Are you looking for fruits that start with C? Here are 35 fruits that begin with C, along with some helpful (and at times obscure) information about each one.
We can think of half a dozen reasons to want a list of fruits that begin with C. If you are just preparing for trivia night or working on a school project, let these fruits that start with the letter C inspire you!
And if you are looking for a recipe featuring a C fruit, we have some of our favorites listed here.
How many cherries does a single cherry tree produce? The answer is at the bottom of this post – it may surprise you!
- Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes
- Camu Camu Berries
- Canary Fruit
- Canistel Fruit
- Caper Berries
- Cavendish Bananas
- Cedar Bay Cherries
- Chinese Quince
- Chinese White Pear
- Chinoto Sour Oranges
- Churchland Pears
- Cleopatra Mandarin
- Coco plum
- Conference Pear
- Cornelian Cherries
- Cortland Apple
- Cosmic Crisp Apples
- Crab Apples
- Crimson Delight Apples
- Crimson Gold Apples
- Crispin Apples
- Custard Apple
Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are obviously the little gems that give the world one of its most popular red wines. These grapes originated from the Bordeaux region of France, and are dark purple-black in appearance with a thick skin that contains a rich and juicy flesh.
These grapes are renowned for their use in winemaking, producing full-bodied, complex wines with notes of black currants, plum, and hints of herbs and spices. Cabernet sauvignon grapes are the foundation of many esteemed wines worldwide and are also enjoyed fresh as a table grape. Now if you have a sudden urge to do something with grapes other than drink their sweet fermented nectar, check out Everything You Need To Know About Grapes.
Cacao trees produce the cocoa bean that gives the world chocolate. Its origins are believed to be from Central and South America, and the Aztecs and Mayans used it in their ceremonial drinks long before it became the wildly popular food and drink it is now. Today the West African nation of the Ivory Coast is the world’s leading producer followed, a distant second, by Ghana. Together they produce over half the world’s cocoa.
The cocoa fruit itself is football-shaped and features thick, leathery pods that house cocoa beans. These beans are the primary ingredient in chocolate production. The taste of cocoa beans can vary from slightly bitter to mildly sweet, depending on their processing.
Calabash are native to South America, but today grow in Africa, the West Indies, and the southern part of Florida. This is a unique fruit known for its distinctive bottle gourd shape and smooth green skin. When sliced open, it reveals a white, fibrous interior with large seeds. Calabash has a mildly sweet and slightly nutty taste, making it a versatile ingredient in both savory and sweet dishes. They can also be eaten raw, dried, or in juice. They are also used fairly extensively in traditional medicines.
Camu Camu Berries
Camu Camu Berries are a tart berry native to the Amazon rainforests in South America. They are small, round fruits with a vibrant orange-red color. Despite their small size, they pack a powerful tartness that is often described as a blend of sour cherries and citrus. They have been eaten and used in medicine by the Amazon’s indigenous people for untold centuries. Camu Camu have begun to receive interest in the West for use in supplements as they are extremely high in vitamin C and a variety of other micronutrients. They are also used to make juices and jams.
Canary fruit, also known as Canary melon, hails from the Canary Islands and has a bright yellow, oblong shape with a smooth rind and pale green flesh. Their name came from the color’s resemblance to canary feathers. It contains a soft pulp with a flavor that is subtly sweet and reminiscent of a cross between a cantaloupe and a honeydew melon. They are grown in various Asian nations, and are commonly enjoyed fresh, either sliced and served on their own or added to fruit salads for a refreshing treat during hot summer months.
Canistel Fruit is also known as egg fruit or cupcake fruit. They are grown in Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, and elsewhere in SE Asia. The almost pear-shaped fruit are sweet with an orange to yellow skin and a very large pit. Its taste is often described as a blend of sweet potato and pumpkin, with a custardy texture that lends itself well to desserts like pies and puddings. Canistel fruit is also utilized in ice creams and smoothies, providing a rich and creamy consistency while imparting its distinct flavor. You can find these in the US, but expect to pay upwards of $20/lbs. But hey, with a name like cupcake fruit they are worth trying.
The cantaloupe is a sweet and refreshing fruit that hails from the Middle East and Asia. Believed to have originated in ancient Persia (modern-day Iran), cantaloupes have been cultivated for centuries. The fruits are typically round or oval in shape, with a rough, netted skin that ranges in color from pale green to orange when ripe. The flesh is juicy and orange, studded with small seeds clustered in the center.
75% of cantaloupes grown in the US come from California, but China is by far the leading producer growing over half the world’s total. Cantaloupe are loaded with vitamins A & C as well as fiber and a host of other micronutrients. Additionally, cantaloupes are known for their high water content, making them a hydrating choice, especially during hot summer months.
Cantaloupe is most often eaten fresh in balls or slices. It is great in fruit or veggie salads and, of course, as a dessert with ice cream or yogurt. This Vegetarian Curried Melon Salad is an excellent use of cantaloupe!
Caper berries, originated in the Mediterranean region, and are small, round, and greenish-brown fruits found on the caper bush. They have a unique, tangy flavor, often described as a combination of olives and lemon zest. Caper berries are typically pickled in brine and served as a condiment in salads, pasta dishes, and Mediterranean cuisine. Caper Berries are commonly used chopped finely and added to recipes, sprinkled over salads, or just eaten out of the jar. If you haven’t cooked with capers before, try either of our favorite recipes that include them. Chickpea Tuna Salad Recipe (Vegetarian) and 3 Stuffed Avocados Recipes.
Carambola, also known as star fruit, hails from Southeast Asia, and is famous for its striking star-like appearance. The fruit has a vibrant yellow hue and is sweet with a slightly tart undertone, making it a delightful addition to salads, desserts, and beverages. There are two types of star fruit. A larger variety that is sweeter than its similar smaller variety. You can eat these fresh as the skin is perfectly edible. You can also cut it into salads or bake it into pies.
It’s not only delicious but also rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. Carambola is often used as a garnish due to its distinctive shape and because it can be eaten entirely, skin and all.
Carob is a Mediterranean evergreen tree that produces pods known as carob pods. The carob pod resembles a long, dark brown bean pod, with a tough outer shell and sweet pulp inside. The taste of carob is often compared to chocolate, although it has a milder and naturally sweet flavor with hints of caramel and roasted nuts.
Carob is a versatile ingredient but its most famous use is as a chocolate substitute in various recipes. Carob is used to make carob chips, powders, and syrup, which can be used in baking, smoothies, and hot beverages. It’s also used as a natural sweetener in various health food products. Besides its culinary applications, carob is believed to have some health benefits, such as being high in fiber and antioxidants.
To use as a chocolate substitute just use it 1 for 1. It has several advantages over cocoa: It is caffeine free, fat free, has twice the calcium of cocoa, and does not have the effect of bringing on migraines as chocolate does for a small group of people.
The Cavendish banana, also known as the Chiquita banana, is one of the most popular and widely consumed banana varieties in the world. This cultivar is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia, specifically in the region encompassing Malaysia and the Philippines. It is named after Sir Henry Cavendish, a British scientist who made significant contributions to the study of electricity and chemistry, though he had no direct involvement in banana cultivation.
Cavendish Bananas are the world’s most common banana variety making up about half of global bananas. Did you know that 96% of Americans have purchased a banana in the last month? It just shows how important they are in the American diet. Cavendish wasn’t always America’s go to banana. The Big Mike banana dominated the American market until Panama wilt disease ravaged plantations and forced the major banana producers to switch.
Uses for bananas are all but limitless, and if you want information on various varieties, nutritional data, and cooking ideas check out Bananas 101: Everything You Need To Know. Or, if you just want to skip right to healthy decadence, try this Healthy Breakfast Banana Split. Oh, and we designed this recipe to be a healthy breakfast option not just a DQ style treat.
Cedar Bay Cherries
Cedar Bay cherries, also known as beach cherries or muntries, are unique and lesser-known fruits native to Australia. They thrive in the coastal regions of southern Australia, particularly in sandy soils near the sea, which contributes to their distinctive flavor. These small, berry-like fruits are usually about the size of blueberries and come in vibrant shades of red to deep purple when ripe. Cedar Bay cherries are known for their tart, slightly spicy, and cranberry-like taste with undertones of eucalyptus. The name comes simply from the Cedar Bay National Park in Australia.
These cherries have been a part of Indigenous Australian cuisine for thousands of years. They are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, making them a healthy addition to various dishes. Cedar Bay cherries are used in jams, sauces, and desserts, adding a unique and tangy twist to recipes. In addition to their culinary uses, they have been traditionally used by Indigenous communities for their healing properties, such as treating sore throats and colds. They are often eaten raw in Australia just as the many varieties in the US are 9 Unexpected Cherry Benefits (and why you should be eating more!)
Cempedak is a close relative to the breadfruit (similar to jackfruit). They grow in SE Asia and are known for their scaly skin and terrible smell. Locally the cempedak is often eaten raw, deep-fried, grilled, and boiled. Cempedak is an essential part of Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine, and is known for its unique taste and versatility in both sweet and savory dishes. It has not, however, gained traction in cuisines outside of SE Asia. It could be because of that smell we mentioned.
Cherries, believed to have originated in the region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, are small, round fruits known for their deep red or yellow color. Cherries grow well in cool climates. In the United States the leading producers are Washington State, California, Oregon, Wisconsin and Michigan (Go Blue! Sorry, Dad may read this). They have a sweet-tart flavor and are enjoyed fresh, in desserts like pies and tarts, or transformed into jams and preserves. Cherries are also loaded with antioxidants and are known for their potential health benefits including reducing inflammation and aiding sleep.
Looking beyond the kitchen, cherries are a symbol of summer in many cultures and are often used in festivals and traditions celebrating the coming or arrival of summer, and let’s face it cherry blossoms just make us happy. Hungry for inspiration? Try this Cherry Cheesecake Oat Cookies Recipe!
Chinese Quince, is as you guessed, native to China, and is known for its unique appearance with a knobby, yellow-green skin and a shape resembling an apple or pear. The taste of Chinese quince can be quite tart when eaten raw, making it more suitable for cooking or preserving. This fruit is often used in Chinese cuisine for making jams, jellies, sauces, alcoholic drinks, as well as in traditional medicine for its potential health benefits.
The quince in general is an ancient fruit. There are biblical references to the fruit in Judea, and it has grown in many areas of the world since. It is known as a drought resistant shrub that thrives in both shade and sun, and doesn’t require a whole lot of maintenance.
Chinese White Pear
Chinese white pears, also known as the Ya pear, are related to the Asian pear, but have a lighter skin and are more elongated like other pears. They have grown in Northern China for over two millennia. Chinese white pears are known for their sweet, juicy, and crisp texture, making them a popular choice for fresh consumption. They are also used in salads, desserts, and beverages. In addition to their delicious taste, Chinese white pears are a symbol of immortality and longevity in Chinese culture, often presented as gifts during special occasions.
You may be able to find these at an international market or local Asian market. They can be used like most other pears of which there are around 3,000 varieties. Pears are high fiber fruits that can be eaten in so many ways, raw, dried, candied, juiced, in wine, schnapps, etc. Check out our guide on Pear Types 101 and perhaps consider yet another way to enjoy pears in Pear Pizza with Gorgonzola and Thyme.
Chinoto Sour Oranges
Chinotto sour oranges are believed to have originated in Southeast Asia but are today mostly grown in Italy, Southern France, and Libya. In Italy they are used to make a traditional liqueur known as “Chinotto.” These small, round oranges have a bitter and sour taste, which distinguishes them from sweet oranges. Chinoto sour oranges are used primarily for making beverages and flavoring. They also find application in some culinary recipes, adding a unique and tangy flavor. They are seldom eaten raw due to their taste, but cooking tends to caramelize the sugar giving them a sweet and tart flavor.
Churchland Pears are said to have a pleasant creamy texture when ripe. They are known to have been eaten by European settlers to America as early as the 17th Century. They were named with the belief that they came from trees on church owned land in New England. Pears are grown and consumed in much of the world, and there are around 3,000 varieties. It is a high fiber fruit that can be eaten in so many ways, raw, dried, candied, juiced, in wine, schnapps, etc.
The citron is one of the oldest citrus fruits, believed to have originated in India. They grow mostly around the Mediterranean Sea today. It is a large irregularly shaped fruit featuring a thick, bumpy rind that ranges from yellow to green when ripe. It looks like a bumpy lemon. The taste of citron can vary from mildly sweet to extremely sour, and it’s primarily used for its aromatic zest and peel, which add a distinctive flavor to both sweet and savory dishes, as well as various beverages. The peel is also commonly candied in the Middle-East. Citron is also known for its religious and cultural significance, as it is used in Jewish religious observances. .
Clementines are a type of mandarin orange. They’re a hybrid of mandarin and sweet orange and very similar to other mandarins. So what is a mandarin? Mandarin oranges are a small, loose-skinned variety of the common orange, typically sweeter and less acidic than larger oranges. Thought to have originated in India, they traveled across China where they picked up the name “mandarin”. They made their way to England and Euro-tripped it down to Italy, eventually making it to the Moroccan port of Tangier, where they garnered another name, “tangerine”.
The Celopatra mandarin originates from India and is believed to have been cultivated for thousands of years. This small citrus fruit is renowned for its bright orange color and smooth, thin skin, which peels effortlessly to reveal juicy, segmented flesh. Its taste is often described as acidic and often on the sour or bitter side. Cleopatra mandarins are versatile and are often used in marmalades and beverages.
Coco plum is a Florida native, and is small and typically round with a range of colors from deep purple to red when ripe. Despite its name, it’s not related to coconuts but is rather a member of the Chrysobalanaceae family. The fruit is noted for its sweet flavor with perhaps a bit of sourness. They can be eaten raw or in preserves. They have grown in Florida likely for centuries as they are known to have been a part of the Seminole Indian diet. Aside from culinary uses, coco plums are a popular choice for creating hedgerows and coastal plantings due to their salt tolerance and dense growth.
Coconuts are a fruit type called a drupes. Drupes have a single seed and a fruity flesh. They appear to have originated as a staple food in Pacific islands 3-5,000 years ago. Fossils in New Zealand show their existence as much as 15 million years ago. The coconut’s outer husk is green and fibrous, while the inner shell holds the coveted coconut water and the creamy, white meat. Coconut is known for its distinctive sweet, nutty flavor and is used in various culinary forms, including coconut milk, coconut oil, shredded coconut, and famously as a key ingredient in many tropical cocktails and desserts.
The Conference pear is a European pear variety that originated in England in the late 19th century. They are often called “the Christmas pear” in the United Kingdom because they are in season during the holiday season, making them a popular choice for festive desserts.
This pear is recognizable by its elongated shape, with a golden-green skin that often bears russet speckles. Its flesh is sweet, juicy, and slightly grainy, offering a delightful crunch with each bite. Conference pears are typically eaten fresh but can also be used in cooking and baking, adding a sweet and aromatic element to dishes like pear tarts and poached pears. It is just one of about 3,000 varieties grown around the world.
Cornelian cherries have their origins in Europe and Western Asia and have been cultivated for centuries. These small, bright red fruits resemble elongated cherries and have a tart, slightly astringent taste that is similar to sour cherries. While they can be consumed fresh, they are more commonly used for making preserves, jams, and syrups. Cornelian cherries are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, making them a healthy choice. While you may not be able to find cornelian cherries at the grocery, you can use any variety to try our favorite cherry yogurt popsicle recipe. You don’t have to have popsicle molds to make these.
Cortland Apples are a cultivar of apples developed in New York in 1898. They are named after Cortland County, New York, and are one of the 15 most popular varieties in the United States. Now that may sound like a participation trophy (15th place, what color ribbon is that?), but consider that there are around 2,500 varieties grown in the United States. Apples have been grown and eaten since the Roman Era and quite possibly before that. If you want more information on just a few of the most popular American apples check out our Nutrition and Variety Guide.
Cosmic Crisp Apples
The Cosmic Crisp apple is a relatively new variety that originated in Washington State through a crossbreeding program at Washington State University in 1997, but was only introduced to the commercial market in 2019.
They look like a Red Delicious apple due to their stunning appearance, featuring a deep red color with speckles resembling the night sky, which is how they got their cosmic name. Their taste, however, is more like the Honeycrisp with a balance of sweetness and tartness, making them excellent for eating fresh or using in various culinary applications like pies and salads. They were bred specifically to have a longer shelf life than other apples, so you can keep these apples around for quite a while.
Courgette is another name for the zucchini. They are a type of summer squash that is extremely versatile. Zucchini grow well in your home garden, but be careful to not let them grow too large (and they will) as the skin gets much harder and the seeds larger with too much growth. Zucchini are a nutritional powerhouse with less than 5 calories per ounce but a good vitamin and mineral profile, and did you know there are about 15 types of zucchini many of which you can find at farmer’s or international markets.
When explorers discovered these squash, they brought them back to Europe and started growing and cultivating them there. It was in Italy that the modern-day zucchini finally came to be, where it was dubbed zucchino (little squash). The zucchini made its way back to America in the 1920s, where it was ignored by the average consumer for about 50 years. We just didn’t know what we were missing! But it’s okay, today we’ve got an entire arsenal of zucchini recipes from zucchini noodles to stuffed zucchini to zucchini desert crisp!
Crab apples are small, tart fruits that are believed to have originated in the wild forests of Central Asia and Europe. They are known for their diminutive size and often range in color from red to yellow. Crab apples have a sharp, tangy flavor, which makes them less appealing for fresh consumption but ideal for culinary purposes, such as making jellies, jams, and cider. These tiny fruits also have an interesting history as they were one of the earliest cultivated apple varieties, dating back thousands of years.
Cranberries, unlike sweet potato casserole and mashed potatoes, were very likely actually served at the very first Thanksgiving in 1621. They’re one of a few commercial fruits native to North America (along with blueberries and Concord grapes) and were a staple for Native Americans, who would mash them up with game meat and fats to create little energy bites. We haven’t tried to resurrect these 17th Century bites, but our Chocolate-Dipped Chewy Granola Bars would likely be a fine surrogate. For more on Cranberry nutrition and a whole lot more check out our cranberry guide.
Crimson Delight Apples
Crimson Delight Apples are great apples for eating raw as well as cooking. They are a modern apple variety that originated in New Zealand. These apples have a vibrant, crimson-red skin with a sweet, juicy, and slightly tangy taste. They are perfect for snacking and can also be used in salads or for making applesauce.They are bruise resistant and last up to 6 months in your fridge, and may actually be a bit healthier than other apples. Their rich color is not only visually appealing but also indicates a high level of antioxidants, making them a healthy choice. Give them a try in The Easiest apple crisp recipe.
Crimson Gold Apples
Crimson Gold apples, also known as Tsugaru apples, originate from Japan. These apples are a golden yellow with a slight blush of red. They are known for their moderately sweet and crisp flesh, which is ideal for eating fresh or incorporating into desserts like apple pies. They are actually a hybrid product of crab apples which gives their flavor a hint of tartness to it. While a favorite in Japan, they are a bit more expensive in the USA as their cultivation requires precise climate conditions.
Crispin Apples, also known as Mutsu apples, originated in Japan, but are available much more broadly today. They are typically large, with a greenish-yellow skin and particularly sweet and juicy flesh that makes it ideal for biting into raw. They are, however, equally as good as a baking apple as they hold their shape well when cooked. They are often used in pies and applesauce.
There may be as many as 30,000 apple varieties worldwide today, and 2,500 of these are grown in the United States. Apples have been grown and eaten since the Roman Era and quite possibly before that, so if you can’t find crispin there are a lot of other types of apples you can experiment with.
Cucumbers are technically a fruit, though I think most of us consider them a vegetable. I mean, have you ever put diced cucumber on your breakfast cereal or in yogurt? Neither have we, but we will stick with the fruit designation here. Cucumbers are thought to have originated in India and have a long history dating back thousands of years. They are typically elongated, cylindrical, and have a green skin. Cucumbers have a refreshing, mild, and crisp texture with a subtle, clean taste. They are commonly used in salads, sandwiches, and pickles.
Cucumbers are decidedly low calorie as they have under 5 calories per ounce. This is because they are 95% water which makes them a refreshing summer choice for your veggie trays. For more on cucumbers check out our cucumber guide.
Custard apples, also known as cherimoyas, are native to tropical regions of South America. Custard apples are an odd-looking variety growing in a variety of shapes. They have a rough, green skin and soft, creamy flesh with a sweet, custard-like taste, which gives them their name. They are typically eaten fresh or blended into smoothies and desserts.
This wraps up our list of fruits that start with the letter C. We hope you found some you want to try, and as always Happy Cooking!
A single cherry tree can hold 7,000 cherries at a time!