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The Fruit of South America

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SAN GIL, Colombia- One of the first things that initially blew me away about South America when I first arrived in 2000 was the vast array and variety of fruits. In point, papayas were strange fruit to me then, and I found my jaw hanging each time I gazed up into a tree and saw fruits that were very much foreign to me.

What are those things?

The food that people eat around the world is 90% the same — chicken, beef, pork, lamb, eggs, rice, noodle, bread, beans, the same mix of vegetables. This mix is just prepared slightly differently to suite local tastes. But the fruits that span this world are truly very different from each other. After 49 countries and 12 years of world travel I still regularly see fruits that I have never observed before. Going into the fruit markets of this world is to still be surprised.

There are over 2,000 different types of fruits in the world, and many of these have many variations — there are over 2,500 different kinds of mango alone. So it is my goal to document, describe, taste, and catalog as many of these fruits as I can into regional series on this travelogue. The first one being the Fruits of South America.

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Filed under: Food, Fruit, South America

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Polis, Republic of CyprusMap