How many fruits do you eat, regularly? A few months back, I probably could have counted them on one hand. Granny Smiths, bananas by the bucket-load and tomatoes (which don’t really count, do they?). Other than that, I guess I just couldn’t really be bothered. But in Cairns, I became a bit of an addict, so much so, in fact, that I was starting to actually get bored of the same old fare. In the ‘when in Rome’ spirit therefore I decided to reach deep (by fruit standards) into my pocket and try the regional delicacies. So here we have them, 5 tropical fruits tried and tested so you don’t have to:
Lychee – the hedgehog fruit. The edible part of these little-uns is covered by a spiky red shell that once peeled reveals what can only be described as a small testicle. Not that I have ever eaten a testicle, but the texture of the lychee’s fruit feels close to what a testicle’s looks like it will be. The taste is sweet and probably closest to a dark plum. Overall, though, not worth the effort of peeling the shell and taking out the hard, inner seed.
Tropical Paw-paw/papaya – looks a bit like a mango when cut open but with dozens of jelly-textured black seeds. Taste is, well, sweet, closest approximation is indeed probably mango but with an added bitterness that I found slightly unpleasant. Messy too.
Dragon fruit – red with spiky yellow ‘leaves’ sticking out – the dragon fruit is quite the looker. Cut inside and you get a kind of translucent jelly with black seeds in. Not much to taste though. Shame really – it promised so much.
Ladyfinger banana – a banana with lipstick. Its twice the price of a normal one so I figured I was in for quite a treat. Again, though, I was to be disappointed as it basically tastes the same. No wonder they never made it big. Plus, I was duped. The red tip of the ladyfinger, it turns out, is added by dastardly farmers in order to make their bananas look different from other ‘sugar bananas’. Next you’ll tell me that the beef I’ve been eating is actually horsemeat…
Passion Fruit – OK so you’ve probably heard of passion fruit. But have you ever eaten one? You probably know what it tastes like from all those x, y and passion fruit juices you’ve had. Or from drinking the amazingly named “Um Bongo”. But eating one proved quite the embarrassing experience for me. I bit into it à la an apple only to hit rock solid skin, now complete with minor skid marks. Woops! Eventually I got a knife and atoned and was rewarded with wonderfully coloured and tasting fruit. It only lasts about ten seconds mind.
So my conclusion? I love trying new stuff but the orange, apple and banana are classics for a reason – they taste better and are far cheaper than there more exotic counterparts. And not looking like testicles does them no harm either.
What about anyone else? Ever tried any weird or wonderful fruits?