Friday, July 29, 2011

A Fruit Without a Name

During my trip through Southeast Asia in June I saw a lot of weird looking edibles.  Many of the things turned out to be fruit and I could not resist the temptation to try them.  The fruits are no longer all unidentified, but at the time I ate them they were very much so.
This is a jackfruit with an uncanny resemblance to a butt.  On first glance I thought it was its smellier cousin, the durian, but I have now come to recognize the differences between the two.  Below is a man from an indigenous hill tribe who chopped the jackfruit off the tree and into pieces with a huge clever. (Mental note: Where the hell was I hanging out with hill tribes and freaky fruits?  It seems like a dream.)
The jackfruit contained smaller sections of sticky and sickly sweet fruit with seeds.  I didn't like it, but some other travelers loved it.  I sense it is an acquired taste.
The below remain unidentified.  A funny Thai girl brought them over to us during our dinner in Chiang Mai one night, and showed us how to peel them and eat around the inside pits.  We each tried one of the translucent pods that hide inside of the skin in front of her, and soon both hoped that she would walk away so we could discard the rest of them.  The inside was fleshy and warm and sweet and just not a texture I have ever had in my mouth before.  Nor do I ever want it in my mouth again.
 My last adventure was with rambutans.  We didn't know what these were while we were away but we saw them everywhere we went on the roadsides, in the markets, on peddler's carts and in the hands of children.
 The funny green and red spiky skin peels off to reveal a glowing white orb of fruit surrounding yet another pit.  At first bite I was not a fan of this foreign fruit, but I am happy to report that after eating a few more on a recent trip down Grand St. in NYC I have actually begun to enjoy the tangy but sweet taste.
So here's the scoop with my life.  I've recently had a lack of interesting culinary experiences because I am TEMPORARILY no longer living in the city.  Yes, you have guessed correctly, I have moved home with the parentals.  This is something they tell me many college grads do, but I never realized the magnitude of until now.  I'm gonna ride it out at Hotel Mom and Dad for a while but hopefully I'll have some new material soon!

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