Tired of Apples? Pick These Exotic Fall Fruits Instead

Here’s where to find pawpaws, persimmons and other unusual fruits in the wild

(Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons )

The air is getting crisper, the leaves are turning colors and pumpkin flavors are invading every conceivable food. Yes, autumn is here.

Even after experiencing the hottest summer on record, there are places in the United States that are still feeling the heat. But that shouldn’t stop anyone from enjoying one of the best things about fall — the fruit.

Forget apples and pumpkins: A plethora of more unusual options ripen just as the leaves turn. (Yes, pumpkins are indeed fruits, as are squash, cucumbers and beans.) From succulent white sapotes to pleasurable pawpaws, here’s where to find six exotic fall fruits:


Due to its need for extremely cold climates, the rare cloudberry (also called baked apple berry) is only found in a few spots in the United States: Northern Minnesota, northwest Washington, New England’s upper reaches and Alaska.

For those willing to brave these cold regions, the cloudberry is worth it. Ripe berries turn a bright red-yellow color and the taste is wholly unique, almost like tart yogurt or sweet and sour apples. That makes the berries perfect for alcoholic beverages in Scandinavia, where the fruit is common.

It isn’t just the taste that draws people to this hard-to-find fruit, but the reputed health benefits. Cloudberries are high in vitamin C and A and may even help to prevent colon cancer

They begin ripening in the mid-summer and the season can last through October, with later-season berries destined for pies and jams. Unable or unwilling to head up north for the fruit? Go to IKEA instead: The Swedish furniture megastore sells cloudberry jam.  

About Matt Blitz

Matt Blitz is a history and travel writer. His work has been featured on CNN, Atlas Obscura, Curbed, Nickelodeon, and Today I Found Out. He also runs the Obscura Society DC and is a big fan of diners.

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