Taiwan: The Kingdom of Fruits

Posted by on Aug 20, 2010 in Eating like an Emperor - in Taiwan | 2 comments

Due to a lack of stable internet, S.S.Munchies has not been able to update with new posts for quite a while now. So, while I still have a steady stream of access, I’ll leave you all with a quick post about one of Taiwan’s specialties: fruit! Everyone loves fruit! Okay, I suppose I can’t speak for everyone but I know that I love fruit…even the ones that I’m allergic to. But an itchy throat doesn’t mean much to me as long as I’m rewarded with sweet juicy deliciousness. Thus, I persevere and continue to stuff my face (my specialty). =] Fruit in America just doesn’t compare with those of Taiwan’s. Here, everything is fresher, bigger, and ohmygawdelicious! From the common pear to the exotic Custard Apple, I’m more than happy to eat a meal that consists of fruit and only fruit…Oh wait, I already do that. Silly me~ Unfortunately, this will only be a small sneak peek at the wide assortment of fruits available in Taiwan due to: My being shamefully unprepared with a camera many times when stuffing my face, and Certain fruits are either out of season or not yet in season Nevertheless! Here is a small introduction to fruits that I’m sure everyone has tried before, and some that you may not yet have had a chance to.  Starting off with the Custard Apple, as mentioned above in my program, this fruit is quite unique. Named after Buddha’s head due to its strange shape, it falls apart easily in your hands (which can sometimes be inconvenient) but the taste is an awarding sweetness, pleasantly similar to that of custard. There’s quite a lot of seeds and it can be almost a hassle to eat, but makes a good snack for when you’re just sitting around watching television or something. The Dragon Fruit, also known as the Pitaya/Pitahaya orhuǒ lóng guǒ (火龍果) in Chinese [literally translated as the Fire Dragon Fruit], is the fruit of a cactus. Which cactus? I haven’t a clue, but I imagine its flowers are rather impressive little creatures. All I know is that despite the outside of the dragon fruit looking like a hot pink, underdeveloped artichoke of sorts, the inside is a monochromatic contradiction to the brazen colors of the outside rind. The fruit is made up of supple white flesh, flecked with a scattered design of black poppy-like seeds. With a mouth-watering, light, sweet taste, the texture of the flesh is soft and creamy. I’m told that the Dragon Fruit is highly concentrated in Vitamin C, minerals, and a high fiber content…not like any of that actually crosses my mind while I’m busily peeling its rind. Next up is the pineapple, but not just any pineapple! This one’s albino. The pineapple is seen as a symbol of luck and prosperity in Taiwan. This is due to the leafy parts of the pineapple looking similar to that of a crown, as well as it being called ‘ong lai’ in Taiwanese which is pronounced closely to the word ‘prosperity’ (wong lai). The white pineapple is supposedly sweeter and juicier than the regular yellow pineapples. I was a bit skeptical at first until I took a bite. Then another, and another, and another… Last but not least are the Fragrant Melon (xiang gua) and the beloved mango. I have to say, I wasn’t a very big fan of the Fragrant Melon, but then I realized my mistake was that I never had it when it was fully ripe…or overripe even. When the melon’s not yet ready to eat, it tastes like a cucumber...

Read More