I’ve never met a fruit I didn’t like. Seriously. Grapes, bananas, apples—all friends of mine. Even you, honeydew. But what about the fruits that exist beyond the orderly, hand-piled troughs of the supermarket? What are those exotic fruits like? From the looks of things, they’re pretty tasty too.
The Various Varieties of Fruits, the latest from the insatiable data viz team over at Pop Chart Lab, categorizes more than 300 members of nature’s most delicious food family. The team pared down the offerings to those considered culinary fruits—"the drupes, mangos, berries, and other agricultural ambrosias that are edible and used for some culinary purpose, whether eaten right off the plant or used to add flavor to a meal," explains Managing Editor Will Prince.
Those that didn’t make the cut? Things that are technically, scientifically in the fruit family but aren’t eaten by humans, as well as categories like pumpkins and avocados that are "fruits" based on the parts we consume, but are generally considered culinary vegetables. Those can be found on the group’s Various Varieties of Vegetable chart—equally dazzling, if not quite as mouthwatering.
The spectacular variety of the data set posed a significant organizational challenge when putting the graphic together. Ultimately, Popchart decided to categorize things, on the highest level, by the climatic origin. "We found that this was the cleanest way to assemble everything into a readable chart, and we think this gives a more global perspective as to where fruits come from," Prince says. "Food sourcing is a hot button issue, after all."
And as for the fruits themselves? Even in tiny, illustrated form, there are dozens of unfamiliar ones I’m now determined to get to know at some point or another. The yellow plum? The cloud berry? The Japanese persimmon? Yes to all three. On the other hand, there’s that pale blue, tendril-like bushel of things down in the bottom left corner, in the Native Asian Fruits category, with the unfortunate name of Dead Man’s Fingers. I might be willing to leave that one a mystery.