From the tantalizingly sweet to the strange and unique, Belize – as a tropical country – has no shortage of delicious fruits. Beyond its palm-studded beaches and turquoise waters, get to know this tiny Caribbean country a bit more intimately through its natural bounty. Whether you encounter them briefly in passing or get up close and personal at the market, here are some Belize fruits (and Belize fruit seasons) to look out for.
Get to Know Your Belize Fruit Seasons
Cashew | April – June
Though many are more familiar with the nut than the fruit itself, that doesn’t stop the cashew from getting its own festival in Belize. With a juicy yellow or red outer flesh that is succulent and mildly sweet, the cashew fruit is often enjoyed fresh or incorporated into jams and beverages (cashew wine, anyone?). The seeds, however, are toxic and must be properly roasted before being eaten!
Kinep | June – August
It goes by many names across the Caribbean, including Bajan ackee, guinep, chenet, and waya. Here in Belize, we call it kinep, and it is a small, round, and bright green fruit that grows on the evergreen tree, Melicoccus bijugatus. Enjoy them by biting the sweet, tangy pulp surrounding the seed. It’s a unique and refreshing tropical snack.
Mango | May – July
Perhaps the Caribbean’s most beloved fruit, Mango is in season in Belize in the late spring/early summer months. Over 42 different varieties of mangoes have been documented in the country, and many Belizeans have their personal favorites. Each summer, look to the village of Hopkins for the ever-popular Hopkins Mango Fest.
Custard Apple | March – April
The custard apple, scientifically known as Annona reticulata, is most well-known for its unique flavor and creamy texture. With a green or brown and scaly exterior, the custard apple holds a velvety, white pulp inside with large black seeds.
Avocado | May – October
Found throughout the summer in Belize (those found outside of May-October are imported), avocados are a beloved fruit, especially for breakfast. Enjoy a slice or two with a pinch of salt and black pepper alongside your Belizean breakfast. It’s also known colloquially as pear (“pyaa” in Kriol) or “piya“.
Craboo | May – June
Some love it and some love to hate it. Regardless, you can find the craboo fruit at your favorite markets and fruit vendors between May and June. Enjoy it stewed, with some sweet condensed milk, as an ice cream flavor, or via a bottle of Travellers Nanche Liqueur.
Breadfruit | May – October
With it having risen in popularity over the years (there’s even a Dancehall song about it), you might have stumbled upon breadfruit in the form of fries while eating in Belize. Found throughout the Caribbean, breadfruit, also known as masapan locally, can be enjoyed roasted, fried, boiled, and in a variety of other ways (not raw, though). The British introduced it to the region by way of Oceania as a cheap source of food for slaves. Now, it’s a cultural staple in most countries of the Caribbean.
Golden Plum | July – September
A childhood favorite for many, golden plums are crisp and tangy and most frequently found in the summer. Many Belizeans love to eat them when green (unripe) with salt and pepper. For softer and sweeter plums though, eat them when ripe.
Rambutan | July – September
The Rambutan, a unique tropical fruit available in Belize from July to September, boasts a hairy, red exterior and a translucent, juicy interior. With it boasting a sweet and slightly acidic taste, you can enjoy the Rambutan by peeling away its hairy skin to reveal the succulent, lychee-like fruit within.
Tamarind | April – May
Known locally as “tambran“, the tamarind fruit most commonly makes its seasonal debut throughout Belize in the form of tamarind balls – another common childhood favorite. The actual fruits are unassuming brown pods containing seeds coated with a pulp. Combine the pulp with brown sugar and grated coconut and what you get is a sweet and tangy treat. Tamarind juice is another popular local delicacy.
Soursop | August – September
August to September heralds the arrival of Soursop, a Belizean fruit recognized for its spiky green exterior and soft, fibrous white pulp. Loved for its sweet and slightly tangy taste, Soursop is a delightful treat. Additionally, many believe it possesses potential health benefits, contributing to its popularity in Belize and beyond.
Sorrel | November – January
Often used to make beverages and jams, Sorrel is a festive favorite during the holiday season, adding a burst of color and taste to various culinary delights but especially drinks. Throughout much of the Caribbean, steeped petals of the tropical hibiscus plant, Sorrel (flor de Jamaica), are used to make the refreshingly sweet drink often served around Christmastime.
Star Apple | April – May
Also known as caimito, the star apple (not to be confused with the star fruit) boasts smooth, purple or green skin and a sweet, milky pulp inside. Native to Central America and the Caribbean, it is the fruit of the tree Chrysophyllum Cainito. Often found in March, April, and May, they’re the perfect springtime treat.
Other Belize Fruit Seasons to Know
- Orange | November – June
- Sapodilla | January – March
- Mangosteen | June – October
- Mamey Sapote | March – July
- Coco Plum | June – August
- Grapefruit | November – February
- Passionfruit | July – September
- Bananas, Cacao, Coconut, Starfruit, and Pineapple are in season all year.
Which Belize fruit is your favorite? Which do you have yet to try?