Yesterday evening, after our squid fishing excursion, we walked home by way of the night market. On display were the heaps and heaps of colorful fresh fruit that we've come to know and expect in Southeast Asia.
I realized, as I bought a red water apple for the first time, that we hadn't really done the abundant tropical fruits justice. Though we've been here for over two months now, we haven't even tried most of them!
So, much to the delight of one of the night market sellers, we bought a hefty bag full of all kinds of colorful fruit. A few of them we'd tried already, but most of them were still complete mysteries to us.
We leave tomorrow, and we don't really want to haul them on our bikes, so this morning, while Tyler runs errands in town (buying us a pair of hammocks and bringing home lunch), I break out my pocket knife.
It's time to try them all!
First up: papaya. It's really, really tender and soft on the outside and I wonder if it's rotten…
But I slice it open revealing creepy black alien egg seeds, and a soft orange flesh that seems perfectly ripe. I never liked papaya before I came here, but this one is delicious!
Next up is a strange fruit that looks sort of like an artichoke. The internet reports that it's called a sugar apple, custard apple, or a sweetsop.
I have no idea what to expect, but slice it in half and give it a go. I slip off the shingled skin and the mealy bits of flesh underneath it, and take a bite, avoiding the slick black seeds.
And… it is delicious! To me, it tastes sweet and a bit sour, with a flavor similar to those sugar-coated peach jelly rings. Yum!
Next up is this green orb. What in the world is this thing?
Named for it's pretty star pattern of seeds, it's a star apple. It's tasty, sort of like a crunchy, unripe pear. And, like a dandelion stem, it boasts a milky substance that rises to the surface when sliced. Weird!
Dragon fruit comes next. I love it already for its vibrant pink hue and awesome name.
The taste isn't quite as amazing though. To me, it's a bit like a bland kiwi.
Next is the water apple, like the one I first tried last night.
I think it looks funny.
It's crunchy and wet and like a watermelon rind, while being vaguely sweet, and reminiscent of jicama.
I love longans.
They taste sort of like grapes or lychee nuts.
And they feel like eyeballs!
I am so full of fruit right now. This enormous pomelo will just have to wait!