultivation method to remove any bitterness from the tannins, which means this fruit is often picked before it is completely ripe.
Spanish locals enjoy kaki fresh, chilled, and sliced. Buy yours firm from Spanish grocery stores and enjoy it as a topping on salads or on its own for a delicious flavor experience!
Loquat – Nispero Fruit
‘A loquat by any other name would smell as sweet’ might not have the same ring to it, but loquats are actually part of the rose family! Related to pears and apples, the name for this fruit in Spanish is nispero and has long been associated with good luck.
First introduced from Southeast China, loquats arrived in Spain more than 2000 years ago and have been endemic ever since. While Hawaii, California, Israel, and Brazil all cultivate loquat plantations, the latitude and perfect climate mean that Spain is the leading supplier of this crunchy fruit to Europe and North America.
There are two types of loquat fruits grown in Spain: Argelino and Tanaka. The Argelino loquat is sweeter, and best enjoyed raw and fresh. Tanaka loquat are firmer and more tart making them great for baking and cooking.
Quince – Membrillo
One of the best Spanish fruits to try on your visit is quince. Apple-like in appearance, these light, sweet fruits are often used in jams and jellies due to their high pectin content.
Known as membrillo, quince is grown in Granada province and other parts of Andalusia. You’ll find this unique fruit from Spain baked in pastries, roasted with cinnamon, or cooked with apples in crumbles to enrich the flavor.
If you’re not sure about the taste, quince fruits give off a beautiful light perfume that will fill your home with the scent of summer. The fruit trees are known for providing a spot of shade in a dry climate, and the heavenly scent doesn’t hurt either!
Guava – Guayaba
Guava, or guayaba, are fruits native to South America and Mexico that have exploded in popularity across Spain. These fruits are as pretty as they are tasty, with bright green skin and soft pink flesh. Guavas have a taste described as a cross between a strawberry and a pear – sounds a bit strange, but trust us, it’s delicious!
These fruits from Spain are used in everything from juices to salads, to baking and cooking. In season is late Spring and Summer. Look for fruits that are firm and unblemished in your local grocery store. Guavas that are bruised or have broken skin will perish faster and often taste bitter and unpleasant.
Prickly Pear – Higo chumbo
Probably the most intimidating fruits from Spain, prickly pear is delicious – if you eat it right! These fruits grow on cactus plants laden with fine, sharp needles that cover the surface of the fruit. Vendors wear thick gloves and use metal tongs to remove the needles, so you don’t have to do the hard work.
Once peeled, these Spanish fruits are, of course, needle-free and fleshy with tiny seeds. In summer, look out for Chumbo stands laden with the orange-green fruits so popular with locals. If you can get past the spikes, the flesh is rich and sweet, with a watermelon-like flavor that is oh-so-refreshing in the warmer months.
As long as you’ve peeled them properly, prickly pears are best eaten raw and fresh with a spoon or sliced over granita for a classic Spanish summer treat.
So Many Tasty Fruits To Eat In Spain
This list of Spanish fruits is only the beginning – you might find many more fruits that delight your taste buds on your journey. Make sure to get as much of your fruit from Spain at markets and roadside vendors. These are often the freshest and best way to enjoy all of the produce that Spain has to offer. All that’s left to do is learn the lingo – once you know the names of fruit in Spanish, you’ll be unstoppable!
FAQs – Spanish Fruits
Thanks to its location along the warm and sunny Mediterranean, Spain produces some of the best citrus fruit in the world. Without a doubt, lemons, limes, and especially oranges are the most famous fruits in Spain.
This is a tough one. It comes down to two fruits; oranges and grapes. Spain is renowned for its oranges. It’s also one of the best wine producing countries in the World.
Spain has the right climate and terrain to produce a wide range of food. With in Europe, Spain is the largest producer of oranges, avocados, and watermelon.