July 08, 2009

Tropical Fruits in Hong Kong

I can't believe it's been almost 3 weeks since I've left Hong Kong. For a while when i got back, I felt like I was just taking a short vacation in the U.S. and I'll be going back there soon. Huh. Last week I finally got back to Purdue and completely unpacked everything from the past 2 months. At the very end, I found my little minibus toy that had been wrapped in a sock to keep from breaking. I pulled out the little green and yellow minibus and seriously got misty-eyed. I miss it a lot.

Okay, but this was not supposed to be a post on sadness. It is to show you some of the bizarro fruits I ate while i was in Hong Kong, and give you my commentary on them.
The Pomelo
It's like, a giant grapefruit married a sweet orange and had a really overweight kid. errr. But come on, look at this thing.
The peel itself is about an inch thick, no joke.
So after a very satisfactory peeling process, you get this:
It's like, a dinosaur hatching. But the dinosaur is actually a delicious citrus fruit.
See how big each section is? It's twice as long as my thumb!

Taste: incredibly juicy and satisfying in the 100 degree weather. it's so big, you share it with family/friends and still have some left over for later. the little pulps kinda pull apart and pop in your mouth (or into your eye, if you're not careful). It's an enjoyable texture experience.
The Lychee
I know i've always liked lychee flavored candies and jellies, but to have it in its actual fruit format was a blissful experience. Like many tropic fruits, they don a hazardous-looking exterior with warty bumps. But you peel it, and you get a lovely translucent flesh underneath.
Taste: sweet and lovely, like a apple + berry hybrid. Though according to my HK friends, you shouldn't eat more than three, as it will cause you to have too much heat/fire. So i always ate just three, cuz you always trust the locals. That's just how it's done.
The Mangostein
This was the one I had been waiting for. You break it open with your hands, and you see little white pods surrounded by red flesh. You pop out the white pods and eat those. Mmm. Unfortunately, i was so busy cracking them open, i didn't get a picture of it myself, so here's one from this site: Taste: Oh my goodness, so heavenly good. It's so sweet it's like eating candy or little juice pods. The seed inside the pod is somewhat annoying, but it's worth it.
The Rambatan

This is what we have renamed the "Muppet Fruit", as its shape, color, and texture reminded us of just that. The, uh, fur on the outside is actually kinda tickley.
To eat it, you cut its head open and extract the white flesh from the inside.
Taste: It was good, but unlike the Mangostein, the seed in the Rambatan was just way too annoying to make it worth eating a lot of these. The seed or pit is covered in a woody exterior, and that woody exterior kinda comes off and onto the fruit when you try to eat it.

The Durian

Oh my. Words cannot describe the experience that is the Durian. Hm. It's just very complex. If I had to think of three words to describe it, it would be these.

1) stinky
2) creamy
3) garlic

From the minute you enter the vicinity of a Durian, (and yes, it deserves to be capitalized) you are suddenly hit with the overwhelming smell of roast garlic and poo. When it gets cut open, you wonder whether you might be sick. But you are intrigued at the same time. It's like, a very dangerous man on a motorcycle. Your instincts tell you to stay the hell away, but you kinda wanna go for a ride anyway. Oh and then you extract a piece from the inside of the fearful fruit.
And you stick it in your mouth despite your urge to run....

And you find that, hm, despite the strong garlicky smell and the odd creamy texture that makes you feel like you're eating a stick of butter...

it's actually kinda sweet. it's a fruit, after all.
It's a group experience. I could only really eat one piece. And I'm glad i did, it was not nearly as bad as i thought it was gonna be. I think that by the time i left, i kinda enjoyed the smell of it when i walked into the grocery store.
Yeah, i'd go for another ride, if given the chance to go back.


  1. this entry and the last make me so sad/start to salivate. i miss pomelos and dragonfruit. and i really want to try mangosteen and rambutan. i just bought some dried pomelo a while back because i was hoping it would taste like fresh pomelo. uh... no. hah

  2. you can get dried pomelo?! how does that work?

    ack! i should have posted about the loquat, i forgot had pictures of those too. oh well.

  3. I had some dried rambutan once. Gotta say I was not a fan. Something in me does not want to have both sweet and umami going on in a fruit. Yankee-produce-centrism rears its head again I suppose.

  4. hahaha your comment totally made me snort, EWO. i don't remember the umami flavor of it, but then again i didn't have too many. ohhhhhh well, guess i'll have to fly back out to Hong Kong again just to try it once more.


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