Next time you’re in the grocery store, think outside the apple or banana box. Try out one of these nutrition-packed, delicious, and exotic fruits that start with “L.” Many specialty shops carry fruits from all around the world, either in fresh or dried form. Many tropical fruits have valuable antioxidants and vitamins that you’ll have a hard time getting anywhere else.
Why not be adventurous and take a gamble on one of these fruits? You won’t be disappointed!
Table of Contents
1. Lady Apples
Lady apples are a popular apple variety with deep roots in North America. These fall classics are generally yellow or green with red patches on them. They tend to have a juicy, subtle flavor that’s not as tart as a Granny Smith apple.
Lady apples are lovely when eaten cooked. They taste particularly good in pies, crisps, and crumbles.
2. Lancetilla Mango
Lancetilla mangoes are hefty versions of the famous tropical fruit and can even get up to five pounds. These mangoes came from Honduras but are now grown in most of Central America and South Florida. Unlike other varieties of mango, the Lancetilla mango has deep red skin and yellow flesh.
3. Langra Mango
Langra mangoes are very sweet and hail from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and parts of India. Unlike other mango varieties, the Langra mango does not ever taste sour or tart. Instead, these mangoes are always soft, sweet, and delicious.
They tend to be fairly fibrous, which can be off-putting for some people. But, if it is for you, simply toss this mango into a smoothie for a sugary, dessert-like treat.
4. Langsat Fruit
Langset fruits have a unique balance of sweet and sour flavors and are a delicious but lesser-known fruit from Southeast Asia. Some people say that langsat fruits look like small potatoes, thanks to their light brown peels. However, inside, they’re translucent and taste like a cross between grapes and grapefruit.
Langsat fruits are nutritionally dense and packed with carbohydrates, minerals, proteins, and vitamins. They also have plenty of riboflavin and thiamine.
Lapsi comes from Nepal, and the entire tree is useful for wood, medicinal products, and fruit. Lapsi wood is sturdy and exceptionally beautiful, and its seeds are often ground into medicine.
The fruit itself is fairly sour, so it’s either sweetened and made into jam or pickled. Lapsi is very high in Vitamin C.
Lardizabala comes from Chile and has magnificent flowers to go along with its sweet, fibrous fruit. You can eat lardizabala cooked or raw, and people consider it a delicacy in both its native Chile and Peru. You can usually find lardizabala in local markets, but it might cost you!
Since these plants are so pretty, they’re used as decorative components in gardens.
7. Le Conte Pear
In 1856, John Eatton Le Conte brought the Le Conte pear to Georgia, and it’s been a local favorite ever since. These delicious pears are similar to Asian pears, and you can enjoy them raw or cooked.
If you’re not planning to eat your Le Conte pears right away, pickle them. Pickled pears last several months.
Along with limes, lemons are the most famous citrus fruits in the world. What makes lemons so fantastic is their versatility. This sunny-colored citrus fruit can brighten up any dish and even has some medicinal benefits. They’re packed with Vitamin C and can ward off kidney stones.
Lemons sprout up all over the world, and a single lemon tree can produce hundreds of lemons.
9. Lemon Aspen
Although this Australian fruit has “lemon” right in the name, its flavor resembles a grapefruit with just a dash of lime. It’s highly acidic and rarely eaten by itself. Instead, most people use lemon aspen to perk up desserts and sauces.
Lemon aspen has a highly aromatic flavor to match its citrusy taste.
10. Liberty Apple
In 1955, the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station created its first Liberty apple, and by 1978 the general public could savor and enjoy their hybrid treat. Liberty apples taste a little bit like McIntosh apples. They are pretty sweet but a tiny bit tart.
As such, they’re excellent when eaten raw, and they also make a great addition to jams, compotes, pies, and tarts. Liberty apples pair well with savory dishes too.
11. Lilly Pilly
Lilly pilly berries sound like they’re straight out of Alice in Wonderland, but they’re real-life antioxidant powerhouses that can do wonders for your skin. Lilly pilly is very high in anti-inflammatory ingredients and Vitamin C, which can help your skin look younger and more luminous.
Start tossing some lilly pilly berries in your smoothies, and you’re bound to experience smoother, softer skin. Some people even say that this type of berry can give them a dewy glow better than any moisturizer!
Limes are popular fruits all over the world. These tart, deep green citrus fruits sometimes stand in for lemons as cocktail garnishes or add-ins, and there’s a whole host of desserts that feature limes.
Limes are highly nutritious and come in many varieties, like the kaffir lime, Persian lime, or key lime. They are full of Vitamin C, and although most people don’t eat limes whole, you can use lime juice and salt to brighten up a plate of papaya or make your guacamole extra zesty.
Limequats are a lovely kumquat and lime hybrid that grows in many different parts of the world. These tangy fruits have edible skin, and you can toss them into fruit salads or use them as cocktail garnishes.
Mix them with sugar for limequat preserves, or candy them for a sweet and sour treat.
Although lingonberries aren’t so common in most of the United States, they are very well-known in many Nordic countries. Lingonberries taste similar to cranberries. Like cranberries, most people mix them into smoothies or make syrups and jams out of them.
Lingonberries are true nutritional powerhouses; packed with Vitamin C, A, and magnesium.
Loganberries are a deliberate hybrid that fuses blackberries and raspberries. They’re named after James Harvey Logan, tend to be on the larger side, and are very tart and juicy.
Although it’s possible to eat raw loganberries, most people like to counterbalance their tartness with some sugar and use them for jams.
Longan is another fruit that hails from the soapberry family. It’s lychee’s close cousin, and its name comes from Cantonese for “dragon eye.” Although longans do look like eyeballs, don’t let their strange appearance put you off. They are delicious, grape-flavored fruits packed with antioxidants.
Longans can help regulate stomach issues as well since they’re jam-packed with fiber. There’s some anecdotal evidence that they can even help control your diabetes.
Loquat comes from China and is the fruit of an evergreen shrub. Chinese people use virtually every part of this plan. The leaves make a beautiful, herbaceous tea, and the small citrusy fruits are sweet and delicious. They make the perfect snack.
Loquat fruit can be yellow, red, or orange, but their flavor profile and size are always the same. In addition, the loquat shrub itself is a valuable ornamental plant that’s gaining traction and popularity in Southeast Asia and around the world.
Lucuma is a Central and South American fruit found predominantly in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Peru, and Chile. It’s one of those polarizing fruits that you either fall in love with or dislike. Lucumas are sweet and delicious, but their texture is pretty mealy. If the texture isn’t to your liking, you can disguise it by popping lucuma into a smoothie or even making ice cream.
Although lulos come from the nightshade family, this fruit is not toxic and is a distant cousin of tomatoes and eggplants. One of the most exciting aspects of a lulo is its appearance. It looks like an orange in reverse, with an orange rind and a green interior.
Lulos are supposed to taste like a cross between rhubarb and lime, with a distinct citrusy aftertaste. Although it’s true that this fruit just isn’t for everyone, it has a bit of a cult following in Colombia, its native land.
Lychees come from Southeast Asia and are something called “Chinese strawberries.” They belong to the soapberry family and have a gummy texture and a flavor that tastes like a grape and pear hybrid. Some people say that they have a pleasant rose aftertaste.
Lychees are popular fruits in tropical regions of the world. They’re popularly eaten whole or consumed as cocktail garnishes. If you travel to a tropical country in Asia, you’ll certainly see a lychee martini on the menu.
Although it might be challenging to find all of these fruits at your grocery store, it’s well worth looking for them.
You might find new and exciting flavor profiles and will almost certainly add valuable antioxidants and nutrients to your diet. Both fresh and dried versions work just as well!