Fresh Fruit in Foreign Places is a concept album in the form of a musical travelogue. It was very well received critically upon its release. New York Times pop music critic Robert Palmer called it "an extraordinary album" and "the freshest and most intelligent fusion of pop styles and dance rhythms in a long time". It also was voted one of the best pop albums of the year in the Village Voice's influential Pazz & Jop critics' poll. It was ranked among the top ten "Albums of the Year" for 1981 by NME.
One way of looking at the journey Kid Creole undertakes on the record is as a justification of the many strains that coexist in our music. The journey is autobiographical in that it explains how the music came to be the music that it is. Kid Creole and his crew visit various islands and are influenced by the music and culture of each one. ...You don't just leave your influences behind when you move on in life; you take them with you.
Fresh Fruit in Foreign Places was rereleased in 2002 by Universal Island Records with 12" mixes of "Table Manners" and "Que Pasa / Me No Pop I" (although the latter is not the full version. It has been edited down from 7:11 to 6:18). The album replaced the original mix of "Dear Addy" with the 1982 single remix.