I spy with my little eye something beginning with..? Well you get the idea, but sometimes the answers are not forthcoming. In particular, fruits beginning with the letter “I”. Off the top of your head, and without cheating by googling, can you name any? We thought that this was an impossible task, but we think you will be surprised by how many there are.
If you were given the letters “A” or “B” then there are loads of answers, and if you said “apple” or “banana” then you’ve taken the easy option. Fruits beginning with ‘I’ are a little more obscure, and there is a good chance that you may not have heard of any on our list. But that’s ok we are going to tell you.
One of the reasons you may not have heard of these fruits is because they have originated in far flung destinations and continents. Most of them are tropical, but all of them are absolutely delicious, and many are true superfoods offering a range of health benefits.
We have assembled a list of 9 fruits beginning with the letter I, pens and papers at the ready.
9 Fruits That Start With The Letter I
1. Ice Cream Bean Fruit
No, we haven’t cheated by starting the name of the fruit with “ice cream”. It’s alternative name is Inga Edulis, so either way it starts with I! The Ice cream bean fruit originates in Peru. If you were to spot one in the wild it basically looks like a big fat runner bean and they can grow to a pretty big size. People have been able to grow fruits as large as 2 metres long. We are going to ask you to take a guess as to what the fruit tastes like? Thats right, vanilla ice cream. Once you have removed the outer husk, the seeds inside are soft, white, pulpy and delicious.
2. Ilama Fruit
The first letter is an i, not an “L” so don’t confuse your fruits with tall furry creatures with a bad temper. The Ilama fruit originates in central America. It basically looks like a giant lychee and the fruit held within its tough exterior is a taste sensation. Much like the watermelon there are different variations of the fruit. The paler whiter variety, known as the ‘green’ Ilama is quite sweet. Whereas the pink Ilama is quite bitter and tart.
3. Illawarra Plum Fruit
The Illawara plum fruit can normally be found in Australia. In initial appearance it looks very similar to an overfed blueberry, this is where the similarity ends. No prizes for guessing what the predominant flavour of this fruit is? It tastes very much like a plum and can be used in much the same way. The sweet flesh can be eaten raw, or alternatively if you have a lot it can be boiled down with sugar to make a super tasty jelly.
4. Imbe Fruit
The Imbe fruit comes from Africa and looks like a sort of hybrid between a cherry and a mango. You might not spot many of these around as due to the fragile nature of their skin they tend not to travel very well. That said they have recently begun to be cultivated in Florida as the climate is ideally suited to creating ripe fruit, and the plant itself is pretty hardy. The flavour is similar to that of a plum, with a watery sweetness.
5. Indian Almond Fruit
This is one fruit that you certainly won’t want to make jelly from. The Indian almond is also known by as a sea almond, so named because of the fruits ability to float. The edible part is actually the seed that resides in the middle of the fruit. As the name would suggest it tastes very similar to almonds. The seed is encased in a fibrous layer of pulp to protect it on its journey. As the fruit originates from a country that is subject to monsoons it can be grown in areas that experience heavy rainfall, such as Florida.
6. Indian Fig Fruit
What do you get if you cross a pear and a cactus, the answer is of course an Indian Fig Fruit. Provided you have a thick pair of gloves and a lot of patience you should be able to access the sweet interior of the fruit which is tastes more like a strawberry than a fig. You can cut chunks of the flesh and heat slowly to make a really tasty fruit preserve, and the fruit can even be steeped in grain alcohol to make a tasty beverage.
7. Indian Gooseberry Fruit
There are no surprises with this fruit, it is basically a bigger version of a gooseberry, with a very similar flavour. Aside from the taste the fruit is renowned for holding several health benefits, including being rich in vitamin C, antioxidants and also contains vast amounts of iron and calcium. If you can’t get hold of the fruit don’t worry, it is often available in juice form, offering exactly the same benefits.
8. Indian Prune Fruit
Prune juice has long been known to be a superfood. This particular fruit, as the name would suggest is popular all over India. It looks slightly different to what you might think of as a ‘prune’ and looks more like a giant cranberry. They start off life as a vibrant red colour and turn blue as they ripen. They have a sweet taste and a sticky and chewy texture. Amongst numerous health benefits, they work as a natural laxative, so don’t eat too many.
9. Indian Jujube Fruit
The Indian Jujube has many uses. The fruit can be dried and candied, and is eaten in this form all around Asia. The fruit is believed to alleviate stress, anxiety and also can be used as a natural cure for insomnia. The fruit is rich in lots of vitamins and minerals.
So there we are. A whole list of fruits starting with I. Some of them may be hard to find, but with the increasing feeling that the world is becoming more of a ‘global marketplace’ and the ability to order online from specialist stores, there is a good chance that you might be able to sample a few. Why not treat yourself and discover something new?