Fruits of the season

 

They come in different shapes, sizes and colors Instead of a slice of pine apple, why not try a mangosteen? Opt for papaya over watermelon for a change. Rather than a regular banana, seek out a durian or jackfruit.


Then, of course, there’s rambutan, jackfruit, longan and so much more, depending on the season. During summer, markets in Thailand brim with different kinds of fruits that come in several shapes, sizes and colors. Mangosteen is readily available from April to September, with price getting lower as the season progresses.

One world of caution when eating mangosteen: the purple skin tends to stain everything it comes in contact with.a Also abundant during the same period is rambutan. Of all the Thai fruits, the rambutan is arguably the most curious looking. The egg shaped fruit has a red skin with dozens of wiry green tendrils. The other Thai fruit known for it size, but more so for its smell, is durian. From May to July, an informal battle rages across the country. On one side are those who love durian, proclaiming it as the king of fruits. On the other side are those who hate everything about the pungent smelling fruit.

Papaya is another fruit with a curious taste. In fact, many people squeeze a bit of lime juice over it to help offset the bitter flavor. It contains lots of vitamin C and is easily identified by its dark green skin and deep orange flesh. Classified as a large berry, the fruit reaches an average weight of two pounds. Because of a natural digestive enzyme, papaya is often used as a meat tenderizer, and is a good for upset stomach. In Chiang Mai, strawberries are in season from December through February. They are available from street sellers and supermarkets all around the city.

The pleasant winter climate in the mountains is akin to the summer in northern Europe (without the rain) and provides the perfect environment for cultivating strawberries. They are expensive by the standards of what you usually pay for fruit in Thailand, but at as low as $1 a kilo they’re still a bargain. Many other fruits, both familiar and unfamiliar, are available in Thailand year round. Don’t be afraid to do a little experimenting. You’ll be glad you did.

 

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