There is a wide variety of fruits available in Goa and in large quantities too. You will find fresh fruits throughout the state at cheap prices. They offer a rare opportunity for residents to get erreichern with vitamins, and of course, a feast for the palate.
Goa grows almost all known fruits and vegetables, such as onions, carrots and potatoes, zucchini, asparagus, peas, peppers, tomatoes, apples, pears, strawberries, grapes, melons, and watermelons. Add to these regular and citrus and exotic fruits like mango, figs, passion fruit, chiku, papaya, guava, and much more, it is not hard to understand why people describe Goa as the "Paradise".
You will find fruits everywhere – with the street side shops, super markets, bazaars, and even the vendors sell freshly cut fruits. There are stalls that sell fruit juice too.
Fruit and vegetable markets in Goa are very bright, scenic and offer good photo taking opportunities. You will find them at almost at any time of the year because most of the fruit crops in tropical climate provide multiple harvests in a year. Pineapple, banana, papaya, chiku, durian, passion fruit, as well as grapes, watermelons, melons, and figs are available fresh throughout the year. Mango, a favorite, is available in the summer.
The most common fruits in Goa are unusual for a European tourist, who rarely sees in the shops at home, and then the taste is like plastic, although the prices are very high.
Alfonso Mango in Goa
Mango, India’s national fruit is easily available in Goa. The mango season is from early April to June. In the high season mangoes are sold for about 100 rupees a kilogram. Sometimes, the price can go up to 250 rupees. In Goa, you will find many varieties of mango like Alfonso, Neelam, Totapuri, Malgesh, Amarapali, Pairi, Neelam, and others, but Alfonso, named after a 16th century Portuguese adventurer, is the most popular.
- Taste – It is usually sweet, but the texture and taste varies according to the type. Some mangoes have pulpy and soft texture, but others are more firm. The best mangoes are very yummy.
- Health Benefits – The fruit is rich in vitamins, especially vitamin A, improves immunity and protects against infection. Overeating can lead to intestinal problems and allergies. The recommended amount is two fruits per day.
- When Will You Find It – April, May, June.
Pineapples arrived in Goa from Brazil. The fruit grows very well in humid coastal regions that receive high rainfall, which makes Goa a great place for cultivation. There are quite a few pineapple plantations here with the total cultivated area being 336 hectares. The annual production is more than 5,000 tons. You will thus find a lot of pineapples everywhere in Goa. The retail price in Panaji is between Rs. 45 and 50. It will be cheaper in the villages, and costlier in the shopping malls.
- Taste – Yellow in color, its fibrous flesh has a tropical flavor, and it balances the tart and sweet taste very well. However, closer to the fruit’s base, there is more sugar content, and thus this area is sweeter. The texture here is more tender as well. However, it can taste sour if your fruit is not ripe. Add a pinch of salt to your pineapple and it will become sweeter.
- Health Benefits – Pineapples are good for your health. It improves your immune system, makes your bones stronger, treats arthritis, speeds up wound healing, treats cough and cold, makes your skin look younger, and even prevents hair loss.
- When Will You Find It – July, August, September, October, November, December.
Fruits in Goa
Chiku, also called chikoo, is another fruit you will find easily in Goa. Internationally, it is known as Sapota. India is one of the world’s leading producers of this fruit. Karnataka and Maharashtra, both neighbors of Goa, are the leading producers. Like mango, there are many varieties of chiku too. The rind of the fruit is rough and brown, and is therefore often called sweet potato. The flesh is yellow/pink, sweet, and contains 2-3 large black seeds, which can be easily removed. Chiku is available at 40 rupees a pound.
Taste – You cannot eat the fruit’s skin. It works as a type of bowl for the flesh, which is very sweet. Its flesh is sweet in taste because there are high levels of sucrose and fructose in it. Chiku’s flavor and texture is somewhat like pear. There are processed food items of chiku like jelly, jam, fruit drinks, and squashes.
Health Benefits – Chiku or sapota provides relief from bowel disorders, improves bone health, its rich Vitamin A content improves vision, provides more energy, makes the skin glow, softens and moisturizes hair, fights dandruffs, makes the bones stronger, reduces the risk of kidney stones, delays the signs of aging, and even prevents some types of cancer.
When Will You Find It – October, November, February, March.
Papaya (plant – Carica papaya) grows up to 6 m in height. Green outside and orange/red inside, it is very attractive to look at, and very yummy in taste. Papaya is produced in large quantities in Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean Islands, Brazil, the tropics, and India in large quantities. Brazil is the world’s largest producer, followed by India. Goa also produces its own papaya. It is an excellent fruit. Papaya contains a lot of minerals. It is used in medicine and cosmetics as well. In Goa, the price is between Rs 30-50 per piece, depending on the size.
- Taste – Its look and taste is like a melon. The ripe fruits are very sweet, but the sweetness is less than melons. The texture is softer too. There is a slight muskiness too, which adds to the flavor of papaya. Raw papaya has 88% water and fills your stomach fast, so you won’t feel hungry.
- Health Benefits – Papaya is known to lower cholesterol, boosts immunity, improves digestion and vision, aids weight loss, eases menstrual pain, delays the signs of ageing, prevents infections, reduces the symptoms of burns and acne, prevents arthritis, improves skin health, and also has anticancer properties.
- When Will You Find It – Late summer.
Passion fruit is oval or round in shape, and has the size of a grapefruit. It is yellow or purple in appearance. The bark is hard, and the interior is full of juice and pulp. In Goa, each fruit costs about Rs 20. There are three main types of the edible passion fruits – purple in color, yellow in color, and the giant granadilla. In Goa, you will find mostly the purple variety.
- Taste – The taste is tarty and very fruity. The smell component is very big here. Often, the smell is strong, which is a usual characteristic of the fruit. You can eat the fruit by itself if you can manage the tartness. But many like to have it as a component of something creamy or sweet.
- Health Benefits – Rich in Vitamin A and C, iron, magnesium, copper, fiber, phosphorus, potassium, and protein, the fruit aids digestion, boosts immunity, lowers the level of blood pressure, improves vision, prevents amnesia, improves blood circulation, and makes the bones stronger.
- When Will You Find It – Early summer to winter, but more in the warmer months.
Goa bananas are different from those you will find in the UK and in other European countries in scale and quality, but above all in taste. Indian bananas are not as big as the ones in South America. Goa grows different varieties, but most bananas you will usually find are of the yellow color here rather than green, and is smaller in size. Bananas are sold in large quantities, but you can also buy in pieces. A dozen small bananas are likely to cost you about 30 rupees.
- Taste – The first thing you will notice is the smell – it is very strong. The organic compound isoamyl acetate gives bananas its unique smell, and also taste, which is sweet, creamy, and slightly sticky. The pulp inside is very soft.
- Health Benefits – Bananas have high fiber content, and are good for your heart. They improve digestion, provide your body a lot of nutrients, fights anemia, improves kidney health, moderates the blood sugar levels, helps you lose weight, improves sensitivity, and provides you with a lot of energy, which is why those into sports eat bananas regularly.
- When Will You Find It – You will find bananas throughout the year, but the most supply comes in June, July, October, and November.
Green/yellow outside and pink inside, guava is an exotic fruit you will commonly find in Goa. It is harvested throughout the year, except for May and June. The peak harvesting season, however is August, November-December, and then again March and April. The price is about 80 rupees per kilogram.
- Taste – The taste of the guava is sweet and sour, and the smell is very strong. In Goa, you can buy the raw fruit and eat it fresh. You can also eat guava cheese, guava jam, sorbets, syrups, jellies, pickled, dried, and frozen.
- Health Benefits – Guava is rich in vitamin C, A, iron and calcium. It reduces the risk of diabetes, slows down the absorption of sugar, regulates the blood pressure levels, improves eye health, relaxes the nervous system, cleanses the body, treats constipation, improves complexion, and is also good for the brain. Doctors recommend guava for improved nutrition of children and pregnant women.
- When Will You Find It – August, November, December, March, April.
There are many other fruits you will find in Goa, such as sweet tamarind of the legume family, coconuts, and some exotic fruits too like dragon eye, rambutan, pomegranate, jackfruit, durian, and the garnet apple.
Coconuts are everywhere in Goa, and they are sold even at the beach, at a price of Rs 20-50 per piece. These are full of coconut juice, and the edible flesh in the inner part can be eaten and enjoyed as a whole. Pineapples cost 20-60 rupees per piece.
There is cashew too, from which the famous Goan drink “feni” is produced after fermentation. There are many home breweries in Goa that make this alcoholic drink.
The Konkan Fruit Fest
Every year in the month of May, a fruit festival is held in Goa to celebrate the huge diversity of fruits in the state. The Alfonso mango is usually at the center of attention, but on some years, a special fruit is selected to highlight it. In 2014 for instance, Kokum, a fruit from the garcinia indica plant received special attention.
The Konkan Fruit Fest in Goa
Stalls are set up where you can buy the best varieties of fruits, and a lot of different fruits are on display during the festival. There are stalls selling juices, jams, jellies, and other stuff as well.
Fruits at Goa Villas
Many of the villas you will find in our website have their own private orchards and gardens where a lot of vegetables and fruits are grown organically. The fruit arrives fresh on your plate from the garden. It’s also a wonderful experience walking within the orchard and seeing the trees and their fruits. You can also pick a few from the trees yourself, a rare experience for those living in busy cities.
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