Let’s Get Fruity! Top 20 Must-Try Gorgeous Fruits in Taiwan

Here’s a colorful list of Taiwan fruits you must try!

Just this morning, I had the most amazing breakfast all fresh from this season. On my plate were a green orange, a giant persimmon, an even bigger pomegranate and a luscious dragon fruit. That’s only a smidget of what I grew up eating.

Taiwan isn’t known as “The Fruit Kingdom” for nothing. Although a high percentage of fruit vendors sell imported produce, Taiwan is naturally a subtropical zone and an ideal land for growing all kinds of tropical fruits. With mountains 4,000 meters above sea-level, and breezy cool climates from such mountains, Taiwan is a tropical island perfect for temperate-zone fruits as well.

So the next time you visit Taipei, don’t just indulge in what you know. Taste all that Mother Earth has granted this small but gorgeous island. Guavas, mangos, lychees, and papayas are just for rookies! Here’s a colorful list of all things you must try on your next big trip to my fruity island!

1. Shoot for the stars with Star Fruits.

They have a slightly waxy skin with crunchy flesh. Although it contains lots of juice, it lacks fiber. The sugary taste isn’t overpowering, and at times, I would venture and say it tastes…salty. But definitely worth a few experimental slices!

star fruit
Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay

2. Sweet and adorable Wax Apples.

They’re shaped like bells and each fits perfectly into any palm. They’re sugary and absolutely delicious. Look for “black pearls” wax apples, they are the most sought-after kind (with a purplish-red color) and can only be found in Taiwan.

Wax apples

3. Don’t envy, eat Green Mangos.

Smaller than typical red mangos, they’re also sweeter, containing a lot of juice. It’s the perfect summer fruit to chew on but be careful, it can get real messy!

green mango
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

4. Sugar-Apples, aka, “Buddha’s Head.”

Because they’re shaped like it! They are fragrant and sweet. Insides are custardy, creamy, and filled with seeds. They are delectable summer-to-autumn fruits, take a spoon and just go for it!

sugar apple buddha head
Image by 41330 from Pixabay

5. Go easy breezy with Yellow Watermelons.

They’re lighter and more fragrant than red watermelons. In Mandarin, we call them “jade watermelons” because of the color resembling an emperor’s robe. Must note: these make great smoothies as well!

yellow watermelon
Image by pixbbay from Pixabay

6. Milk Pineapples are a special breed.

No, it’s not really milk with pineapple, but it sure is high quality and absolutely delightful! The meat inside is pearly white, with a sweet and light smell. You’ve got to try it to believe it.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

7. Guavas exist all over, but the ones in Taiwan are particularly sweet.

If you are lucky enough to find ones that are pink inside, they are even sweeter. Some textures are crispier or mushier than others, and sizes vary as well. But they’re all over, many Taiwanese plant guava trees (instead of apple) in their backyards!

Image by Shantanu Kashyap from Pixabay

8. Same with Papayas…

Again, also prevalent in other countries. But the ones in Taiwan are more sugary and some have rouge flesh. Unlike in Thailand where green papayas are used for salads, Taiwanese papayas are perfect for creamy smoothies or they’re completely amazing on their own as a fruity snack.

Photo by okeykat on Unsplash

9. Durians are smelly but they are indeed the king of all fruits.

Spiky like porcupines on the outside. If you can get past the revolting smell, the insides are sweet like honey. They make the perfect frozen ice cream. Don’t be an ignorant traveler and make disgusting faces as you walk by a stand. Try first, then judge.

Photo by Jonny Clow on Unsplash

10. Dragon Fruits are gems!

They look like fireballs on the outside but offer breezy, fresh bites of summer goodness. Make sure to peel the pink skin off, then dive into an interior of polka-dots. They make gorgeous summer salads as well!

dragon fruit
Photo by Nikolai Chernichenko on Unsplash

11. Muskmelons whiff of the garden.

Taiwanese like to slice these babies up after heavy meals as a refreshing replacement for chocolates or cakes. Muskmelons in Taiwan have smooth skins and each comes in the size of a fist. Much smaller but just as sweet.

香瓜 muskmelon
Instagram mixxo36

12. Loquats taste like graceful combos of: peaches, citruses and mangos.

Imagine that! Also called, pipa (No, not Middleton) have yellow to orange skins, which are quite thin and need to be peeled off. They also make yummy jams and chutneys.

Image by 雲 曾 from Pixabay

13. Pomelos are Mr. Populars during Moon Festival every early autumn.

They’re the largest citrus fruits and are typically seen in pale green to yellow when ripe. The skin is quite thick so it takes a village and a half to peel but the flesh is white and incredibly delish. Worth the peeling effort for sure!

Image by 海峰 陆 from Pixabay

14. Longans, also known as, dragon eyes. They’re little ‘bros to lychees!

Darker shells, smaller in size, super sweet flesh with pinball-size seeds (hence, dragon eyes). Just like their older brothers, lychees, longans are beyond delicious and to-die-for. Dried longan also make gorgeous soups and hot teas.

Image by senjakelabu29 from Pixabay

15. Jujube are basically what people call dates, but better, which means…

…They’re not dried! The actual fruits that make dates are even tastier than apples. Crisp, fresh, light, juicy. I can live on them for months!

Image by jimi kim from Pixabay

16. “Beauty Tangerines” are no ordinary citruses.

They are larger than tangerines in the U.S., and totally sweeter than any other regular oranges. The skins are thicker, but easy to peel. Best part: no seeds! If so, very little.

beauty tangerine
Photo by Jonathan Pielmayer on Unsplash

17. Lychee (not from a can) are naturally sweet and juicy. I emphasize, naturally…not.from.a.can.

Unlike the ones we’re used to seeing in martinis now, they’re transparent if purchased fresh from the market. The taste is delicate and the smell is lovingly floral. They’re the perfect summer treats!

Image by Nicole Köhler from Pixabay

18. Asian pears usually have brown or yellow skin, and they’re not used in pies!!

Because of their high water content and crisp, grainy textures, they’re normally served raw and that’s the only way you’ll want to appreciate them.

asian pear
Image by Krzysztof Jaracz from Pixabay

19. Sapodillas are called “people heart fruits” (人心果) by locals because of their hearty shapes.

With 2-5 seeds inside, they taste like extremely ripe pears. Dried sapodillas by themselves or made into cakes are quite popular. They’re intense and make for perfect afternoon snacks.

Photo by Satheesh Sankaran on Unsplash

20. Sugar canes make the best fresh juices!

You can easily find them at street vendors or local markets. After the seller shaves off the purple bamboo skin, he’ll also chop them into stick-like pieces so you can chew, suck up all the juices then spit out the dry parts. So local, but that’s the way you gotta do it!

sugar cane
Image by Corinna Schenk from Pixabay

Wendy Hung


As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and St. Bart's because they were all so different!

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