While traveling to new places no matter if it is a long journey, relocating or just a short holiday break there is no a better way to get a feel for a new place than to try its regional cuisine. But what's even more inspiring is the opportunity for exploration of the locally grown foods. Asia is a vast continent that is known for an abundance of exotic, sometimes strangely looking and admittedly almost all fabulously tasting fruits.
First and the most popular amongst both locals and tourists is Durian with its status of the 'King of the Fruits' due to the controversial taste but also sky rocketing prices for some of the unique varieties. For the majority of people I came across, Durian posed a big challenge. It might be due to its savory flavour and suspicious perfume that can be compared to having a main dish and a dessert combined.
No wonder it is banned from public spaces like hotels, airports and shopping malls. On the other hand there are some varieties, which luckily I had a chance to try in Malaysia that tasted like 'rum and raisins'. Trust me it is a fantastic alternative to any dessert in a hot climate. Personally thumbs up! I love durian.
Speaking of royalty Mangosteen is known as a 'Queen of Fruits' and guarantees a totally different experience to Durian. Its taste could probably be described as a combination of peach with a dash of strawberry and a texture and juiciness very similar to grapes. It simply melts in your mouth, without being too sweet and refreshes your pallet immediately. The bonus - you can put aside worries of having to wash or peel it beforehand. My all times favourite snack fruit when backpacking in Thailand; all you need to do is just crack it to open.
Dragon Fruit is an absolute must try for any foodie but also any tourist alike. Even if you were amongst the lucky ones to taste it in Europe or U.S, the one in Asia will surely revolutionize the way you thought of it. It simply tastes better in Asia. To start with there are three types! The most common one has a pink skin but a white flesh. The texture of the fruit is smooth with little black seeds that add extra crunch (exactly the same sensation as in kiwi fruit). It is the most popular one but also characterized by the most gentle flavour and scent. The pink fleshed type is much more vivid in taste and my personal favourite. If you are still looking for more exotic option I recommend you try the most rare and expensive variety a Yellow Dragon Fruit. It will surely satisfy the pickiest ones!
Snake Fruit is definitely on the list of the most bizarre looking fruits I came across in Indonesia. If you are persistent enough, peeling off the skin will reveal three yellowish garlic clove like lobs. But don’t get intimidated, its flavour is far from that of garlic. Aside from the looks, this is the most surprising combo for the tastebuds. It has a very strong sweet perfume that may add to the confusion while encountering the hint of sourness for the first time. Absolutely worth the time and patience required to get to the fruit.
Graviola, yet another strangely looking fruit that is armed with spikes and in fact does not look appetizing at first glance. However, as soon as you peel the skin off, a deliciously sweet and innocent white flesh appears. It is very popular in Singapore served as a refreshing juice blend on its own but also in a combo with dragon fruit or mangosteen available to indulge on at every corner. Refreshing and satisfying least to say!
About the Author
Ewelina is a travel, food and lifestyle writer and photographer. She a proponent of life changing experiences and incorporates Eastern philosophy to Western culture in her writings. As a certified Hatha yoga teacher, natural medicine practitioner and holistic nutritionist she shares thoughts, insights and photographs on well being, countless culinary adventures and numerous places experienced during travels on her website: www.crackingtheoyster.com. Facebook crackingthe.oyster | twitter: @crackingoyster | pinterest: crackingthe