Strange Fruit

I’m sure they’ll be in the markets here eventually, but this is the first time I’ve run into the rambutan. I think nature meant for them to be prickly, but they turned out rather hairy.  The vendor was clearly amused at my bemusement and told me they tasted like lychees – but he did not offer me one. A massive bunch like this would definitely be more than I could handle in a week or two! Strangely, they never turned up at breakfast anywhere we stayed, though I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh mango and papaya and multitudes of melons and dragonfruit available almost everywhere.

You may notice right behind the rambutan in the photo are what appear to be potatoes that are still attached to the stem. Not sure again how that is possible – I’ve grown potatoes and they don’t stay attached very well, but everything seems to grow a little differently, a little more rapidly and rampantly in Asia.

Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia are simply hotbeds of amazing cuisine. The only bad meal I had was breakfast on the second morning of our stay in Medan – it seemed to be leftovers from the previous morning. My aversion was affirmed when I noticed all the businessmen staying at the hotel were also sticking to toast. Every other meal was some mouthwatering delicacy, and most of the dishes were new to me, despite my love of Chinese, Indian and Malaysian cuisnes.

Damn! I miss it already! But not to worry – I’ve got a lunch date on Saturday with a Singaporean friend. We’re going to check out a new Malaysian restaurant that just opened here in Auckland.

Published by Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

9 thoughts on “Strange Fruit

  1. I agree. The food in South-East Asia is the best! Sadly it seems you do have to go there to get the best food. In the UK we have yet to find a truly great Asian restaurant (at least one we can afford!)


    1. That is tragic! We travel quite a bit and make a point of having Chinese food whenever we stay somewhere for more than a couple of days. As I recall Glasgow had a rather amazingly good Chinese restaurant – shock of shocks! But I have not travelled the UK much – not sure what the problem might be – other than you need more Asians!
      We have many here in New Zealand and the Asian restaurants on the whole are better than the European on the whole. Of course there are great European restaurants here, too… (Someone is bound to jump on my head if I don’t clarify that.)


  2. Nothing is better than fresh mangoes and melons in the morning. I’ve never had rambutan, but I remember once having some kind of fruit in the Philippines (think it was Jack fruit?) that was so sweet that I couldn’t eat it.


  3. Were you born in the Phillipines? It’s on my list – just waiting for that cheap ticket to fall in my lap…

    Don’t think I’ve had jackfruit. It looks rather like durian, doesn’t it? I’ve tried durian – like Vegemite and root beer, I think you have to be raised on it. But I think I might give it a go next time I’m in Asia.


    1. No, I wasn’t born there, but we moved there after my dad retired from the US Navy. He had wanted to live there, but it turned out that I was allergic to pretty much everything, and my American mom hated it.


    1. My husband bought some durian paste and made a cake with it… He didn’t tell me it was in it until after I’d had a couple of bites and informed him that there was something wrong with this cake – he’d put in too much of something that didn’t go into a cake, and I was not going to eat it…
      That durian paste is still in the pantry…


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