One of my favorite parts about this region is the fruit. You can’t find it anywhere else, fresh that is, in the world. With the advancement of technology (ie. airplanes), you can get most of these fruits in the US, but they are frozen. However, it is simply not the same! Fresh mangosteen can never be replaced with frozen or canned mangosteen, and I know my mother will testify that there is nothing like cracking open a durian, fresh, and getting to “discover” what kind of flavor it is: sweet, bitter, or bitter sweet.
Many people honestly hate the smell of durian, but I’ve definitely grown partial to it. It’s most definitely an acquired taste, and I believe you truly have to grow up with this and have it shoved in your mouth starting age 1 to truly appreciate this fruit. Even when I had that done to me, I still don’t love it as much as I love mangosteen. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the flavor of durian, but I think the texture of it being so rich and creamy doesn’t sit well with my palate. Even with ice-cream, I can’t really take a lot of it, even if it is my favorite flavor (strawberry!). Mangosteen however, is super juicy, and its sweetness is very light, not at all decadent like it’s counterpart the durian. Why do I call it the counterpart? Because durian is known as The King of Fruits, and mangosteen the queen. Suitable no?
Jackfruit or “mangka”, is another fruit that is difficult to find in the US unless you’re in a mega Chinese grocery store. Here, it’s literally cracked open daily and packaged. You can get it unopened, but it’s not worth the price you pay considering that the majority of the fruit is husk and shell. The fruit here is never to the point of being overripe, and the texture is superb.
There are two fruits that I ate a lot of but forgot to take a picture of. The first is guava. I love fresh guava with preserved plum powder. It’s not just plum powder but there’s a bit of salt and sugar mixed in as well. I literally ate about half piece to a whole guava a day. The second fruit I ate a lot of was purple dragon fruit. Dragon fruit comes in two colors: white and dark deep beet red purple. I try to get the purple one as much as I can because of it’s “antioxidant” properties, but to me, the purple version tastes much sweeter than the white. A lot of people don’t like this fruit because truthfully, it doesn’t have much flavor. That is true to some degree, but as mentioned, I find that the insides of the purple dragon fruit are much sweeter.
This is the second to last post of the series for Singapore and Malaysia. Midterms are coming up so it’ll be awhile until I get to posting the Baltimore series. However, I didn’t want to leave you all hanging. Thank you again for your patience, and I hope to see you soon!