Mixed exotic fruit Antilles MartiniqueMixed exotic fruit Antilles Martinique
©Mixed exotic fruit Antilles Martinique|MDES
Tropical fruitsA taste of Martinique

Fruits of Martinique

Discover the true taste of sun-drenched tropical fruits, with flesh fragrant like nowhere else. You’ll be surprised by the profusion of other fruits less well-known in France, but just as delicious

The banana

Musa, Musaceae family

Original to the Far East, it is the most consumed exotic fruit in the world! Its arrival on the island dates back to the 17the century. It has since spread widely in Creole orchards and gardens. The most common is grown in plantations and destined for export, and is the banana “Cavendish”. Alternately fruit or vegetable, eaten raw or cooked, boiled or fried, flambéed or au gratin, many other varieties invite themselves onto West Indian tables: ti-nain, plantain, fig-apple, fig-rose… Compotes, juices, fritters and cakes delight in its sweet, slightly tart flavor.

The pineapple

Pineapple comosus, family Bromeliaceae

Christopher Columbus was offered a slice as a welcome when he landed on Guadeloupe’s shores; Father Dutertre dubbed it “king of fruits, because God put a crown on his head”. In Martinique, the pineapple plantations are on the north Atlantic side (Basse-Pointe, Macouba, Ajoupa-Bouillon, Morne-Rouge). Victoria pineapple is said to be the best in the world, the sweetest and most tender. In 2022, our growers introduced a new hybrid variety: the Queen pineapple, small in size, bursting with flavor and with yellow flesh, very sweet and fragrant.

The pineapple is enjoyed fresh, in juice, canned, in cocktails and fruit salads, in tarts and cakes, jams, jellies and sorbets. Its sweet pulp enhances sweet-and-sour dishes.

The mango

Mangifera indica, family Anacardiaceae

Originating from the Indo-Burmese region, in the foothills of the Himalayas, the mango was already cultivated in India over 4000 years ago! The mango tree, a majestic tree that can reach 30m in height, can be found throughout the Caribbean and of course in Martinique. In Martinique, the manguesoffer very special shapes, colors and flavors. The delicious mangue Julie is oval, flattened, pale green and red in color, with yellow flesh prized for its pure sugar taste and non-fibrous flesh (try it and admit it’s the best mango in the world!)


Amateurs also appreciate the Reine Amélie, whose very thin skin peels off easily from the flesh, the low-fibre, chubby, rounded apple mango, and the larger, oval mangot-bœuf. Other, more fibrous varieties, such as mangot-fil, mangotine and mangot-Bassignac are more acidic and are best enjoyed cooked, in vinaigrette to spice up blaffs and court-bouillons. Mangoes that are still green add a touch of acidity and a more binding consistency to dishes. As a starter, fresh and chopped, green mango is best enjoyed with lime juice and chilli pepper!

It is of course found in juices, punch, ice creams and even yoghurts.

The melon

Cucumis melo, family Cucurbitaceae

The melonwas already cultivated in Sudan 2500 BC! Its cultivation then spread to Egypt, Greece and Persia, and then to Europe. After arriving in Spain thanks to the Moors, Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World on his second voyage in 1493. There are many varieties, classified into 2 groups: embroidered melons (round, sweet and aromatic) such as Charentais, Cantalou, Sucrin de Tours and winter melons (oblong, smooth and odorless) such as Spanish melon, Honeydew, Piel de sapo… Cantaloupe is grown in the south of the island, on Sainte-Anne. Its orange flesh can be eaten raw, as a starter or dessert.

The carambola

Averrhoa carambola,Oxalidaceae family

Thecarambola(“star fruit” in English due to its sliced shape) is widespread in the Creole orchard. We love its crisp, sweet and subtly tart flesh and its refreshing taste (starfruit is 90% water!). As a decoration, it’s a sure bet with its star shape, a few slices awakening an exotic fruit salad. But beware: it’s a toxic fruit in large doses, especially for people suffering from kidney failure, for whom it’s a poison! To be eaten in moderation: no more than 3 per week…

The maracuja

Passiflora edulis forma flavicarpa, family Passifloraceae

A native of Brazil, the maracuja also known as passion fruit, is the fruit of a parasitic vine that runs along the fences of West Indian gardens, adorned with its magnificent flowers with colorful crowns. In the same family as the liana apple, the calabash apple and the barbadine, the maracuja encloses under its yellow or pink rind a pulpeorange juicy, gelatinous and tart, riddled with edible black seeds. Enjoy it with a spoon, cut in 2, with a little sugar if you prefer it less acidic. Its puréed flesh lends itself perfectly to sorbets, mousses and jellies. Try ti-punch maracuja, it’s delicious!

The guava

Psidium guajava, Myrtaceae family

This very popular fruit on West Indian tables originates from Peru, and was probably already known to the Amerindians (“gayaba ” in Arawak), long before the European conquest. The fruit of the guava tree, the size of a large plum, the guava is round or oval with a very thin skin. Turning from green to yellow when ripe, it contains grainy flesh, oscillating from white to deep pink, filled with numerous small, very hard but edible seeds the size of a pinhead. Smoky, tangy or sweet, its pulp is exceptionally rich in vitamin C (from 10 to 2000 mg per 100 g!).

So it’s only natural to eat it in juice, with the addition of water, sugar or lemon juice. It’s also an ingredient of choice in compotes, jellies, jams, fruit jellies, yoghurts and sorbets! Pharmacopoeia uses the green fruit and buds in infusions for their astringent properties.

The country cherry

Malpighia punicifolia, family Malpighiaceae

Native to the West Indies or the American continent, the acerola is known for its highly vitaminized virtues. In fact, it is one of the richest fruits in the plant world in vitamin C (up to 4000 mg/100 g!). In our region, it’s eaten plain, picked straight from the acerola tree in the garden, in juice, compote, jelly or punch. Its red skin covers a yellow pulp that’s deliciously tart, fragrant and thirst-quenching. While it physically resembles its cousin the cherry, it contains 3 fibrous pits.

The groseille pays

Hibiscus sabdariffa, family Malvaceae

You may have spotted large bunches of purple flowers sold by the kilo in the middle of fruit and vegetable stalls, wondering what they were all about? Very much in evidence at Christmas time, the country groseille is in fact a variety of hibiscus grown in the West Indies since the 17th century. The pink or brown heart of the flowers hides a fruit composed of a calyx of 5 sepals, juicy, crunchy and fleshy. Christmas gooseberries can be eaten whole: calyx, stems, leaves with a slight sorrel taste, cooked or in salads. The fruit is best enjoyed in jellies, tarts or fruit salads. The “syrup de gwozey” cousin of the African bissap, prepared at Christmas is served with rum…

The corossol

Annona muricata L, family Anonaceae

Lafcadio Hearn described this “succulent fruit with pits buried in an exquisitely flavored pulp” as “doudou corossol”. It owes its name to the island of Curaçao, from where it spread throughout the Caribbean in the 17th century. At the time, it was enjoyed fried in fritters. This large, heart-shaped green fruit with soft brown spines lends its whitish, stringy, tangy and refreshing pulp to juices and sorbets. It can also be eaten plain, by the spoonful, in fruit salads and cooked in flans or gratins. The pulp and seeds (inedible) of corossol can be used to make infusions.

The lime

Citrus aurantifolia, family Rutaceae

Another misconception to correct: the little fruit well known in our latitudes is actually called lime or Mexican lime and is not a variety of lemon! Originally from India,the lime was introduced to the West Indies by the Spanish during colonization. Like all citrus fruits, the shrub has sharp thorns, glossy green leaves and small, fragrant white flowers. The skin of this round oval fruit is green, as is its pulp. Acidic, juicy and fragrant, it’s inseparable from Creole cuisine: you’ll find it in many dishes, in meat and fish marinades, pastries, jams and of course in the famous ti-punch!

Tip: roll the fruit well under your palm, pressing hard enough to break the fiber and recover maximum juice!

The cinnamon apple

Annona squamosa, family Anonaceae

This round-shaped fruit, covered with scale-like tubers is very popular in Martinique. It is eaten locally, as it is too delicate to be exported. Opened in half, the cinnamon apple is eaten with a teaspoon. From the same family as the corossol and the cachiman, its grainy, white pulp is soft and fragrant. It contains shiny black seeds that are not eaten. It’s also used to make delicious juices and sorbets. Note that you’ll also find cinnamon apples at the bakery: it’s a local pastry with a brioche-like taste whose shape is reminiscent of the fruit!