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Friday, July 1, 2011

Thailand's Exotic Fruits

One of my favorite things back home during summer is the fruits that are in season - pineapple, watermelon, grapes, cantaloupe, etc.  Luckily, I can get most of these fruits in Thailand year-round due to the consistently hot and humid weather.  However, Thailand has a whole slew of fruits that are available during the rainy season that I had never seen before, some of them delicious and some strange... or maybe I should just say different. Here's a sampling of some of the fruits you can find in a stroll around the markets or in a cart on random street corners. I should note that most fruits in Thailand take some serious effort to eat - it usually requires some sort of sharp instrument and some messy fingers - but it's usually worth it.  Thankfully, most of the fruits are cut up and served ready to eat by the vendors. 

Rambutan: Possibly the oddest looking of the bunch, these super sweet fruits are similar in texture to large grapes.  On the inside they look like they could be big grapes... but the outside is a prickly arrangement of red and green spikes. 

Jackfruit: One of my favorite discoveries of South East Asian fruits, I can't find a good way to describe them, but they start as one giant prickly oval shape and are cut into little bright yellow bits.  Once again, they are super sweet (as are most things in Thailand) but not overly juicy or crunchy.  According to Wikipedia it's the second largest and heaviest tree-born fruit out there. I'm so glad that someone else cuts it up for me, because I don't think I could ever figure out how to extract the edible bits. 

Durian: Known as the "king of fruits"... and also the one that smells the most disgusting.  Many people say it smells like dirty feet before the fruit is cut open, and due to this trait, it is often banned in buildings and on public transportation. Durian also features spikes on the outside but is apparently very delicious if you can get past the smell and actually taste it - I haven't tasted it yet, but it is on my list of things to do before I leave. 
Image courtesy of Google Images
Dragon Fruit: This fruit has a fleshy inside that is full of tiny seeds and kind of resembles an artichoke on the outside... if an artichoke was bright pink.  Dragon fruit, in my opinion, lacks flavor and isn't my favorite thing to nosh on.  

Mangosteen: This fruit just started to appear around Thailand, and I'm told it's imported from Indonesia.  I've been hearing about it for quite some time, so I was eager to test it out.  It takes some effort to get to the fruit but once you're in it's pretty delicious, really sweet and a little tangy. 


  1. You forgot "Strawberries" as one of your favorite fruits.

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