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The Fruit of South America

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 that I can on this travelogue in accordance to the locations where I find them growing.

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.

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 88 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 3411 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Rochester, New York

8 comments… add one

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  • Jasmine September 7, 2011, 8:50 pm

    The fruit in Colombia is crazy, just wait till you get to the coast! Try jugo de lulo, it’s amazing.

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    • Wade Shepard September 8, 2011, 12:28 am

      Right on, this juice is great!

      Have you ever eaten the fruit raw though? It is awful!

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      • Jasmine September 13, 2011, 1:27 pm

        Ewww no, a lot of the fruit is not good in raw form but delicious in juice.

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        • Wade Shepard September 13, 2011, 2:20 pm

          Haha right on! I’ve been finding this out the hard way reviewing fruit for this series. Some of them NEED to be made into juice or they are pretty much inedible. I’ve been testing them both ways, to some pretty funny results.

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  • Da Nuck September 8, 2011, 6:52 pm

    Wade,
    Have you tried jugo de guanabana con lecha?
    If not, you need to. It is GREAT !!!
    I know for sure it is served on the coast of Colombia.

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    • Wade Shepard September 9, 2011, 10:28 am

      Will be on the lookout for it. Thanks!

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  • Jack September 8, 2011, 11:32 pm

    Chirimoya is where it’s at.. I’m salivating just thinking about it.

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    • Wade Shepard September 9, 2011, 10:31 am

      Will be all over that cirimoya! I’ve jest been collecting all kinds of fruit and reviewing them. This is a fun project. There are SO many different kinds of fruit in Colombia. Will start publishing these soon!

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