Meet another selection of unusual fruits from around the world that amaze not only with their eccentric shape, but also with a specific smell and spicy taste.

 

Ficus ear-shaped

Ficus ear-shaped (or Roxburgh fig)

wikipedia.org

Ficus ear-shaped (or Roxburgh fig)

wikipedia.org

Ficus ear-shaped (or Roxburgh fig)

KM on Flickr.com

Ficus ear-shaped (or Roxburgh fig)

KM on Flickr.com

Ficus ear-shaped (or Roxburgh fig)

wikimedia.org

Ficus ear-shaped (or Roxburgh fig)

flickr.com

Ficus ear-shaped (or Roxburgh fig)

wikimedia.org

Ficus ear-shaped (or Roxburgh fig)

wikimedia.org

Ficus ear-shaped (or Roxburgh fig) is a small tree 5-10 meters high, common throughout Asia. It also successfully grows in the state of Florida in the USA.

The leaves of the ear-shaped ficus are very large and round (up to 44 cm long and 45 cm wide and resemble an elephant's ear. Because of this, this plant is often called the "elephant fig".

The plant has a flattened fruit (syconium), which is also called a fig, and hence the plant itself is called the "fig tree". Figs grow either from the trunk of a tree or from its old branches. They are covered with yellow hairs and grow up to 4 cm wide.

The fresh fruits of this plant are eaten and have diuretic, laxative and digestive properties.

 

Thai eggplant

Thai eggplant

flickr.com

Thai eggplant

Foodista on Flickr.com

Thai eggplant

wikipedia.org

Thai eggplant

pixabay.com

Thai eggplant

pixabay.com

Thai eggplant

pixabay.com

Thai eggplant

pixabay.com

Thai eggplant is an eggplant variety with small spherical fruits. These eggplants are widely used in the cuisines of Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka.

The fruits of the Thai eggplant are the size of a golf ball.

Some of the varieties, such as Thai purple, Thai green, Thai yellow and Thai white, are grown in Thailand and are usually used only in Thai cuisine.

The green-white fruits of the Thai eggplant are also an important ingredient in Thai dishes such as kaeng thai pla, green curry and red curry. They are cut into 2 or 4 pieces and cooked in curry sauce where they soften and absorb the flavor of the sauce.

Thai eggplant is also eaten raw in Thai salads or with Thai chili pastes.

Sometimes, in Thai restaurants outside of Thailand, Thai eggplant is substituted with local eggplant.

 

Soapberry

Soap tree (or Sapindus)

Alex Popovkin on Flickr.com

Soap tree (or Sapindus)

David Eickhoff on Flickr.com

Soap tree (or Sapindus)

wikimedia.org

Soap tree (or Sapindus)

wikimedia.org

Soap tree (or Sapindus)

wikipedia.org

Soap tree (or Sapindus)

Alex Popovkin on Flickr.com

Soap tree (or Sapindus)

wikipedia.org

The soap tree (or Sapindus) is a small tree or shrub native to the tropics of Asia and America. Some species were cultivated on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus, in Transcaucasia and Central Asia.

Sapindus fruits are berries approximately 1,5 cm in diameter, containing one to three seeds. They are sometimes called "soapberries".

The washing properties of the fruits of the tree are due to the high content of saponins (up to 38%), which are also found in other parts of the plant. It is known about the poisonous effect of the plant on fish, protozoa and insects. The components of the plant are part of many medicines.

Saponins are complex nitrogen-free organic compounds from vegetable glycosides with surface-active properties. Solutions of saponins, when shaken, form a thick, stable foam. Widespread in nature, found in various parts of plants – leaves, stems, roots, flowers, fruits.

For many centuries in America and Asia, the fruits of the plant have been used as a natural detergent when washing fabrics and clothes. The fruits of the plant are mentioned in Ayurveda, they were used in traditional Indian medicine.

Currently, the plant is used in cosmetics and as an environmentally friendly detergent or cleaner. The fruits of some species are used instead of washing powder for hand and machine washing. When washing, they do not leave a smell, retain the color of washed things, and have hypoallergenic properties; after use, they completely decompose in the environment, leaving no pollution.

Soapberry seeds have a highly durable shell that is sometimes used to make bracelets, necklaces, or rosaries.

 

Blood orange

Blood orange (or blood orange)

pixabay.com

Blood orange (or blood orange)

wikipedia.org

Blood orange (or blood orange)

wikimedia.org

Blood orange (or blood orange)

wikipedia.org

Blood orange (or blood orange)

pixabay.com

Blood orange (or blood orange)

pixabay.com

Blood orange (or blood orange)

pixabay.com

Blood orange (or blood orange)

pixabay.com

Blood orange (or blood orange) is a blood-red variety of orange. This color is given to it by the presence of anthocyanins – pigments that are quite common in flowers and fruits, but unusual for citrus fruits.

The degree of staining also depends on temperature, lighting and variety. The fruit is usually smaller than an orange, has a ribbed surface and contains almost no seeds. The blood orange is a natural mutation of the normal orange, which in turn is a hybrid of a pomelo and a tangerine.

The first plantings of blood oranges appeared in Sicily. Red oranges are grown in Spain, Morocco, China, USA. This variety of orange has three common varieties: Tarocco (originally from Italy), Sanguinello (originally from Spain) and the newer Moro, there are also less common varieties.

Like all citrus fruits, blood orange is rich in vitamin C. The anthocyanins it contains are antioxidants that reduce the risk of many age-related diseases, including diseases of the cardiovascular system. They also reduce the risk of cataracts. In addition, blood oranges are a good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin A.

In cooking, blood oranges are used to make salads and cocktails, as well as to make marmalade and sorbet.