Thursday, 23 October 2008

I Love: Other Fruits too

You may not know that as a teenager I spent a year living in Thailand (Bangkok) as an AFS exchange student. Well, you do now. I have loads of very fond food memories from that time, as believe you me, Thai people live to eat not the other way around. When it comes to fruit, there's so much variety available, and its all (or it was, way back in 1988) so very cheap! Alot of these tropical fruits are now widely available, but at the time they were new to me.
I used to really enjoy buying pineapple (especially the "Phuket pineapple" variety) from street vendors (by this time I had a cast iron stomach) and it would come with a packet of salt / chili mix to dip it into. The sweetness of the pineapple went ever so well with the salt, for ages after I came home I'd still eat pineapple that way.
The host family I lived with had a Mango tree in the backyard and when it was mango season all the males would take turns climbing up to fetch them down. Only the boys did this as the tree was protected by fire ants - you know the ones that give you super nasty bites - so they didn't let he girls climb up. Fine with me. Us girls just gorged ourselves on fresh mango! My sister once said that mango "tastes like a cross between carrot and peach", and she's right, it does, but in a very good way.
Other Tropical delights I tried and loved include Rambutan, Lychee, Mangosteen, all of which are gaining in popularity and taste so much better fresh than canned! However, I never much took to Durian, as I couldn't get passed the smell. My host sister loved them!
I also love melons, not so much Watermelon (due in part I think to 2 summers spent picking them!) but most definitely Rock Melon (aka more commonly here as Cantaloupe) and Honeydew (the green ones). R shares this love and we can devour a Rock Melon between us in 1 sitting!
Then there's grapes, papaya, feijoa, tamarillo, banana, guave, dates, figs, passionfruit, oh my. I've never seen either feijoa or tamarillo in the stores here, we had trees in the garden of one of the houses we grew up in, in New Zealand.
I have no recipes to share today, and any pictures would be stolen from the interwebs anyway. Just stories of my love today!

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