Singapore Adventure

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Fruits of Paradise V
by venitha

Well, obviously I'm going to have to get more creative, or more brave, or both, because these latest fruits are just not all that exotic. Never fear, however, for Jim and I are up to this challenge and will tear ourselves away from the blended beverage poolside workout program under the shadow of Taipei 101 long enough to hunt down a new contestant or two. For now, however, here are our latest exploits:

  • Hami Melon. A sticker indicates that it's from China, and it looks like a watermelon from the outside. Jim and I both, however, lost the bet regarding its inside color. Jim: red. Venitha: yellow. Hami: melon.

    Viewed from within, it's a stretched out cantaloupe, even down to the center seeds that you scoop out with a spoon; apparently I should have cut it lengthwise instead of straight across. It tastes like a cantaloupe but has a delicate and pleasing pear-like texture which yields a satisfying crunch. I can't help but note that the Hami melon would go quite well with an equally crisp Chardonnay. Maybe next time.

  • Pluot. A cross between a plum and an apricot - no kidding! It's got a perky, sweet flavor, and the textures of the two fruits blend wonderfully, the apricot adding just the right firmness to the plum, yet abandoning that sticky hairy residue that leaves you rubbing your tongue against the top of your mouth in that icky I want to spit it out but there's nothing to spit out way. I'd pair the pluot with a smoky red Shiraz.

  • Dragonfruit. Unfortunately, this one used up all its coolness on its appearance and its name. The edible part is very kiwi-like in texture and appearance, and its flavor is lucid, yes, but almost Episcopalian in its predictability. If you're now heading to google as soon as you memorize the spelling of Episcopalian, click here first.

    Perhaps alcohol would help? Doesn't it always? Let's stack up the dragonfruit and admire them from afar while we open one of those nice bottles of Montepulciano that Jazz just gave me. Hearty, earthy, robust, full of gusto... if only these words described not just Montepulciano and Jazz, but dragonfruit as well.

  • Pommelo. Monstrous green grapefruit with whitish pulp that compares unfavorably to grapefruit in that it's neither as juicy nor as flavorful. The most interesting thing about pommelos is how popular they are, along with mooncakes, at the Mid-Autumn Festival. At our condo's recent party, we paired pommelo with a cloyingly sweet dessert wine (not recommended) and participated in a pommelo peeling contest (recommended if you would actually like to eat some pommelo).

  • Mystery fruit. We promise to clink piña coladas in honor of whomever can identify this one. Clues in addition to the photos: 1) a street vendor was selling it in Bangkok and 2) we liked it, so it's unlikely that it's related to durian.