There are over 2,000 different kinds of edible fruits across the world. From berries and stone fruits to melons and citrus, these fruits all bring a unique set of nutrients that improve our health while, often, satiating humans’ inherent sweet tooth.
Of those 2,000 fruits consumed around the globe, only about 10% are well known in the Western world.
If you’re interested in exploring the world of fruits and all the flavors and health benefits they bring, then this list is a great place to start. Below, we have 32 fruits that start with the letter C. Some are familiar, but most, you’ll be meeting for the very first time.
Fruits that Start with the Letter C
Cabeluda fruit looks like a large gooseberry with uniform yellow skin that is covered in soft, downy hair. These 1-inch diameter round berries have a flavor similar to apricot and are packed with vitamins and nutrients.
The cabeluda tree is native to Brazil and has only recently been introduced to Floridia and California. The fruits are generally eaten raw or made into jam.
Cacao, which is not to be confused with cocoa, is the technical name for the tree and fruit that gives us chocolate. Before the seeds are fermented and dried, they must be collected from the cacao fruit. Once processed, this brown powder receives the slightly different designation of “cocoa.”
This large, oblong, reddish-yellow fruit is filled with seeds surrounded by spongy, semi-dry flesh. The flesh has a mild flavor somewhere between mango and lemon and is often used to make juices and jelly.
Cacao is native to South America but today is most often grown in West Africa for the chocolate trade.
Caimito fruit, also known as star apple, is a round, 2 to 4-inch diameter berry with deep purple or pale green skin. It has a flavor similar to a plum but the inside is gelatinous, not fleshy, and the rind is inedible.
These trees are native to the West Indies and Central America and can now be found in Florida.
The fruit, which resembles a star when cut in half, is most often eaten raw or added to salads. It is loaded with antioxidants and other important nutrients.
4. Camu Camu Berry
Camu camu berries resemble cherries in color and size but have a flavor that is much more tart. This unique taste is the result of highly concentrated phytochemicals and amino acids.
It is this unique nutrient profile that makes camu camu a superfood. Research has shown that this sour berry may reduce inflammation and high blood sugar and help normalize blood pressure.
This South American fruit is usually consumed as a powder added to smoothies and juices.
5. Canary Melon
The yellow canary melon is a large, oblong melon that somewhat resembles a squash. It has a very sweet flavor with tangy undertones. The name comes from its bright yellow skin which resembles the canary bird.
Canary melons come in many varieties and can be found around the globe. They are most commonly cultivated in Asia, Japan, Morocco, and Mexico.
The canistel fruit is bright yellow with a similar shape to acorn squash. It is about the size of a human hand with a unique boiled-egg-yolk texture that softens to a mouse-like texture as the fruit ripens.
Canistel has a sweet flavor with astringent undertones. This fruit is native to Mexico and Central America.
It is often eaten raw or ground and dried into flour for pancakes and other sweet culinary delights.
7. Cannibal’s Tomato
Cannibal’s tomato, also known as poro poro, is a nightshade most closely related to eggplant. The fruits, which start green and mature to red, are shaped like a pumpkin and are about the size of a small tomato.
The unique name comes from the cannibalistic tribes in its native Fiji, who have historically used this fruit to “help digest human meat.”
Eaten with human flesh or not, this fruit is a bit hard to stomach. It has an intensely bitter flavor that can only be lessened by soaking the cut fruit in saltwater and cooking it until mushy.
One of the more famous C fruits, cantaloupe is popular throughout the world. All varieties have a sweet, distinctively melony flavor and orange flesh. The outside of the fruit can be netted or ribbed.
Cantaloupe most likely originated from South Asia or North Africa. Today it is propagated throughout the world.
9. Cape Gooseberry
Cape gooseberry is a type of nightshade that looks very similar to a tomatillo but with a golden yellow color instead of green. Like the tomatillo, the taste is somewhere between a cherry tomato and a sweet fruit, but with even more pronounced notes of sweetness and tartness.
This fruit, which is native to northern South America, is used in pies, chutneys, and fruit and green salads.
The cassabanana is a large, smooth, cylindrical fruit that comes in various colors from pinkish-yellow to dull purple. The flesh is yellow and resembles a lemon when cut crossways and a cucumber when cut from one end to the other.
These sweet fruits, which can grow up to 60 cm in length, are part of the squash family.
They’re native to South America and have a flavor somewhere between a cantaloupe and a banana and are most often eaten raw.
Cempedak fruit has rough, leathery skin that ripens from green to tan. It is smaller than the closely related jackfruit and has juicier flesh with vanilla and caramel undertones.
It is native to Southeast Asia and is consumed raw or cooked and added to savory dishes like curry. The seeds can also be eaten and have a flavor similar to water chestnuts.
12. Ceylon Gooseberry
Ceylon gooseberries are round and about the size of a large cherry. The skin is dull purple and the flesh bright reddish-purple.
The skin of this Sri Lankan native is rarely eaten but the flesh can be consumed raw or cooked. In either case, it has a deeply acidic flavor and is most often enjoyed mixed with sweeter fruits or made into jam.
The charichuelo fruit resembles a shriveled lemon with rougher, thicker skin. The flavor is sweet and lemony. The texture of the pulp is similar to a mangosteen and melts in the mouth.
These trees are native to South America and are not well-known outside of their native range.
14. Cashew Apple
The term cashew apple refers to the fleshy stem of the cashew fruit, which consists of the nut and shell of the cashew. The cashew apple has yellow to red skin and is shaped like an elongated bell pepper.
With an astringent sweet-sour taste, these fruits are most often used to flavor drinks or cooked into savory dishes like curries. The cashew tree is native to Brazil but was introduced to Asia and Africa early on by missionaries.
The chayote fruit looks like a wrinkly, green pear with glossy skin. This relative of squash has a mild flavor similar to cooked cucumber.
Chayote is native to Southern Mexico and Honduras. It is most often cooked or fried and served with seasoning. It is high in vitamin C and amino acids and is enjoyed throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
The cherimoya fruit has been called a masterpiece of nature and was once known as the most delicious fruit in the world. You’d never know it by looking at this knobby, warty, sometimes scaly, heart-shaped fruit.
Also complicating the deliciousness is the fact that the seeds inside the fruit are poisonous and the plant itself is mildly toxic. But if you are brave enough to try this South American fruit, you’ll be rewarded with a sweet mellow tanginess that is reminiscent of banana, pineapple, papaya, and strawberries.
Cherries are popular, pint-sized stone fruits that come in a variety of colors and flavors. Most consumed varieties of cherry belong to the sweet cherry or tart cherry families, with the ladder being used most often for cooking.
Cherries are native to Europe and Western Asia. Sweet cherries are a good source of vitamin C. Tart cherries pack a much higher nutritional punch and are a good source of vitamin A and antioxidants.
Chokecherries are small red or deep purple berries that grow in large clumps on suckering trees native to North America. The skin has a bitter, astringent taste, the flesh is tart, and the pit is poisonous.
Despite all this, chokecherries were an important part of many Native American tribes’ diets. Today, the fruit is frequently wild-harvested to make jelly and wine.
Chupa-chupa fruits are large, round, stone-like fruits with wide caps and thick stems. They are greenish-grey in color with soft downy skin and light orange flesh.
These odd-looking fruits have a pleasantly sweet flavor. In their native South America, they are most often peeled and eaten raw.
The citron fruit is the mother of all citrus varieties consumed today. These ancient citruses were used by ancient cultures in Asia, Europe, and their native India. They remain an important part of Jewish traditions to this day.
Citrons vary in shape depending on the cultivator. The most common form looks like a shriveled lemon while the strangest variety, Buddha’s hand, has a squid-like appearance with multiple tentacle-like projections.
Cloudberries, which resemble blackberries but with unique yellow and red hues, belong to the rose family. They have a pleasantly tart flavor that turns creamy and sweet when allowed to over ripen.
Cloudberry plants can be found naturally throughout the northern hemisphere and are a traditional cuisine in Scandinavia and Russia. They can be found growing as far south as New York and Minnesota in the United States.
22. Cluster Fig
Cluster fig fruit grows in tight bunches similar to the more popular fig varieties. These fruits are rounder than common figs and are not as sweet. They are most often used in savory dishes or pickled with garlic.
The cluster fig tree, which is native to Australia and East Asia, is widely featured in Hinduism and Buddhism and the fruits serve special purposes in both religions.
Cocoplum fruit is a common sight on beaches around the world. The varieties on the coast tend to produce light white or yellow fruits, while those inland tend to be red or deep purple. In either case, the fruits are round and about the size of a small plum.
These fully edible fruits, which have a mildly sweet flavor, are native to North America and West Africa. They can be eaten raw or added to jams.
The round, brown, hairy item that most people think of when they hear the term coconut is actually the seed that has been harvested from the larger, green fibrous fruit of various species of palm tree.
While the seed is consumed in multiple ways, the uses for the fruit are far more limited. The dried flesh of the fruit, which is called copra, is used for its milk and oil.
Coconut palms originated in Southeast Asia, but have occupied most tropical coasts as long as the human species has been migrating from that area.
Coonite fruit is near the top of the list of the strangest fruits out there. It resembles a large, red corn cob growing straight out of the ground.
But stranger still is the fact that this fruit, which was frequently eaten by native peoples of the Caribbean, is incredibly poisonous. If prepared correctly, which requires soaking and extended rinsing to remove the cycasin toxin, the fruit can be ground into flour used to make bread. But we don’t recommend trying it.
Cowberries, also known as lingonberries, are small bright red berries that grow naturally in northern portions of Europe and North America. They have a tart flavor and are most often enjoyed mashed with sugar or made into jams or syrup.
These berries are bursting with antioxidants and nutrients. They have long been used by native peoples and are a favorite of wildlife.
27. Coyo Fruit
The coyo fruit looks like an avocado if that avocado were drawn up by Dr. Suess. Like its more popular cousin, this fruit has bright green flesh, and leathery greenish-brown skin. Unlike a typical avo, this one has an elongated top and large, tear-drop-shaped pit.
The flesh has a deeper flavor than the avocado but also a gritty texture. This explains why this Mexican native is not commercially cultivated.
Crabapples belong to the same genus as traditional apples and represent the wild cousins of this long cultivated fruit. These fruits vary in size from blueberry-sized to large cherry-sized. They have a slight apple flavor but tend to be very bitter and tart in comparison.
Apple trees are native to the Northern Hemisphere and can be found across the globe in temperate zones.
Cranberries are a popular seasonal fruit in North America and Europe. These bright red berries have a tart flavor that must be cut with sweetener to be enjoyed.
These dwarf shrubs grow naturally in acidic bogs. In commercial production, they are grown in level, sandy beds that are flooded during harvest and over the winter to protect the plants. The harvested berries are most often turned into cranberry sauce, chutney, or sweetened and dried and eaten as craisins.
30. Crane Melon
On the inside, the Crane melon looks like a pointy cantaloupe. But the outside is smoother with striations of green and yellow. The flavor is also sweeter and juicier than the more popular variety.
The Crane melon was developed in California as an heirloom fruit by Oliver Crane. He crossed multiple melon species, including Japanese and Persian melons, to get this highly sought-after fruit which is still produced on the same farm to this day.
The crowberry is a small, deep blue berry that grows naturally in the Northern Hemisphere. It has a highly acidic taste that makes it a great addition to jams and wines, but not so great for eating raw.
It is popular for the above uses in Scandinavia while native Inuit’s and Sami’s prefer to mix the raw berry with lard or oil.
On the outside, the cupuacu fruit looks like a potato. On the inside, it resembles the closely related cacao fruit.
The soft, pithy flesh has a similar flavor to cacao fruit with undertones of chocolate and melon.
While this elongated brown fruit may not look like much, it has a surprising number of health benefits. It is packed with antioxidants and is great for skin health.
About the Author
Sara Seitz is a freelance writer living with type 1 diabetes. Her search for better health and better control of her blood sugars led her to a plant-based diet. When she isn’t experimenting with new vegan recipes, she’s helping spread the word about how plant-based is better for people and the planet. More articles by Sara.