This post was most recently updated on September 19th, 2022
[A collaboration post – all thoughts are my own.]
Have you ever tasted Bali local fruits when you visited Bali? Or are you planning to visit Bali this year? Don’t forget to try these healthy Bali local fruits to stay healthy in Bali.
Bali is home to more tropical fruits than you could eat in your lifetime. We have an abundance of local fruits that are a lot more interesting than an average apple or orange. The tropical fruits come in different shapes, textures, and strange colors, yet each is quite exotic in its own way.
While in Bali, you can have a lot of local fruits to keep a healthy diet and stay energetic, especially these days. The snake fruit, for example, is completely ordinary for Balinese to much on, but extraordinary for the tourists who may have never seen one in their entire lives! Below are some of must try Bali local fruits and their Indonesian language for you while staying in Bali.
Soursop (Indonesian: Sirsak)
Although I don’t really eat soursop so often, I can describe the flavor to be a mix between a strawberry and a pineapple. When ripe, the soursop is green and the skin peels easily away from the fruit by hand. It is best eaten cut open and scooped out with a spoon or fork as the flesh is juicy and things can get messy (and the sour in its name does ring true).
It is a vitamin C powerhouse and rich in antioxidants. Even the leaves are used for medical purposes and are believed to help patients suffering from cancer. Many people blend the fruit to make a refreshing drink or a delicious juice and it’s quite common to see the fruit listed as an ingredient on cocktail menus. Definitely worth a try!
Jackfruit (Indonesian: Nangka)
Jackfruit is a pretty big fruit and easy to spot as it grows on trees all over the island. You will see it hanging on trees on the side of the road and in Balinese housing compounds. It may be mistaken for a large durian sometimes but it has a different taste.
When ripe, the flavor is bubble-gummy deliciousness and more like a mix of mango, peach, and pear. It is a bright yellow bulb with a big seed inside. Young jackfruit is usually used in Bali as a meat replacement in stews, and curries, and is commonly found in mixed rice. When cooked, jackfruit has an incredible meaty texture, with a mild flavor, so a firm favorite for veggies and vegans.
Papaya (Indonesian: Pepaya)
Well, who doesn’t know papaya? You have probably tried papaya elsewhere, but make sure you have tried Bali papaya. It’s really easy to buy papaya in Bali and unlike any other, it’s naturally sweet and delicious. It is loaded with antioxidants that can reduce inflammation, Vitamin A, C, and E, beta-carotene, magnesium, potassium, and several B-vitamins.
Fun fact: My dogs really love eating papaya!
Dragon Fruit (Indonesian: Buah Naga)
We called this dragon fruit because it looks like well … a dragon, as the outside looks like bright pink feathers or spikes. While you often see red-skinned dragon fruit with white flesh, there are 5 major varieties of dragon fruit: white dragon fruit, red dragon fruit, pink dragon fruit, yellow dragon fruit, and sour dragon fruit. I usually eat the red dragon fruit because it’s so sweet, while the white dragon fruit is too sour for me.
Dragon fruit tastes like a mix between kiwifruit and pear, with varied sweetness levels depending on the variety. A favorite snack for many locals is to simply slice the dragon fruit in half, take a spoon, and dig in! It also pairs as a natural lip stain and is amazing as a smoothie bowl. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, which makes it a great food to prevent inflammation and strengthen the immune system.
Guava (Indonesian: Jambu)
Guava is Bali’s local fruit that is great to support digestion. In Bali, it can be found with white or pink inside and the flavor can be fresh sour, or sweet, depending on the ripeness. The seeds are edible, and so is the peel. It is full of Vitamin C and an excellent source to boost your immune system. It is rich in dietary fiber and antioxidants, which are great for your skin. Due to its high amount of water, it is a great fruit to extra hydrate yourself.
Mango (Indonesian: Mangga)
Mango is a healthy dessert which probably you had elsewhere, like papaya. But, if you’re a real fruit lover, be sure to try this Bali local fruit during the mango season (December – May). They are so fresh and organic that you can taste the differences in the soils they’re grown in, depending on where you are on the island. It helps to prevent many diseases as it contains significant amounts of Vitamin C, A, B-6, K, calcium, and antioxidants, and is beneficial for your overall health.
Snake Fruit (Indonesian: Salak)
Snake fruit or in the Indonesian language called “Salak” is a typical Balinese fruit that is covered in brown scaly looking skin that looks like, well, a snake. But do not judge the fruit by its skin. After cleaning the outside peel, there are white sections that resemble garlic and have a delicious, tart sweetness to them. They taste like a mix of pear and apple and are rich in calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, as well as antioxidants. Salak has a crunchy, almost starchy consistency. You have to try it!
Cacao (Indonesian: Coklat)
I still remember the first time I ate cacao fruit and got addicted to that. I visited my adoptive grandmother’s house and she planted lots of cocoa trees. Some people find that eating cacao fruit is very difficult and complicated, but I like it. Cacao is a great source of magnesium, and iron, and is incredibly high in antioxidants. It also supports your body in producing feel-good chemicals like serotonin! Not that you need any extra help feeling good while in an island paradise, but hey, why not feel extra good? Be sure and stock up while you’re in town!
Mangosteen (Indonesian: Manggis)
Mangosteens is among my top three Bali local fruits that I eat often. It’s easily the most popular fruit among tourists, as its white, fibrous center is so sweet and delicious, and normally one is never enough. Mangosteen looks like a clove of garlic inside but tasted nothing of the sort.
When ripe, they have hard purple skin and are about the size of an apple. This hard skin can be easily cracked open by placing the fruit between both palms and pressing gently until the skin cracks; you don’t need a knife at all. But beware, the deep purple color of the fruit can stain hands and clothes; hence it gets the nickname, ‘blood fruit’. It is often known as the Queen of Fruits.
You will find these little fruits in most markets in Bali and in many vendor carts lining the more urban streets. Mangosteen is believed to be a powerful cancer healer. It fights inflammation in the body and regulates blood pressure. Its high amount of Vitamin C makes this fruit another great immune system booster.
Orange (Indonesian: Jeruk)
Oranges in Bali have a sour-fruity refreshing taste and are full of vitamins boosting your immune system. In Bali, oranges usually have a leathery green peel. They help to fight cancer and are believed to strengthen your heart health. You can order Es Jeruk at Bali local warung, and you will get a nice freshly squeezed orange juice, either warm or on ice.
Rambutan (Indonesian: Rambutan)
Rambutan is called rambutan in English, although if translated into English, it can be “hairy”. It is one of my favorite Bali local fruits, but I usually eat that when we have a Balinese ceremony. These red distinct-looking fruits can be picked up at any supermarket or street vendor in Bali. But be careful of black ants that cling to the fruit – wash them thoroughly. It may look dangerous with the “hairy” skin, but it actually soft and harmless. You can use your hands to open it and once you master the skill of getting to the delicious lychee-like fruit, you are rewarded with a snack high in fiber and iron. Definitely worth a try!
Pomelo (Indonesian: Jeruk Bali)
For Balinese, we called this “Jeruk Bali” or Balinese Orange in English. It is one of the biggest citrus fruit in South East Asia and has a mildly sweet and tangy taste. I don’t consume this often because not many markets sell this fruit. It boosts your immune system and can help to prevent and fight fevers and it is great for weight loss and hair care.
Durian (Indonesian: Durian)
The last of Bali local fruits is a durian – the only fruit on this list that I couldn’t eat because of its smell. I used to like it when I was a kid but when I grow up I started to dislike it, not because of its taste. Durian is called the King of Fruit in South East Asia and some of you have probably tasted it before if you visited Bali or Thailand. It is a large fruit with a green yellowish prickly outside and smooth custard-like sweet inside. You will certainly know when you see a Durian because of its typical smell. It is said there are only two kinds of people: either they like or they hate Durian. You often find it sold on the sides of the roads here in Bali.
Have you learned their names? Which Bali local fruits have you tasted? And are all these fruits available at your place? Let me know below which one is your favorite!