Spring! Melting into summer. Except here in Portland where it continues to rain pretty much nonstop. But, my tongue knows its spring because we’re starting to see so many of the spring fruits and veggies at the market now.
Recently I had the pleasure of running into these curious fruits at the Asian (mainly Chinese) market near my house whilst shopping for lychee. Meet rambutan, literal translation: “the hairy fruit”:
Minus the fur, it does look a bit like a lychee, which it is botanically related to. To eat these, you have to peel off the outer layer and expose the white fruit. There is an inedible nut inside.
Its taste is slightly reminiscent to a lychee as well. Rambutan (rambutans?) is pretty spendy. This package cost $6.50. And I like lychee better, so rambutan will continue to be a novelty around AFFFG.
Also at the market was this exciting thing that all the Asian ladies were going nuts over. It looked like miniature quince, so I went a little nuts too at first.
However, it is definitely not quince. It was called “fancy pear”. But it is not really pear-like in flavor, though somewhat pear-like in texture. My friend DL who just got back from living in China for a year says that these are just a variety of Asian pear, like how we have ten different varieties of apples here in the fall.
I’m not sure why “fancy pear” was so popular at the market because it didn’t strike my taste buds as particularly fabulous. But it could just be one of those things from home that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy when you see it in your new homeland (an Okie equivalent would be fried okra or some kind of wacky pickle).
Here’s to spring!