Singapore Adventure

Friday, November 25, 2005

Fruits of Paradise VI
by venitha

As I uploaded these pictures, Jim looked at the title of this post and expressed astonishment. Can Singapore's heat have cooked my brain to the point where I've forgotten my ? Six months ago I wouldn't have believed there were so many fruits I'd never tasted, let alone such a large number I'd never even heard of.

  • Snake Fruit. Undoubtedly the most appropriately named fruit ever, snake fruit easily sheds its skin to reveal flesh-colored teardrop-shaped segments with large dark brown pits. It tastes strangely like... apple, though more earthy and musky. The crispness and crunch are surprisingly satisfying.

  • Dates. Yeah, sure, everyone's had dates, but in these quantities? Well, maybe Fonzie. But for those of us without black leather jackets and personal harems, the number of dates at the Hari Raya celebrations in Geylang Serai is downright overwhelming. Jim and I sampled some on a Friday night date of our own, but neither of us liked them well enough to do a taste test of the dozens of available varieties.
    We both, however, liked the undried winter dates, though maybe that had something to do with the suggestion in their glorious and wonderful name. Ah, winter. Like tiny apples, but with a pit, winter dates have a very happy munchy texture and just a hint of, well, date flavor.

  • Gooseberries. Cape gooseberries caught my eye at our local Cold Storage because they look just like tomatillos, only orange instead of green. Jazz has kindly been my salsa mule, nestling jars of spicy goodness amongst the socks in his suitcase; but now that ski season is underway in Colorado, his visits are likely to fall off a bit. If I were to make my own salsa, fresh tomatillos would rock! Cape gooseberries have many delicious qualities; they're tart, tangy, acidic, and sweet. Unfortunately, they wouldn't, in the opinion of a connoisseur, make good salsa.
    I liked them on their own well enough, however, to buy just plain old apparently not-from-the-cape gooseberries when I espied them at Mustafa. These should have been labelled with a huge sign: DO NOT EAT BEFORE RIPE. Unripe gooseberries are the only fruit so far that I spit out. And that includes durian. Nasty.