We know how hard it is to find fun and fresh new ingredients these days, especially when you’re trying to be healthy. So we’ve compiled this list of unusual fruit and veg that are taking the cooking world by storm.
From white strawberry-looking fruits that taste of pineapple to purple potatoes, we’re pretty sure you’ll never have seen anything like this lovely lot before. They might be harder to get your hands on than your average fruit and veg, but they’ll certainly turn heads at your next dinner party if you manage to source them from somewhere.
We’ve also included some ideas for how you can incorporate these ingredients into tasty dishes. But there are so many potential culinary combinations that there are plenty more ways for you to get creative!
Pink tiger Lemons
This pretty lemon variety was discovered in California in the 1930s and is now available nationwide in M&S for the first time. Fruit buyer Louisa Read says: “Not only is the Pink Tiger lemon a very pretty addition to a dish or drink, it is also more aromatic and perfumed than a normal lemon, with slightly less acidity. It makes a great addition to a cocktail – my favourite way to enjoy it is in a gin and tonic.” That’s something we’re sure we can all get on board with…
Take one look at this fruit and you’ll want it in your garden. It’s adorable – the size of a grape, with the skin of a watermelon. But don’t be deceived. The fruit tastes nothing like a watermelon and, bizarrely, tastes like a tangy cucumber with a shot of lime. It works great in salads or salsa, but also sits well in a martini glass – very James Bond with a twist!
This is one of the smallest strains of tomato in the world – it’s only 1cm long! The tomberry may be small, but it’s definitely mighty. It bursts with flavour and is super sweet, with a completely different taste to normal tomatoes. The fruit goes well in salad, but can also give omelettes a berry twist. Plus, it can even be used in smoothies too – the possibilities are endless!
Don’t be put off by its appearance. True, it may look like an unripe strawberry, but the pineberry is supposed to be snow-white with red seeds. As if this wasn’t weird enough, this strain of strawberry tastes nothing like a strawberry! Instead, it smells and tastes like a pineapple. Since it’s very sweet and quite acidic this fruit works brilliantly in a smoothie or as a topping to chocolate cake.
It’s no secret that we love avocado – in 2015 it was named the most Instagrammed fruit of all time. So get your Insta filters ready, because M&S are selling the cutest type of this fruit ever: the mini avocado. It’s half the size of its older sibling, which gives it a sweeter and creamier taste. You can eat it on its own as a light snack, or add it to salad – we think it goes particularly well with prawns.
It’s 75% apricot, 25% plum and 100% delicious. Yes, it looks just like an apricot, but it has a much stronger taste plus a hint of orange. This fruit is delicious in pies and can give your salads a sweet twist. Aprium muffins are also a tasty treat, and if you eat enough of them then that totally counts as one of your 5 a day…
If you like limes, but you’re not a fan of their harsh acidic taste, you’ll love the limequat. This cross between lime and kumquat has a juicy but slightly bitter taste and soft skin that’s easy to bite into. You can slice it up to give your salad a zingy kick, or even make it into jam and spread it on toast.
You’re sure to fall in love with this heart-shaped fruit, nicknamed the ‘custard apple’. Don’t be fooled by its bumpy exterior; it has a smooth, custardy texture within. With its sweet but tangy taste of pineapple and banana, this fruit sounds like something you’d find at Willy Wonka’s factory – but thankfully it’s in stock at Whole Foods Market! It’s perfect for fruit salad, or as a topping for your morning oatmeal.
With its spirals and symmetry, this veggie looks almost too good to eat! But it’s a treat for the tastebuds, with its broccoli and cauliflower flavour and hint of nut. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a Sunday roast, but also makes a healthy pasta dish.
Purple Sweet Potato
It tastes like a normal sweet potato, but there’s one big difference: it’s purple! This veggie can make your dish impressively eye-popping, and its high antioxidant level makes it super healthy. You can boil and mash it to add colour to your meat dish, or make a simple purple sweet potato salad. If you’re hosting a dinner party, purple sweet potato soup makes a brilliant starter – it may sound like Bridget Jones’ blue string soup, but it tastes delicious!
This fruit is a showstopper – and not just because of its hot pink outer skin and green spikes. It’s delicious and tastes like a pear, but with the crunchy seeds of a kiwi. You can eat the fruit raw by slicing it open and spooning out its insides, or you can scoop it into a blender and make a fresh smoothie.
It looks like a raspberry, but it’s actually a strawberry. Introducing: the strasberry. This natural variation of the garden strawberry is super sweet and juicy, and the perfect summer fruit. You can keep things simple by just adding cream, or you can go all-out and make a strasberry tart. It makes a refreshing drink, too – strasberry daiquiri, anyone?