Monday, July 23, 2012

Trip Report: Fruits in Singapore

While in Jakarta I got to sample a lot of unfamiliar fruits.  On my single day in Singapore, I got to sample even more!

My friend Shawn took me to Geylang, where there are numerous durian sellers along the streets.  This part of town is the place to go for the durian lovers.  Shawn said that you are not allowed to carry durian on the subway since it smells so... strongly.  So basically, everyone comes to this one area to eat durian.  And there are dumpsters and dumpsters and dumpsters full of the empty shells to prove it.

Cutting my durian
Shawn picked out a nice, small durian for me to sample.  The seller cut into it and Shawn inspected the inside to be sure it was a nice quality fruit.  We took my small, $2 durian back to a table and Shawn showed me how to pull it open and dig in.

My first taste of durian
I won't say I liked the taste, but it was better than the smell.  I was able to eat the fruit off of 1 seed.  Pause, then try another.

Shawn finished off my little durian and then went back to buy a larger one for himself.  He got a $5 durian and tore into it.  He told me his fruit was a little sweeter and less bitter than mine had been.  So, I went ahead and tried one more, just to have the full experience.  After we (Shawn) had finished our (his) durian, we washed our hands using the method of running the water over the outside of the fruit to help remove the stickiness and smell from our hands.  I do think that it helped, though the people who were watching us do this told Shawn that it doesn't work.

Dragonfruit (beet purple and white), and other cut and packaged fruits
Then we walked by some of the fruit stands and Shawn picked out a couple pieces of several different fruits for me to try.  First, was the mangosteen.

The mangosteen fruit is a sweet white pulp inside a thick, plum-colored rind.  There is a pit, which should not be eaten.  I really liked the mangosteen and will look for those again, if I have the chance.

Mangosteen inside
Then was the rambutan, a hairy little red fruit.

This one was also sweet and worth eating again.

Rambutan inside
We also got some longans (dragon's eye), which I had had in Jakarta and somewhat enjoyed.  Then were the lychees.  I had tried lychee juice at my hotel one evening and it was pretty decent.

The inside of the lychee was similar to the longan, with a little bit of fruit surrounding a big seed, which is not edible.

It's exciting to know that there are so many fruits out there in the world besides oranges, apples, bananas and pears.  So many different flavors to try and interesting packages to open.  For instance, when I was in Jakarta I just figured out my own ways into each fruit, since I was trying them on my own.  When I was tasting these fruits with Shawn he had a clever way of tearing in to each fruit.  These things take practice.

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