To assist you as you travel through Vietnam and SE Asia – here’s a little more information about the fruit that you see. Don’t be afraid to spend the spare change, haggle on a price and try some of these delicious new or old fruits! (I’ve included the English and Vietnamese name on all of the items!)
bumpy apples: mang cau tamg
I love Bumpy Apples! The hard outer shells are peeled off and expose a firm apple/pear like fruit that’s very sweet.
Yes – they have apples everywhere! Now, if I could just figure out how to bake a pie without a stove – I would be really happy!
rambutan: chom chom
Rambutan look a bit scarey, but they taste wonderful! You break off the colorful, hairy outer shell and you get to sweet fruite inside!
Water coconut is a relative to the standard coconut. You find these in the Mekong Delta and they taste just like a regular coconut! I have seen these around Saigon for a while now and never knew what they were! They look quite menacing, but dont’ be afraid to give them a try!
Tamarind is used for many things, but it can also be eaten plain as a fruit. You just peel off the hard shell and get to a soft, sticky, red fruit with a small pit in the middle.
Persimmons are filling the markets right now. They come from Dalt and are juicy and yummy! They have a few different varieties – soft or crunchy. I prefer the soft – the texture of a tomato, but taste much sweeter!
For some reason when I eat longa it reminds me of the fall in the US. Peel off the thin outer shell and eat the fruit inside. Good, small, sweet treat!
durian: sau rieng
Durian, the king of fruit. You can read about my experience trying durian here. You can find it everywhere in the markets now – or should I say – you can smell it everywhere in the markets now! Eaten alone, in shakes or ice cream – the smelly and squishy fruit is an aquired taste for sure!
Ah – my favorite! Coconuts are everywhere in Vietnam! Cold drinks, jellies, and shakes – you can’t beat the fresh milk!
I still remember seeing endless rows of colorful, pink dragon fruit as I road the bus to Mui Ne. These fruit definitely have personality on the outside – pink leaves tipped with green, but I find the inside a bit bland unless they are eaten in season!
So – get out to those markets and start buying and trying some of this colorful, delicious fruit!