Costa Rica is the largest fruit producer in the Central American region, exporting approximately 60 of its production that comes from the 114 hectares of cultivation. Among the main fruit trees in the country are bananas and papaya, as well as other varieties of the country.
This fruit tree belongs to the Annonaceae family, which can reach a height of between 6 to 8 meters in height. It begins to give fruits at five years of age, producing up to 50 fruits per year. The fruit is round or oval in shape, is covered with green scales and is often confused with the custard apple. Its interior is a white, sweet and nutritious pulp with a large number of brown seeds, almost black.
It is a tree of tropical climate, which does not withstand low temperatures, although its resistance to periods of drought is quite high.
Tree of Arasá
It belongs to the Myrtaceae family, it is native to South America. It is also known as Amazon Guava. It is a shrub of dense foliage that can reach 3 meters in height and that adapts to poor and acidic soils. Being a tree with a tropical and subtropical climate, it does not tolerate the cold. Its fruit is of pleasant flavor and an exquisite aroma. It is used for the preparation of juices, jams and ice cream, also consumes the dried fruit or freezes the pulp for later use.
It is one of the main crops of the country, estimating Costa Rica reaches 10% of world export. It belongs to the Musaceae family and is native to Southeast Asia. The most cultivated variety in the country is the Cavendish, although the Gros Michel variety known as “criollo” is also produced. The areas of banana cultivation in the country are located in the Canton of Talamanca, Turrialba and its surroundings.
Its fruit, oblong in shape, from 10 to 35 cm, is born in bunches in 10 hands of 20 bananas. Its green shell changes to yellow when ripe. The texture of the fruit is creamy, sweet in taste, slightly vanilla. It is mainly consumed fresh, in ice cream, with milk, in fruit salads and in pastries.
This fruit tree belongs to the Bombacáceas family, native to Asia. It is fast growing and requires sandy soils such as dunes or by the sea. It can reach 10 meters in height and gives a conical heart-shaped fruit of approximately 15 cm, gray green to orange-red, with soft and harmless beaks. Its pulp is white and creamy, with an acidic and sweet taste that has large black seeds.
The cocoa tree belongs to the family of “Esterculiáceas” and is native to Amazonia. It can reach between 4 and 8 meters in height, its crown is round, between 2 to 4 meters and its trunk is straight. Its fruit is oblong in shape, about 15 to 20 centimeters, yellow-orange and its flesh is white, with large black seeds. It is used for the production of chocolate.
This is a shrub of the Rubiaceae family, which bears fruit after eight or nine months. Its fruit is red, bright and fleshy berries, similar to cherries. The fertile soils of volcanic origin and low acidity present in Costa Rica, favors the cultivation of coffee. Its fruit is used to make infusions with roasted and ground seeds. It is produced in Brunca Region, Turrialba, Tres Ríos, Orosi, Tarrazú, Central and Western Valleys and Guanacaste where they use manual and selective harvesting of the fruit, only choosing ripe grains.
It belongs to the Sapotacean family and is native to Southeast Asia. The ideal climate for this tree is warm, being able to be planted from sea level to an altitude of 1000 meters, although it can develop at higher altitudes. It requires minimum temperatures of 26 °C on average and high humidity. It develops best in sandy and clay soils with good drainage. It does not tolerate cold or excess water. Its fruit is violet, hard and thick, round in shape and about 5 to 7 centimeters in diameter. Its pulp is white, creamy and sweet.
This fruit tree belongs to the Family of Oxalidaceae, Its scientific name is “Averrhoa”, it is of the perennial shrub type. Its fruit is shaped like a star when cut transversely, and is colored, yellow-orange. Its pulp is juicy, crispy and acidic. It is used for juices, jams and desserts.
Its scientific name is “Psidium friedrichsthalianum Ndz“, it belongs to the myrtle family and is known by the names of Cas, sour guava, sour guava, fresh guava, danto guava, feijoa. It is native to Costa Rica. Its fruit is green, changing to yellow when ripe. It is mainly used to prepare juice, although it can be consumed whole, with salt, in salad either with fruits or vegetables.
It belongs to the Annonaceae family and is native to the Antilles. It develops best in hot and humid climates, requiring soils of medium texture, not limestone, with good drainage, sandy, silty and clayey. Its fruit is oblong, with soft beaks, its pulp is white and slightly creamy, its taste is sour and sweet and contains black seeds. It is used in the preparation of juices, ice cream, jams or desserts.
Due to its location and tropical climate in Costa Rica a great variety of fruit trees is produced. In addition to those mentioned, guava, Creole lemon, mammon, mango, water apple, granadilla or passion fruit, cashew, orange, naranjilla, papaya, tamarind, grapefruit, beach grape, jocote, mangosteen, blackberries, pejibaye, pitaya, sapote, tamarind, mamey, among other tropical fruits that are a delight for the palate are produced
Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.