Learning about and eating the fruit found in Thailand has been the most enjoyable experience. Along with the expected pineapple, mango, papaya and bananas, there are many more exotic fruits that are unfamiliar to my eyes.
It seemed that the best way to
get started was to buy several different kinds of fruit from the fruit
sellers and conduct a taste test. Clockwise from the top is Mangosteen,
Rambuten (Hairy Fruit) and Rose Apple.
Jack Fruit has a sweet flavor and firm
flesh. The bulbs grow inside of pods that average in weight from 15 to
20 pounds but that can weigh as much as 100 pounds. It is believed to
be the largest tree borne fruit. It's only downside is a slight smell
of decay, but it isn't hard to get past the odor because the fruit is so
Fruit sellers cut the bulbs from the fibrous interior of the pods which also contain a sticky white sap:
Their efforts yield these delicious results:
are a round purple fruit. The outer skin is rather thick and rubbery.
Once the rind is removed the fruit inside is white and segmented
similarly to an orange. The fruit is sweet and juicy and the segments
often contain up to four seeds, although I haven't found any seeds
in the mangosteen that I've eaten.
or Hairy Fruit are round and the leather like outer skin is covered
with pliable spines which look like hairs. The colors of this fruit
range from pale green to yellow to red. To prepare the rambuten, make a
1/4 inch cut all the way around the fruit and peel off the skin. It
comes away very easily revealing a white fruit that looks like a small
egg. I found the easiest way to prepare the fruit was to slice it into
quarters and cut away the pit inside. The texture and
flavor of the rambuten is very much like a grape.
rose apple resembles an apple in color and skin type, but is shaped
more like a pear. The flesh is white and crisp and juicy with a mild
sweet flavor reminiscent of an apple. The texture is somewhere between an
apple and watermelon.
absolute favorite of all the fruits I have tried is the Dragon Fruit.
It is oval shaped with a bright green and pink outer skin. The fruit
inside is white and full of tiny black seeds. To prepare Dragon Fruit,
simple slice into quarters and peel off the skin which easily comes
away. The flesh is similar in texture to a pear with a bit of
watermelon added for good measure, while the seeds add a wonderful
crunch. The flavor is light, mild and very refreshing.
you ever have the chance to try any of these tropical fruits, I highly
recommend that you seize the opportunity. They are are nutritious and
delicious. With only a few weeks to spend in Thailand, I am making it a
point to eat at least one of these tropical delights every day.