9 of the Spookiest Types of Produce

October 31, 2015

When it comes to Halloween produce, pumpkins have a stronghold. There's nothing quite like a moody pile, whether or not you take the time to carve them.


But there's no reason other types of produce can't fit into the holiday just as well. After all, pumpkins weren't even the first jack-o'-lanterns, turnips were.

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So this Halloween, start embracing other types of slightly spooky produce. Here are 9 of our favorite lovably weird fruits and vegetables:

1) Rambutans
For a Halloween-worthy drink adornment, place unpeeled rambutan onto a cocktail skewer or a toothpick. Or, peel them and turn them into tasty "eyeballs": Make a small slit and pry out the seed, then stuff the rambutan with a small grape or maraschino cherry and drop it in your drink. 

2) Purple Sweet Potatoes 
Don't be scared to serve sweet potatoes in an otherworldly shade of Day-Glo purple. Their color actually gets brighter when cooked, making them perfect for chips or fries or a straight-up baked sweet potato.

3) Passion Fruit 
Within its hard shell you'll find vibrantly yellow, gelatinous pulp that's squishier than sticking your hands into a bowl of peeled grapes—luckily its sweet-tart flavor is more charming than its looks.

4) Black Radish
Forget creepy carrots, it doesn't get much creepier than a coal-colored radish with a serious bite.

5) Cherimoyas
Getting yet another use out of your Daenerys Targaryen costume this year? There are no better stand-ins for dragon eggs.

6) Buddha's Hand
This fruit's eerie, flailing fingers make a perfect unearthly decoration; plus it's incredibly fragrant.

7) Finger Limes 
The pulp of finger limes looks like tiny little balls (fruity alternative to caviar) and they hold their shape until the beads burst in your mouth—Pop Rocks for adults!

8) Cactus Pears
With a prickly exterior and vibrant pink flesh studded with seeds akin to pebbles, this fruit might seem like a freak show. But extract the juice, and you'll see that it's more treat than trick.

9) Black Garlic
There is no more Halloween-y produce: It's garlic and it's as black as night. One taste and you'll fall for the soft, slightly chewy texture and unique flavor, but not to worry, it will probably still ward off vampires.

Tell us: What are your favorite creepy ingredients? 

Photos by Mark Weinberg and James Ransom

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I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.