There are many fruits that start with the letter I, though most of them are not so well known. The vast majority of these fruits are not grown commercially and are usually only found where they are natively grown.
For this reason, if you are looking for fruits that start with I, you might be having a hard time naming any. Here is our comprehensive list of all the fruits that begin with the letter I.
Table of Contents
The Icaco is a fruit that grows throughout South America along the coastline. It is a squat, dark bush that produces soft, oval-shaped fruit with pink or white skin.
The fruit is extremely soft, with internal white flesh. Fascinatingly, the taste changes significantly based on how close to the sea it grows. If grown very close to the coast, the Icaco is very sweet; if it is grown farther away, it has a milder, mellower flavor.
Though it can be eaten raw, the Icaco is part of several native dishes, such as dolce de icaco, a Colombian dessert combining stewed Icaco fruit with cinnamon and sugar.
Despite its name, the Ice Apple is not truly an apple. It is a type of palm fruit that grows throughout India and parts of Southeast Asia. It is more commonly known as Nungu but gets its name Ice Apple from its distinctive translucent flesh.
The outside of the Ice Apple looks like a hard dark brown shell. Technically, the clear gelatinous insides are the seeds, not the fruit. The fruit itself does not ripen until it becomes less woody and fibrous and tastes similar to coconut. The Nungu is high in nutrients, including potassium and calcium.
The Ice Cream Bean is native to South America. It gets its name, predictably, from the opinion that it tastes similar to vanilla ice cream. However, it is also known as guama, guaba, cuaniquil, or joanquiniquil.
The bean also has a smooth and sweet ice cream-like texture. Some varieties also have a slight cinnamon-like spiciness. The edible seeds can be cooked and added to savory dishes.
Ice Cream Beans are usually eaten raw for their sweet flesh, with the seeds and pod discarded.
4. Ilama Fruit
Ilama fruit (spelled i-l, not to be confused with the spelling of the word “llama”) is a fruit that is native to Central America but may be found in certain parts of North America as well, including Florida. It is similar to the cherimoya and known for its vivid color and sweet, almost custard-like flavor.
The Ilama grows in a large pod that is either green or dusky pink. The green variety contains white fruit, while the pink variety contains vibrant pink fruit. The pod has distinctive triangular ridges.
Ilama fruit contains many seeds, which usually slip easily from the fruit. The fruit can be woody, but the flesh nearest to the rind is softer and described as having a custard flavor.
The Illawarra Plum is a fruit that is native to Australia. The evergreen tree produces small berry-like fruits that have the consistency of grapes. Each fruit contains a hard seed that needs removing before eating them. Their flavor is highly unique, tasting sweet and juicy with hints of pine.
This flavor is found in many types of Australian cooking. Though Illawarra Plums can be eaten raw, they are often cooked, made into preserves, or as the base of a sauce, marinade, or other condiments.
Illawarra Plums are known by several other names, including Daalgaal, Goongum, and Gidneywallum.
6. Imbe Fruit
Imbe, also known as African Mangosteen, is a fruit that grows through many tropical areas of the African continent. These include the Western coast around Cote d’Ivoire to the Eastern side in Somalia and other areas down to South Africa.
Imbe is not widely known outside of the continent. It is a bright orange fruit that is both sweet and acidic. It has a unique natural latex not often found in other fruits, which results in an unusual texture.
Imbe fruit is small, about the size of a berry, and contains one seed. Its juices contain strong dyes, which can stain fabric badly. Though Imbe is usually eaten raw off the tree, it is also sometimes made into a beverage.
7. Indian Almond Fruit
The Indian Almond is a tropical fruit found through much of the Pacific Islands, Australia, Southeast Asia, and parts of Africa, including Madagascar. This large tree, often used in landscaping, produces large purple or green fruit.
The outside of the fruit is a sweet fleshy layer, while the inside contains fruit that tastes much more like the common almond. These are eaten raw while newly ripe when the flavor is still sweet and the texture is soft.
These trees can grow to be enormous—as large as 30 meters tall.
8. Indian Fig
The Indian fig is more commonly known as a prickly pear. This yellow, green, or vivid pink fruit grows on cactus plants and is widely eaten in the communities to which it is native. These include much of North, Central, and South America.
This plant often mutates in the wild and therefore has many varieties. But the Indian fig is the variety that is most widely grown in the commercial market.
The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked. The inside flesh is soft and either bright yellow or deep pink. It is extremely sweet, with flavor comparisons to watermelon and bubble gum.
The Indian Gooseberry grows throughout many parts of Asia, including, predictably, India. It is widely eaten in those cultures and has important symbolism in Buddhism.
The Indian Gooseberry bush features large yellow flowers that eventually transition into fruit. The fruit is about the size of a chicken egg and similarly greenish-yellow. It has a central pit.
Its taste is very sour and even bitter. Despite this, Indian Gooseberries are frequently used in cultural dishes and eaten raw. You may find them in savory dishes, dried, or combined with sugar syrup to make confectionery. The Indian Gooseberry is also used in traditional medicine.
10. Indian Hog Plum
The Indian Hog Plum is a small yellow fruit that is native to South and Central America. However, it can thrive throughout tropical regions. After being introduced to the Pacific Islands, it spread throughout many parts of Asia and grows widely throughout the continent.
The Indian Hog Plum mostly grows in the wild and has rarely been cultivated. The small yellow fruit, which is about golf ball sized, is both eaten raw and used in cooked dishes. It is often used in chutneys and other savory dishes. Because it has become naturalized in the tropics around the world, it has many names.
11. Indian Jujube
The Indian Jujube is a fruit that grows on an evergreen tree species throughout many tropical regions. It has become naturalized throughout parts of Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.
In these parts of the world, the Indian Jujube is grown both privately and commercially. There are dozens of varieties, which have different colors, sizes, textures, and other aspects.
In general, the Indian Jujube is similar to an apple. It has shiny skin and crisp flesh. It is also very aromatic, sweet, and juicy. It can be eaten raw but is also frequently pickled or used as a component in savory dishes.
12. Indian Prune
The Indian Prune is a tropical fruit in the willow family. Originating in Southeast Asia, it has spread to other parts of the Asian continent and Polynesia.
The Indian Prune is a small red berry-like fruit. Some varieties may turn dark blue or purple when they are ripe. These fruits are high in nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus.
They may be eaten raw or else dried or used as a component in savory dishes. The taste is very sweet, and they are a popular fruit. Like other varieties of prunes, they are high in fiber and can aid in regulating digestion.
13. Indian Sherbet Berry
The Indian Sherbet Berry is a small member of the mallow family. These berries start yellow with tinges of pink and finally darken to purple when they are ready to be picked.
The fruit may be purple or white and is extremely soft, making Indian Sherbet Berries almost impossible to transport. Instead, they are enjoyed locally throughout many tropical regions.
The flavor is said to be reminiscent of blueberries with a slight tang. They are also high in many important vitamins.
Though few of them are known globally, many fruits begin with the letter I. If you ever have the chance to try one of these exotic varieties, be sure to take the opportunity.