A visit to Thailand isn’t complete without experiencing some of the foods here. The tropical fruits are abundant, delicious and fascinating! While you are here, be adventurous and give some of them a try!
Sapodilla (La-mut) – This fruit looks like a large brown plum. The Thai way is to peel it with a sharp knife directed away from you and with the index finger just in front of the blade, guiding it along. You peel the fruit and then cut it through the middle in a zigzag fashion, for display. Lamut has a subtle flavor that isn’t particularly sweet, and yet seems to taste like brown sugar – if that makes any sense – It’s delicate and delicious!
Guava (Farang) – Looks like a bumpy/wrinkled green apple. Cutting guava is very pretty. Slice ½ way into it, wedge-like, and then slice all around the guava this way. We pulled out the wedges and ate them this way. This doesn’t taste like the Hawaiian fruit. Hawaiian guava fruits (called strawberry guava) are pink and sweeter. These were somewhat bland, crunchy and starchy – a little pear-like.
Rose Apple (Chom-Poo) – This looks like a cross between a thin red pepper and an apple. Cut them into lengthwise slices and eat the thin pieces. These are delicious – sweet and crunchy. They are also called Bell or Mountain Apples.
Dragon Fruit (Gao Mung Gorn) – This is probably the most dramatic-looking of all the Thai fruits, and the outside appearance gives NO indicator of the inside appearance at all! The fruit is a bright pink oblong shape with pointed green leaves springing out from all sides – hence the name, as it DOES look a little dragon-like. Cutting it open down the middle of the fruit will display a white center, filled with tiny black dots. To eat this fruit, scoop out the filling with a spoon. This fruit is moist, sweet, crunchy and delicious! When picking out dragon fruit, “the redder the better” for ripeness!
Jackfruit (Khanoon) – This is a fascinating fruit that comes in a huge spindly ball. Opening it up, you can pull out separate pods, which are around 3” long. These pods have large seeds inside that can be peeled, boiled and eaten with salt. The flesh of the fruit has a pungent taste and smell, somewhat crunchy and a little sour/starchy feel to it. Sometimes they are very sweet, and other times they are pretty bland.
Longan (Lam-Yai) – look like big brown grapes on a branch. They have a thin but hard shell that is easy to break open. The flesh is clear and very sweet with a pit inside. These are delicious but don’t eat too many at one time, as you can get cold sores or even a fever.
Mangostein (Mang-Kut) – Mangosteen is a bizarre looking fruit with a round, deep purple shell. It has flavorful white flesh that is eaten in sections. This has a delicious, distinctive flavor that is also wonderful for juices. Mangostein is becoming better known globally for it’s remarkable healing properties.
Durian (Tu-Rian) – is one of the most bizarre fruits on earth. It is a rich, unique tasting fruit, but to some, it is a putrid-smelling, lousy excuse for a food. It has an extremely strong and unpleasant aroma, as well as a deadly look. Trying this fruit is a step into another world. Durian is quite expensive and due to it’s powerfully imposing smell; it is actually banned from many hotels, busses and planes.
Lychee (Linjee) – Covered by a red, roughly textured rind that is inedible but easily removed, the inside of a lychee consists of a layer of sweet, translucent white flesh with a grape-like texture. The centre contains a single glossy brown nut-like seed that should not be eaten.
Rambutan (NgoR) – The name is derived from the Malay word, rambut, meaning hair, which is a perfect name. The fuzzy, colorful covering of this fruit is unforgettable. Peeling this dramatic covering away reveals a firm, white, translucent flesh. It tastes like a sweet version of a pear, and is a lovely centerpiece for any dinner table.