Singapore Adventure

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Fruits of Paradise
by venitha

Perhaps the easiest difference to live with in Singapore is the food, and the most fun aspect of that so far is the fruit. We've found two supermarkets that are just a short walk from our apartment, and so far we're being brave about picking up produce items that look, well, weird. And then, of course, we get the fun of trying to figure out how you peel the thing and what parts you eat. So far the big winner is the Thai Golden Honey Mango.
  • Mango. We've both enjoyed these in the US, but here they're VERY juicy and there are endless varieties, kind of like apples in the US. The Thai Golden Honey Mango is by far our favorite so far. Now if we can just figure out how to eat it without wearing so much of it. I'm not kidding about the VERY juicy part.

  • Amanatsu. Looks like an orange but tastes more like a grapefruit. And, like a grapefruit, it was much better if you peeled the segments and just ate the pulp. Peeling changed the flavor from bitter to tangy.

  • Mangosteen. Tasty, but more trouble than it's worth and the slimy texture is a bit off-putting. Like a small orange with a thick bright pink rind with an eggplant-colored coating. The rind is really bitter (yes, I tried it, not knowing what to eat, and I was nice enough not to encourage Jim to make the same mistake). The edible segments inside are white and slimy. The overall edible part is WAY smaller than the waste you generate in peeling it.

  • Persimmon. Who even knew this was a fruit? I thought it was just an orange variety of tomato. Yeah, yeah, tomatoes are fruits, but not like this. Persimmons are surprisingly sweet. We'll definitely get some more of these and will have to try the dried persimmons (with some kind of powdery white stuff on them) that we saw in foodstalls in Chinatown yesterday.

  • Rambutan. Jim keeps calling it a hairy cherry, and it is indeed pretty scary looking. We haven't braved buying a fresh one yet, as I strongly suspect it's going to have that annoying 'peeling it requires more energy than eating it gives you' quality. Fortunately, however, they sell cans of rambutans stuffed with pineapples. Yummy! The fruit is white and is shaped like really large olives.

  • Mandarin orange. Lots of varieties of these, all fresh, and pretty much what you'd expect. We tried the Thai Honey variety, figuring that anything with a name similar to our favorite mango had to be good.

  • Banana. Okay, they probably aren't all truly bananas, but that's what they look like, just different sizes, both really big and really small. We tried a really big one, and it was pretty awful. Kind of bitter and a weird dry moldy texture.

  • Papaya. Surprisingly bland given how cool it looks (a big cylinder with a star-shaped section of big black seeds through the middle).

Next on our list: guava.