Olá, fruit enthusiasts! Ever wondered what a tropical paradise tastes like? Well, pack your virtual bags and join me on a flavorful journey across Brazil because here are fruits you must try in Brazil!
My vibrant country isn’t just about samba and soccer; it’s a fruit lover’s dream, bursting with exotic tastes that are as colorful and lively as its famous Carnaval.
I’ve included an MP3 file for each fruit showing you how to pronounce it so you can order with confidence in Brazil.
No matter what cities you visit in Brazil, I am confident that you will enjoy a great fruit experience that will make your taste buds dance with joy. So, get ready to explore a world where fruits are not just a snack, but a celebration of life.
As we embark on this fruity adventure, I just have to mention the bustling fruit stands and charming ‘lanchonetes de sucos’ that are iconic in places like Rio de Janeiro. These colorful juice bars are not just pit stops; they are lively hubs where the freshest local produce meets the art of Brazilian hospitality.
I hope you will fully embrace the experience as you visit Brazil. Eat the fruits fresh, drink the vibrant juices, and don’t forget to try the various fruit-flavored caipirinhas 🙂
Listen to the pronunciation of caju:
Did you know that cashew nuts come from caju? You can see them in the photo below.
Caju, or cashew fruit, is a unique and flavorful treasure of Brazil. Known for its distinct shape, with the cashew nut attached to the bottom of its bright yellow or red fruit, caju is both juicy and refreshing. It’s slightly tangy with a hint of sweetness, making it a popular choice for fresh juices and tropical desserts. Beyond its taste, caju is also packed with nutrients like vitamin C and antioxidants, offering both flavor and health benefits. This fruit is a true representation of Brazil’s vibrant and diverse produce.
Here’s a little more about caju.
Listen to the pronunciation of cupuaçu:
Cupuaçu is a cherished fruit from the Amazon region of Brazil, famous for its rich, exotic flavor. The fruit has a thick, brown shell and a creamy, white pulp inside. Its taste is very unique, often described as both tart and sweet. Cupuaçu is not only a treat to the palate but also a nutritional powerhouse, loaded with antioxidants and essential nutrients. It’s widely used in desserts, sweets, and beverages. This fruit truly embodies the lush, tropical essence of the Amazon.
Listen to the pronunciation of jabuticaba:
Jabuticaba is a peculiarly Brazilian fruit, notable for growing directly on the trunk of its tree. The fruit resembles a grape but with a thicker skin and a sweet, floral flavor. It’s often eaten fresh or used in making jellies, wines, and liqueurs. The unique appearance and delightful taste of Jabuticaba make it a memorable part of Brazil’s fruit repertoire.
Jabuticaba always brings back fond memories of my childhood, especially because of the beloved children’s show “Sítio do Picapau Amarelo” that I adored. One of the main characters, Narizinho, had a special fondness for jabuticaba. Every time I see these unique fruits, it’s a sweet reminder of those carefree days and my favorite TV adventures.
Listen to the pronunciation of pitomba:
Pitomba is super popular in Recife, where I grew up. Pitomba is a small, yet delightful fruit native to Brazil, particularly cherished in the Northeastern region (where Recife is). It grows on the tall Eugenia luschnathiana tree and is roughly the size of a cherry. The fruit features a thin, orange to yellow skin, and when cracked open, reveals a sweet, juicy pulp surrounding a large seed. The taste of pitomba is unique— a perfect balance of sweet and sour with tropical undertones, often likened to a blend of mango and citrus flavors.
In Brazil, pitomba is commonly enjoyed fresh, straight from the tree, allowing people to savor its fresh, vibrant taste. It’s a seasonal treat, typically found in local markets during its short fruiting period. Apart from being eaten raw, pitomba is also used in the preparation of jellies, juices, and even in desserts, adding a distinct tropical flair. Not only is it a tasty treat, but pitomba also offers nutritional benefits, being a source of vitamins and antioxidants. This fruit, while not as widely known internationally, is a true taste of Brazil’s diverse and rich fruit landscape.
Listen to the pronunciation of pitanga:
Pitanga (Surinam Cherry) is a small fruit with a bright red hue and a distinctly tangy flavor. This fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals and is often consumed fresh in Brazil. It’s also popular in homemade jams and as a refreshing juice, offering a taste that’s both sweet and subtly sour.
Listen to the pronunciation of guaraná:
You may know the soft drink called Guaraná. But did you know guaraná is a little berry from the Amazon region?
Guaraná is a remarkable fruit from the Amazon, most well-known for its high caffeine content, which surpasses that of coffee beans. The seeds of the guaraná fruit are where most of the caffeine is concentrated. In Brazil, these seeds are often dried and ground into a fine powder. This powder is a staple in many Brazilian households and is widely used for its energizing properties.
Unlike coffee, guaraná’s caffeine release is slower, providing a sustained energy boost without the sharp highs and lows often associated with coffee consumption. This makes it a popular ingredient in energy drinks and supplements.
But be careful if using powder guaraná for energy. Too much of it can cause taquicardia.
Listen to the pronunciation of maracujá:
I love suco e sorvete de maracujá!
Brazilian maracujá, or passion fruit, is known for its intense aroma and tangy taste. It’s widely used in desserts, drinks, and as a flavor enhancer in dishes. The fruit’s pulp, filled with edible seeds, provides a burst of tropical flavor that’s both refreshing and invigorating.
Listen to the pronunciation of graviola:
Graviola (soursop) is a large, spiky green fruit with a soft, fibrous interior. Its flavor is a unique combination of strawberry and apple with citrus notes. In Brazil, graviola is often used in smoothies, sweets, and ice creams, celebrated for its creamy texture and sweet, refreshing taste.
My mom’s favorite ice cream is sorvete de graviola <3
Listen to the pronunciation of acerola:
Acerola is a small, bright red fruit native to Brazil, renowned for its exceptionally high vitamin C content. This tart, cherry-like fruit can be eaten fresh but is also widely used in juices, smoothies, and as a natural health supplement. Its tangy flavor, with hints of apple and rose, makes it a favorite in refreshing beverages and fruit salads. Acerola’s vibrant color and zesty taste not only add a tropical flair to dishes but also offer significant health benefits, including boosting the immune system and promoting skin health. This fruit is a shining example of the rich and varied fruit bounty Brazil has to offer.
Listen to the pronunciation of pequi:
Pequi is a bright yellow fruit from the Brazilian Cerrado, particularly beloved in the state of Goiás. It’s most commonly used in savory dishes, like rice and chicken recipes, and is renowned for its strong, unique aroma and flavor. Pequi is an acquired taste, often leaving a lasting impression on those who try it.
Listen to the pronunciation of buriti:
Buriti, also known as the “tree of life,” is a fruit from the Amazon, notable for its high vitamin A content. It has a sweet, nutty flavor and is used in Brazil for making juices, ice creams, and desserts. Buriti oil, extracted from the fruit, is also prized for its nourishing properties in skincare products.
Listen to the pronunciation of carambola:
Carambola, commonly known as starfruit, is a gem among tropical fruits, with its distinctive star shape when sliced. This fruit, with its waxy, bright yellow skin, offers a taste experience that oscillates between sweet and sour, with a juicy and crisp texture. In Brazil, carambola is often eaten fresh, allowing its refreshing and slightly tangy flavor to be fully appreciated. It’s also a popular choice for adding a decorative touch to salads and drinks due to its unique shape. Beyond its culinary uses, carambola is valued for its health benefits, including being a good source of vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. The fruit’s light, summery flavor and aesthetic appeal make it a favorite for tropical fruit salads, drinks, and as a natural garnish to brighten up a variety of dishes.
On a side note, I find the word “carambola” really fun to say 🙂 It has a playful feel in the mouth, if that makes sense. Try it!
Listen to the pronunciation of cajá:
Cajá, also known as Spondias mombin, is a small (although is looks large in the picture, it is really small), vibrant yellow tropical fruit native to Brazil. It’s known for its distinctive tart flavor, which is both refreshing and slightly sour. Cajá is often enjoyed fresh, but it’s also popular in juices, sorbets, and other desserts, where its unique taste can really shine. Additionally, it’s commonly used to make a tangy sauce that pairs well with seafood. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, cajá is not just a treat for the taste buds but also beneficial for health.
Let’s not forget Salada de Frutas
Listen to the pronunciation of salada de frutas:
On a final note, I’ve always believed that comparing cultures is like comparing apples and oranges – it just doesn’t work. But, if there’s one thing I can’t help but compare, it’s the fruit salad experience between Brazil and the U.S. In Brazil, it’s not just a side dish; it’s a carnival of flavors and it’s super juicy, far removed from the more subdued fruit medleys I’ve found in the States. It’s like going from a quiet stroll in the park to a lively samba parade. Trust me, once you’ve dived into a Brazilian fruit salad, there’s just no going back!
Now that we’ve explored some of the tantalizing fruits Brazil has to offer, I’d love to hear from you! Which of these fruits have you already had the pleasure of trying during your adventures in Brazil? And which ones from my list are you eager to taste next? Share your fruity experiences and wish list in the comments below!
This post was originally posted in Feb 2009 and has been updated.