Whether you’re out exploring amazing Mayan Ruins or seeing Tulum with kids, visiting Mexico will have you falling in love with the country. And what better way to learn about a culture than by enjoying its foods?
From spicy chilies and creamy cheese to guacamole, tapas, tacos, and more, Mexican dishes are a delight to the tastebuds. But don’t forget the exotic fruits grown here, some of which you won’t find in other parts of the world.
Here are fifteen of the must-try fruits in Mexico!
Mexican Fruits You Should Try in Mexico
A fruit cultivated all over Latin America, the avocado was first cultivated in the highlands between Guatemala and South-Central Mexico over 5000 years ago. So although it’s popular in many Latin American countries, it’s most widely grown in Mexico where it’s also considered a national fruit.
Eaten raw or added to the infamous guacamole and other sweet and savory dishes, you can’t go wrong with eating avocados at the Mexican markets.
You’re wondering what chilis are doing on this list? Did you know that chilis or chili peppers are a fruit? Scientifically, the Mexican chili peppers are a berry fruit from the capsicum family.
There are over 60 varieties of chiles in Mexico, and all of them are different. From the sweet chipotle to the smoky anchos, from mild pasillas to the make-you-cry hot habaneros, there’s a chili pepper in there for everyone.
You’ll find them added to most Mexican food and really can’t escape chilies in Mexico.
Mamey sapotes or simply mamey as they’re called are found all over Central America and Mexico. The oval-shaped fruit has a slightly rough brown outer layer and a soft brownish-orange inner layer of flesh that is buttery like that of a papaya or avocado.
Often used to make drinks and ice lollies, its taste is somewhere between that of a persimmon, apricot and sweet potato. The fruit can be eaten raw as well after the giant seeds are removed.
Tell someone who hasn’t been to Mexico that you love the tuna fruit and they’ll think you’re weird. But really, tuna in Mexico is not the fish, but the fruit of the nopal cactus locally known as ‘atun’.
Found all over Mexico in late summer, it’s a type of prickly pear fruit found in red (tunas rojos) or green (tunas verdes). Once you’ve gotten past the thorny outer layer, the sweet insides look like watermelons.
Luckily for you, street vendors all over Mexico skin the fruit and either sell it to you whole or diced in cubes.
If you thought eating the fruit of the nopal cactus was strange, think again. In Mexico, the leaves of the nopal are also an enjoyable food item, eaten raw or cooked.
A nutrient-rich food, the nopal leaves are plucked, stripped, and cut into cubes or strips. They’re then added to salads, soups, or simple stir-fries.
The guanabana or soursop is an avocado-shaped Mexican fruit with spikes on the outside. Filled with black seeds that must be discarded they’re toxic, it smells like a pineapple on the outside. But the creamy flesh tastes like a mix of strawberries, apples, and bananas, a bit sweet, a bit sour, and a bit tart.
You can find guanabana from June to September in the more tropical locations of Mexico or along the Rivieras.
Pitaya is an exotic delight that’s popular in Asia and Latin America. A fruit of the cacti plant, this pink fruit with pointy green ridges is said to resemble the scales of a dragon, and hence also called dragon fruit. With either dark pink or white flesh inside, and tiny seeds that can be easily swallowed. These seeds have also got the pitaya the nickname of strawberry pear.
Pitaya tastes best chilled, but you can simply buy it at street vendors, cut it in half, and enjoy the coolness of the pitaya in the heat of summer.
8. Huayas / Guaya
Looking like guavas, these guaya or huayas have a flavor reminiscent of a litchi or lychee, but slightly tarter.
Found in small markets or at street vendors, you simply split open their shells to reveal the peach-colored luscious flesh. This popular Mexican fruit is often added to sauces or jams.
Enjoy them any time you want – they’re literally a dime a dozen!
9. Cherimoya or chirimuya
Looking like a soursop or sugar apple, the chirimuya or cherimoya belongs to the same Annonaceae family. Usually harvested from September to November, the fruit has something like green connected bumps on the outside and a fleshy white pulp on the inside
Chirimuya’s are creamy and sweet and taste like a mix of banana and papaya. Also called ‘annona’ in Spanish, this fruit is so good that Mark Twain called it “the most delicious fruit known to men”.
Hold a Tejocote in your hand and you’ll wonder if it’s an apple an orange or a tomato? This Mexican species of the Hawthorn fruit is native to the Mexican mountainous regions and Guatemala.
The word Tejocote is derived from the Nahuatl word for ‘stone fruit’ or texocotl.
Although they can be eaten raw, tejocote tastes better when turned into punch or candy or added to spicy dishes. In fact, tejocote is very popular in Mexican candy sold for Dios de la Muertos celebrations.
A berry type fruit that looks like a miniature tejacote, the nanche fruit is a popular dessert in Mexico. The most prevalent form is in ice lollies.
Harvest in the grassy plains of Central Mexico, the locally produced licor de nanche is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. You’ll also find it added to stew-like dishes with rice and chicken.
The Mexican fruit species of passion fruit is called Maracuyá. The sweet pulpy fruit can be found in different colors ranging from yellow to purple, sizes ranging from golf balls to baseballs, and tastes ranging from acidic to musky.
Eaten raw or turned into a juice, it’s delicious either way. But most Mexicans prefer eating the maracuya with lime juice and chili powder.
Arriving here from India with the Spanish conquerors, this Asian fruit is popular all over Mexico. Sweet and juicy, the mango can be eaten from breakfast to dinner.
Mexicans love mangoes so much so that they’re now the biggest exporters of mangoes in the world!
Another fruit that was brought to Latin America by the Spanish, pomegranates, locally known as granadas are available throughout the year.
Pomegranates are added to the popular Chiles en Nogada dish which is basically a poblano chili that is stuffed with fruits, spices, and walnuts and topped with a creamy walnut sauce.
More easily available from September to November, pomegranates are the perfect Mexican fruit to just break open and eat.
This Southeast Asian fruit is also widely grown in Southern Mexico. The size of a golf ball, it tastes just like lychee and is just as sweet but looks a little bit hairier.
Rambutans are turned into fruit juices, or added to salsas and salads. Grab them from any street vendor when you can and enjoy these juicy fruit plain too!
Have you tried any of these popular Mexican fruits? What do you think of them? Which had you not heard of before and which is your favorite? Comment and let me know!