Note on 5th March 2012 : See 3 more fruits just added at the bottom of this article!
1st Feb 2012
Let’s start February with fruits!
Small article to tell you about the fruits you can find in South-East Asia that I have been eating the last two months and half, besides the delicious bananas, pineapple, mandarins and papaya you find here but much more tasty and cheap than in Europe.
Tamarin. Neringa describes it as “a long thing that looks like poo”. Quite true actually. I only discovered it in my last 3 days in Cambodia, when Lorna made me taste them at the Butterfly Centre. Until then, I had thought they were some kind of beans you would need to cook. It tastes like “pate de fruit”, or a bit like figues also. It has a “black noyau” in the middle. They are my favourite so far. Very sweet fruits, kind of compensate for the lack of chocolate. It costs in Lao usually 20,000 kips the kg, so 2,5 dollars the kg, so for 5k you already get about 15 of various sizes. The annoying thing with this fruit is that you can’t really tell from the outside if it will be good or not, so you often get some riped or dry ones in the batch you buy.
Mangoustine. It is a kind of purple ball and I had also thought that couldn’t be a fruit but something you cook. I tasted it for the first time in Udomxai, when the Italian Mario showed me out to eat it. The skin is quite thick, and inside there are these white quarters in the shape of mandarin quarters, but white and juicy, really tasty, a bit of lemon taste maybe, and the texture of a softer pineapple. Hard to describe. Very good fruit too.
Rambutan. It is red, orange and yellow, a beautiful fruit. Inside a litchi, same almost as the ones we get in Europe. Really good. I discovered that one when I was in Indonesia in April. You open it by using your thumb to make the small opening in the middle and then you twist it a bit to open the skin in two and get the fruit. Yummy too.
Longan (?? TBC). It is a small brown little ball. It grows on branches and is usually sold still on a branch, as a group of branches.
05th March 2012
I discovered a few more fruits in Vietnam. I don’t know their names, and I could search for the name, but I find it nicer to let you search for it and email me. The first one to find the name of each fruit wins a postcard! 🙂
Here is a green round one. Inside it is white, and the texture is quite milky. It tastes a bit like figues, it melts in your mouth. Very very good fruit, I love it!
Here is another fruit, red one. It tastes like fresh green celery, but a bit more watery and sweet. Not my favourite, but good when you are thirsty in a market.
That one is maybe called soursop, but I am not sure. I remember drinking some fruit juice that my friend Clément had made me discover that tasted like it. It is a good fruit, white inside, quite juicy also. Special taste, I have a hard time describing it. Just try it! 🙂