Friday, February 29, 2008


One of the things that is wonderful about Thailand is the abundance of fresh and delicious fruit. I guess living in the sub tropics.

There are certainly fruits here that I enjoyed back home. They have very good water melons, although they tend to be of the smaller and rounder variety. Generally they are very good and sweet.

They also have a variety of oranges and tangerines here. One of my favorites are the small tangerines. They are easy to peel and very sweet.

Even more than the small tangerines, I love the oranges that I do not eat at all. Yes, I'm talking about the juice oranges that the use to squeeze fresh orange juice. Fresh squeezed orange juice here is absolutely fantastic. It may be my favorite drink. Sometimes Thais put salt in it, which I don't care for. Still, it is absolutely a fabulous drink. Comparing the taste of commercial orange juice in a carton to fresh squeezed orange juice is like comparing copulation with a prophylactic to copulation without. While both are similar, one is a lot more natural and satisfying. Of course, fresh squeezed orange juice probably won't give you an unexpected surprise in nine months.

Another fruit that you see in the states but that is just a step beyond here is bananas. They simply don't have one type of banana here, they have a whole "bunch"of types. There are the bigger bananas that I was accustomed to seeing, plus smaller bananas such as egg and finger bananas. They all have a slightly different taste and sometimes a slightly different color and texture.

Pineapples are very good here. I've heard that pineapples in Hawaii are very good, and I imagine that these here are comparable. There are also a variety of types of pineapples as well. The pineapples here are so much sweeter than I've ever found at home.

One of the fruits that I had never been a big fan of is mangoes. Mangoes are a bit of a hit or miss. If you get one that is not ripe enough, it is a bit sour and no real pleasure. Tim buys some mangoes from one of her customers who picks out the ripe ones for her and they are absolutely great. If we haven't had them for a few days, Jacob and Nalin will just start devouring them.

I've had papayas and they are okay. I just like the mangoes and oranges a lot more.

Recently I have tried champoos. These are a pink fruit (the Thai word for pink is champoo) that have a taste and texture similar to an apple but distinctive enough that you won't confuse them. The ones I have had are never as sweet as a very sweet apple or quite as tart as the more tart apples. While this isn't my favorite fruit, its actually pretty good. The kids don't eat it as much, so I usually end up munching on them at dinner.

You can get more "traditional" Western fruits here, although sometimes they can be expensive. The grapes and apples from China are generally reasonable in price, but I have a hard time justifying buying $5.00 per pound peaches.

Of course, not all Thai fruits are wonderful. The infamous durian smells awful. While a lot of people enjoy the taste, I didn't really think it was very good. When they were cutting a durian in our kitchen, at first I thought I smelled a natural gas leak. It is just so pungent.

We try to have at least one or two fruits on the table each meal. The fact that we have a maid to cut and prepare the fruit makes it nicer for me.

Another nice thing is that you don't have to go to the grocery store to get good fruit. In fact, you are probably better off not going there and sticking to the small outdoor markets. Not only are the fruits less expensive, but they may be riper.

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