With the exception of this tequila-spiked fruit punch, I like to enjoy my fruit in all its fresh, ripe and natural glory.

Thanks to its variety of altitudes and a good 300 days of sunshine, Lebanon boasts one of the richest diversity of local fruit markets in the world. Here's what you should be chomping down on this time of year. Dig in...

Akidineh (Loquats)

(Image via Pinterest)

These succulent testicles are actually a millennia old Chinese import, but ain’t nothin the fertile crescent can’t grow.

Season: Late April to Late May
Notable Strain: Bizr baladi

Jenerick (Green Sour Plum)

(Image via Thekitchn.com )

I like to think of these little sour balls as the olives of spring.

Season: Late April to mid-May


(Image via latavolamarche.blogspot.com)

Varieties of sizes and colors abound. Plums are key to the summer fruit basket.

Season: June to September
Strain: Abou Riha


(Image via Sodahead.com)

Some people claim they do not like watermelons. These people are golems. It is organically impossible to not go rabid over watermelons, the compulsion to shed the last vestige of civility is overwhelming.

Season: May to September
Notable Strain: the rare Adlouneh

Shimmam (Cantaloupe)

(Image via Splendidtable.com)

Watermelon’s sweet little cousin, to be consumed in engorgeable quantities when others are distracted.

Season: Late May to August
Notable Strain: Ananas (yes you read that correctly)

Honey Dew

(Image via Bingsbobatea.com)

Cantaloupe’s even sweeter little sister, a rarity in this country and absolutely orgasmic in its nectary goodness.

Season: June to August


(Image via Dailystar.com.lb)

The quintessential summer fruit. You know when you pop a cherry in your mouth and then another and then 50 more and then your stomach aches for the rest of the day? This has happened to everyone every summer since Mesopotamia.

Season: July to August
Notable Strain: Habasheh (August)


(Image via momentsinbeirut.wordpress.com)

Possibly the best discovery a primate has ever made, I pity da fool who’s allergic to it.

Season: March to October
Notable Strain: baladi (a lovely mixed strain of the original Lebanese and the South American horse’s boomerang-size seed)


(Image via Themagicherb.wordpress.com)

There is enormous variety of grapes in Lebanon’s mountains and valleys, owing to a favorable climate and rich top soil. I love them all, but usually sample one before buying to be certain of its flavor. Everyone has a different favorite; mine is the Oborsi.

Season: Late June to October
Notable Strain: Zeineh, Maaboureh, Jba’ah, Bayd Hamam, Oborsi


(Image via Threebarandgrill.com)

Okay listen up strawb-newbs, the industrial-size ones your uncle’s been bringing you since December are not natural; you want to wait until mid Spring (i.e. NOW) to reap the low-cal benefits of this dieter’s delight.

Season: March to September


(Image via Amendelein.com)

Millions of peaches, peaches for me (I challenge you to get this reference).

Season: Late May to Early September
Notable Strain: Bikfaya, Naba’ Safa, Alberta, Bob Cook


(Image via Alibaba.com)

An import primarily, though it can be grown here. An excellent addition to any fruit cocktail.

Season: June to August
Notable Strain: Masri


(Image via Thegourmetreview.com)

Another import, this one from the southeast. No summer cocktail is complete without a slice straddling the rim of your margarita.

Season: July to August

Rimman (Pomegranate)

(Image via Dailystar.com.lb)

The most celebrated fruit of antiquity, symbolized with life, death, resurrection, fertility, with numerous health benefits and a staple of our cuisine, these tartly sweet red nubs are a feast for the eyes as much as the tongue.

Season: September onwards
Notable Strain: Jnoubeh, Helou

Subbeir (Prickly Pear)

(Image via Nutritionunplugged.com)

Personally not a fan, but a popular one nonetheless if you can be bothered with all the seeds. Also, hyper-nutritious.

Season: June to August


(Image via Greenprophet.com)

Sweet as honey, only a fugged up tongue would shun these jewels of the sun.

Season: July to August
Notable Strain: Naaouseh, Sikareh, Bakrateh


(Image via Tasteofbeirut.com)

Otherwise known as the Toot, and once the cornerstone of the silk industry, now a garnish and a diuretic when combined with summer’s high humidity.

Season: June to July


(Image via Foodgal.com)

I live for mishmush ajameh, but not the little maggots that drill inside it. Make sure you rip it open down it’s fold before you swallow it whole.

Season: June to August
Notable Strain: Ajameh, Imm Hussein

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Reference: 'Peaches' by the Presidents of the United States of Americs.

Maha OumHassan on May 19, 2015 via mobile web
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Reference: 'Peaches' by the Presidents of the United States of Americs.

Maha OumHassan on May 19, 2015 via mobile web
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Reference: 'Peaches' by The Presidents of the United States of America. Easy, peasy... Pffff

Maha OumHassan on May 19, 2015 via mobile web