You can find most of these items at the grocery store, but some may have to be purchased at specialty stores or health food shops.
Ever been at the grocery store or seated at a restaurant and found a food you’ve never seen or heard of before? Whether it has a strange name or is unfamiliar looking, it might be something you’d love. Jot down a few of these that look interesting or take this list with you next time you shop—you’ll bring home something new and exciting!
Daikon Radish – While this veggie is in the radish family, it looks more like a white carrot. Due to its mild taste, this root vegetable can be enjoyed in a vast variety of dishes; nibble on it raw, toss into a salad, use it in a stir-fry or simmer it in a soup.
Jicama – Also known as a Mexican yam or turnip, this hearty, winter vegetable somewhat resembles a potato. It’s quite crunchy and is tasty both raw and cooked. In Mexico you may find it tossed in a salad along with mango, pineapple, cucumbers and other fruits.
Kohlrabi – Related to the cabbage, this green or purple bulb-like vegetable has multiple layers of skin with a juicy and crisp center. You can enjoy this veggie raw, in soups, mashed or roasted with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.
Kumquat – This tiny fruit grows on a short tree and looks like a mini, oval orange. The coolest part of this tart and sweet citrus fruit is you can eat it whole—skin and all! You’ll find these in season during the winter months and you can add them to salads or desserts.
Lychee – Another small fruit that grows on a tree, Lychee looks kind of like a raspberry—but don’t try to pop one of these in your mouth whole. The outer layer is a hard shell; once peeled the inside reveals a white-ish fruit with a seed in the center. Discard the seed and enjoy the sweet and slightly crunchy fruit.
Fennel Root – Fennel has a big white bulb with green stalks and teeny leaves that look similar to dill. This root veggie is a popular hearty winter food with a mild and slight flavor of black licorice. Sauté chopped fennel and cabbage with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, Himalayan sea salt and pepper for a delicious side dish.
Fiddleheads –This earthy-tasting veggie looks as fun as its name sounds. From the fern family, fiddleheads are bright green and are curled up in a tight coil. You’ll find this in specialty shops or online, but only in early spring. Some find it tastes similar to asparagus or spinach. Unlike some of the other veggies on this list, this one must be at least lightly cooked; you can steam or sauté it as a yummy side.
Rambutan – You’d remember if you’ve seen this odd looking fruit. The outside is bright red with spiny, hair-like points—sounds scary, but the inside is delicious. The clear fleshy fruit inside resembles a peeled grape and tastes both sour and sweet.
Star Fruit – This exotic fruit looks exactly like its name when sliced! Usually light green or yellow, star fruit originates from Southeast Asia and is grown in Hawaii and Florida; you’ll find them in the grocery store during the winter months. This juicy and tangy fruit is great to eat raw or juiced!