Asian Fruits in Season

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”:

Rambutan in package

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.

Rambutan with skin peeled off

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.

Chinese fruit that looks like quince

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!


Filed under Cooking, food, Food allergies, Glorious Food

2 responses to “Asian Fruits in Season

  1. So that’s what a rambutan is supposed to look like! 🙂
    Last summer the girls and I played a little game where every time we went grocery shopping we would try a new fruit. We we at Albertsons (not exactly gourmet) and there was this pile of furry purplish brown things (they were no where near red), and they had no name one them, but we had to try one. It tasted kind of like a peeled grape to me but the one we had was very sour. Now that I know what I’m looking for, maybe we will try them again. Enjoy all the glorious fruit my dear! (at least the ones that don’t make you itch!)

  2. mjennings26

    What a fabulous idea for a grocery store game!

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