By Ricky Skelton
June 12, 2007

Here is a list of some of the common and not so common fruit you will find while out and about in Brazil. Not all are uniquely Brazilian, but those that aren’t I’ve listed as a comparison with what I’m used to from home”. I’ve given my own personal score for each fruit as well.

Warning: Those who have visited Brazil will find their mouths watering and feelings of saudade appearing while reading this article. Do not be alarmed.

Cupuau 31%
Looks like a huge raw potato hanging from a tree. Tastes worse than one. Comes bottom because I associate it with someone being sick after drinking the juice for breakfast.

Abacate 40%
I love avocado but I don’t like the way it is eaten in Brazil. As a fruit (imagine that!) with sugar. Better left on the tree for another week or two until it softens, then put it in a salad or make guacamole. Que delicia!

Jenipapo 42%
Enjoyed by the indigenous people of Bahia. Like a small bees’ nest with yellow fruit inside that is so sour it stings worse than bees. Better for spitting out than swallowing.

Mac 48%
The best apples in Brazil come from Chile, and anyway this is more about exotic tropical fruits that you can’t find at home.

Mamão 53%
I’m still yet to be convinced by papaya, despite people all around the world swearing by it. It reminds me of pumpkin but without the flavour.

Ameixa 55%
Only gets a mention because Blondie couldn’t remember the name in Portuguese, her own language, but could in English. How can you forget the name of a fruit? No better than any other country that has plums.

Caj 56%
There are thousands, maybe millions of types of cashew fruit, and they come on impressively large trees, but the juice leaves me feeling like drinking water afterwards.

Goiaba 63%
The guava gets bad marks because, even though it tastes nice both as a fruit and a suco, when you eat one straight from a tree and find a little white worm hiding amongst the white flesh it isn’t the most pleasant fruit experience in Brazil. When you bite into one and find half a little white worm wriggling around, well.

Uva 64%
Brazilian grapes are great to eat, but other countries do them much better. If you don’t believe me, just taste the wine.

Laranja 65%
Again, always a favourite drink of the day is freshly squeezed orange juice, but Brazilian oranges are not much better than elsewhere.

Pupunha 68%
Pupunha grows on the trunks of palm trees, in small orangey-red bunches which are very pretty to look at. I can’t remember the taste at all though. Only gets a good mark because I like the name.

Grumixama, Jujube, Longan, Lucuma, Mamey, Marmeladinha, Wampi, all 68%
I have no idea about any of these fruits, so as above, I just like the names.

Melao 69%
I like melon, the taste, the texture, the juice – it’s always good to eat first thing on a summer morning straight from the fridge. Loses points for always hiding itself on a plate at the back of the fridge so that I forget about the second half of it until the flesh has turned a battleship grey colour.

Tangerina 70%
I prefer them to oranges because they’re much easier to peel. Bolivian tangerines would get a lot higher marks. They may taste similar, but in Bolivia, they seem to grow on the trees! To enormous sizes too, bigger than the average orange from other countries. Plus you can buy whole groves full of them on every corner for peanuts. The peanuts are gigantic too, as are most other fruits there, and as for the pumpkins – people use them as seats. But size isn’t everything, and Brazil has far more variety of exotic fruits, plus this is the Great Brazilian Fruit-Off.

Part 2 next week…

You can visit Ricky’s blog at

Previous articles by Ricky:

Understanding Brazil: The Kids
Brazil v Argentina: Buying Beer
Understanding Brazil: Mosquitoes
Around Brazil: São Luis
Teaching English in Brazil
Around Brazil: Lenois Maranhenses
Understanding Brazil: The National Anthem
Around Brazil: Barreirinhas
Around Brazil: Jericoacoara to Barreirinhas
Understanding Brazil: Shopping Centres
Around Brazil: Jericoacoara
Around Brazil: Chapada da Diamantina/Lenois
Brazil vs. Argentina: Statues of Christ
Around Brazil: Salvador
Brazil vs. Argentina: The Buses
Around Brazil: Morro de São Paulo (& Itabuna)
Understanding Brazil: The Workmen
Around Brazil: Praa Pateo do Colegio
Around Brazil: Porto Seguro
Around Brazil: Rio de Janeiro to Porto Seguro
Around Brazil: Cristo Redentor
Understanding Brazil: The Sellers
Around Brazil: Ilha de Gigoia
Brazil Journeys: São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro
Understanding Brazil: Dogs Part 2
Brazil: A Lie-In in Downtown São Paulo?
The Best Job in Brazil: Ankle Specialist?
Understanding Brazil: Dogs
Brazilian Places: Ilha do Santa Catarina (Floripa)
Classic Brazilian Journeys: South to Florianopolis
Understanding Brazil – The Shower
Brazil: Boats on the Amazon
Brazil: Understanding Novelas
Brazil: Bus fires in São Paulo – always a bad thing?

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