Our natural world is packed full of some wonderful wildlife that the majority of us know nothing about. In this article, we’re going through the letter U and looking at fruits that start with U.
This means there’s always plenty of exploration you can do in the real world as well as online to discover more about some rare species of plants or animals that you’ve never heard of before.
Our alphabet fruit series is a great way to categorically go through the fruit world and absorb all the information you can manage about the juicy little treats.
Without further ado, let’s get learning!
Despite its slightly derogatory name, the ugli fruit is actually a popular delicacy in Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean.
It’s also known as the Jamaican tangelo and has a somewhat bump, green exterior which protects the juicy yellow flesh inside.
The flavor of the fruit is said to be somewhere between an orange and a grapefruit and has a fairly sour but also sweet taste.
It isn’t grown or transported internationally very frequently throughout the year and your best chance of getting a hold of an ugli fruit in the US or Europe is between November and April.
With alternative names like ‘Chilean guava’ and ‘strawberry myrtle’, the ugni berry is a particularly popular fruit in Australia and New Zealand.
Despite its popularity here, the berry is actually native to South American countries like Chile and Argentina.
They form on a bush as reddish-pink, round berries that can be eaten raw but are more commonly de-shelled and cooked into sauces or jams.
The umbu fruit is native to the Northern parts of Brazil, where it grows on trees that are very important to the local community.
Because these trees tend to grow in the poorest regions of Brazil, all food and agriculture are very important, and as a result, these fruit trees are treated very carefully.
In the past, the fruit was harvested by hitting the branches of the tree with long poles but this was later found to bruise the fruit too much and harm its flavor.
When umbu fruit is harvested carefully, it has a very sweet taste and a strong aroma.
They grow to roughly 1 or 2 inches in size and the exterior peel will turn green or yellow as it ripens.
This is the Malaysian name for the fruit that grows on a plant called spondias dulcis, which is cultivated in various tropical regions such as the Caribbean.
The flesh is said to be fairly crunchy and sour in taste. The golden flesh has been compared to pineapple in terms of its flavor and can easily be enjoyed raw.
However, it is more commonly used in cooking and can be made into preserves such as jam, as well as sauces, soups, and stews.
Essentially, this is a very versatile fruit that serves multiple purposes for the people who grow them all across Asia and the Caribbean.
This particular fruit is also known as a mangrove apple and grows on a fairly average-sized tree with reddish-brown bark.
The fruits grow in decent-sized rounds that have a thick, green exterior skin. However, when the fruit flowers, long white strands appear from its center into a spectacular floral display.
The pulp of the fruit is often ground down and made into milkshakes with coconut milk and other additives but otherwise, it is not the most popular fruit anywhere in the world.
This fruit is delightfully also sometimes referred to as a ‘peanut butter fruit’.
That’s because the small red fruits that appear on the tree are said to taste just like peanut butter. Good luck finding any other fruit in the world like that!
The fruit is native to South America but is also commonly grown in Florida, in the United States.
Usuma is also another fruit that can be eaten perfectly finely when it’s raw but also makes for great use in jams, juices, smoothies, and milkshakes so the consumption possibilities with this fruit are pretty much endless!
Alternative names for this fruit include ‘cape gooseberry’ and ‘goldenberry’.
They form in some very aesthetically pleasing, unblemished orange rounds that appear shiny and enticing.
They are native to Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru but have also been cultivated all over the world in places such as Hawaii, England, and even South Africa.
It is said to have a fairly sweet, tomato-like flavor which makes it useful for cooking as well as being eaten raw.
If you get the chance to try this fruit out, you should definitely take it!
This fruit is fairly common in Japanese cuisine and is often translated into English as ‘salted Japanese plums’.
Despite this description, the ume/umeboshi fruit is actually closer related to an apricot.
This is more apparent in terms of its appearance, with a leathery, orange exterior.
They are commonly dried and eaten as small snacks that have plenty of health benefits for the consumer.
Uva Rara Grape
We’re all familiar with the properties and flavors of grapes but the uva rara variety of grape specifically refers to a type that grows in the Northern wine regions, Piedmont and Lombardy, in Italy.
As you might have guessed, they are most commonly used for producing wine and are said to make the drink taste soft and fruity.
The translation of its name into English is ‘rare grape’ and even in the year 2000, there were only 1500 acres growing this grape in Italy.
Uva Tosca Grape
Another fantastic wine-making grape, this one is grown in the Emilia-Romagna region of East-Central Italy.
It grows mainly in areas of high altitude, where almost no other grape species are able to grow healthily.
It’s not clear whether this property affects the flavor of any wine made with the uva tosca grape but it certainly makes life easier for farmers who own land at higher altitudes.
The third and final wine-making grape on our list, the uvalino is grown exclusively in the Piedmont region of North-West Italy.
It has recently been found that the grape may possess some health benefits to those who drink its wine, thanks to its high levels of antioxidants.
Try to bear that in mind next time you pour yourself a glass!
This African fruit is also known by alternative names such as ‘dwarf custard apple’ and ‘ground sop’.
It has an interesting knobbly green exterior which protects a crunchy white flesh inside, with a few large, black seeds.
It really does look almost like a bumpy green apple at first glance but the flavor is certainly different.
This fruit is often made into juice or used for cooking but can also be happily eaten raw.
Growing primarily in the Amazonian jungle between Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, this fruit has a shiny exterior that will go through colors of black, green, and orange as it matures.
It is said to have a very unique flavor and is not enjoyed by those who are new to the fruit.
For that reason, it rarely makes its way overseas to be sold in other countries.
However, the South American people who have it growing nearby make good use of it and will happily eat it raw.
Also known as the ‘African star apple’, this fruit is particularly popular in Nigeria.
It looks something like a small, shiny orange in terms of its exterior but the flesh inside is much more fibrous and difficult to segment.
The pulp is eaten primarily as a snack in rural and urban areas of Nigeria, as well as in other nearby African regions.
‘Ulu is actually the Hawaiian name for what English speakers call breadfruit.
It has a gorgeous spiky exterior with bright green color and grows high up in trees that are native to a variety of regions.
They are now most commonly grown in tropical areas like the Caribbean, Central America, and Africa.
It is a staple food in many of these regions and is most often cooked before consumption.
Many have compared the smell and flavor of cooked ‘ulu fruit to freshly baked bread, hence where the name breadfruit comes from.
Wow, I bet you never thought there were so many fruits in the world that began with the letter ‘U’!
Honestly, we were surprised when we compiled this list by how many unique and interesting plants there were out there for this letter alone.
The only issue with this letter is that most of the fruits we’ve listed in this article aren’t commonly sold anywhere in the United States or in Europe.
With the exception of some of the specific wine-making grapes, it might be difficult for everybody to get their hands on all of these fruits to try them out.
Still, that shouldn’t stop you from trying to. It’ll just take a heck of a lot of traveling!
Hope you enjoyed reading this article, make sure to also check out our other articles:
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- How To Grow & Care For Your Monstera Plant? The Ultimate Guide - November 19, 2022