After fresh local options fade, exotic fruits can become one of the season’s most healthful pleasures. Sure their peculiar shapes and bumpy exteriors may look otherworldly, but these far-flung imports posses refreshing new flavors that might just make them the comfort food you need for a howling winter night. Plus, most are nutritional goldmines exploding with vital nutrients – sometimes more than local fruits. So expand your gastronomic horizons and try one or more of these rising stars from around the world.

How they taste: Resembling a tiny orange football and native to China, the juicy kumquat flesh is very tart whereas the edible rind is fragrant and marvelously sweet.

Health perks: As a member of the citrus family, kumquats have good amounts of potassium as well as vitamin C, on par with an orange and several times more than grapes, bananas and apples. Even better, each pigmy fruit has only 13 calories.

Pick the best: Choose those that are firm, universally orange and have stems attached. Leave behind any with green skins, soft spots or blemishes. Wrapped in a plastic bag and refrigerated, kumquats should last for up to a month.

Try this: They’re great to eat in a bite or two when on the move. Or, try adding slices to your favorite muffin recipe, iced tea, yogurt or marmalades.

Uniq Fruit
How they taste: Often sold by the name ugli fruit, which is consistent with its misshapen appearance, this citrus fruit originally from Jamaica is almost hazardously juicy and tastes like a cross between grapefruit and mandarin. Further proving looks can be deceiving, its thick skin is easier to peel than most other citrus fruits.

Health perks: Lumpy and frumpy, uniq fruit is a stellar source of dietary fiber and vitamin C. According to a British study, subjects with the highest blood concentrations of vitamin C had a significantly reduced risk of suffering a stroke.

Pick the best: Look for fruit that is heavy for its size and free of overly soft spots or mold. Don’t be concerned about surface mottling, scarring, or uneven coloring. If possible, choose smaller uniq fruits, which tend to be sweeter.

Try this: Uniq fruit can be eaten out-of-hand, as an addition to fruit salads or mixed with baby spinach, roasted beets, walnuts and balsamic vinegar for a snappy side-dish.