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Operation Street Food – Day 2 (Tropical Fruits)

Jackfruit Vendor

Jackfruit Vendor

Another day of street food has come and gone. Here is what I had to eat on Thursday.

Lunch

  • Jackfruit – 20 baht (US$0.60)
  • bag of chicken skin and 2 chicken wings 42 baht ($1.27)
  • bag of longkong – 50 baht ($1.51)

Dinner

  • Skewer of chicken gizzards and grilled fish – 20 baht (US$0.60)

I had a big lunch and not much for dinner. I skipped breakfast totally, which is what I usually do.

I went to go get my daily bag of rambutan from the local fruit seller on the corner and they were out. I ended up buying the longkong which is almost as good. Some of you might know it by the name langsat (Malaysia) or lanzone (Philippines).

One of my general travel rules is to eat fruit whenever you have the chance. In a tropical city like Bangkok, not only is getting fresh fruit easy, but you have a selection here you simply cannot find in Western stores. (and I’ve looked).

The infamous durian fruit. Beloved by some and hated by most

The infamous durian fruit. Beloved by some and hated by most

My favorite tropical fruit is rambutan. It looks red and hairy on the outside and if you didn’t know better you’d never want to touch it let alone eat it. You can see me eating rambutan in Honduras in this video with the girls from GalavantingTV.

Another favorite is longkong which I had today. It also goes by langsat or lansone in Malaysia the Philippines. It is similar to rambutan in that you have to pinch the skin to get out the fruit, but you can get many more per kilo because the husk is much lighter.

In 2008 I went with a group from the University of Singapore to a fruit farm in Malaysia where we got to eat durian. It is a fruit, but in no way, shape or form does it taste like a fruit. The best description I’ve heard is it tastes like mushy, cooked onions. Nonetheless, some people go nuts for it.

Water apples, papaya, ladyfinger bananas, lychee, mangos, mangosteens, dragon fruit, and more are just some of the things I’ve seen sold by fruit vendors on the street in Bangkok.

Many of these fruits are either illegal to import to some countries (because of fruit fly infestations) or difficult to ship, so you wont see them for sale in most western grocery stores. If you are ever in this region, make sure to go out of your way to sample the fruits because many of them you will never see if you live in North America or Europe.

What are your favorite tropical fruits?

  • 12 Comments... What's your take?

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Comments

  1. Gleysel_01 says:

    hey can i know where or what country you bought longkong at that time?? thanks… really need to find that fruit.. but its not its season in our country… please someone tell me….

  2. Andrea says:

    I’m not a big fan of fresh durian, but fried durian chips are an experience not to be missed. Trust me. Durian is, I believe, the highest calorie fruit, so frying durian slices seems like it might be a bad idea, but the chips produces have a light almost nutty flavor that’s great for soaking up all the Singha or Beer Lao (pick your poison) in your stomach.

    Another fruit you should check out, if you haven’t already, is called Ra-gahm or commonly salak palm. They are red, spiny, rather intimidating looking fruits, but they are worth peeling off the potentially hazardous skin to get to the flesh underneath.

  3. joseph says:

    oh great the i am not eat this type of fruits,now my mouth is salivating for this type of fruits thank you for giving this type of information.nice stuff i like dragon fruit,jack fruit and rambutan after seeing this article give me a more information about this.

  4. Dan says:

    I love dragon fruit and pear apples – no idea of their real name, they look like an apple but taste like a pear. I haven’t been able to find any durian though.

  5. Adriana says:

    I had ridiculous amounts of lychees while in Malaysia! love it!
    Durian fruit is very particular… I had a good laugh when I discovered it is prohibited to eat them in the metro in Kuala Lumpur ;) because of the smell!

  6. Mosh says:

    I’ve heard “onion ice cream” used to describe durian.

    And keep an eye out for the fresh-squeezed passion fruit juice in plastic bottles at some stalls. It usually goes for around 80 Baht if I recall correctly. A more delicious drink you will never taste.

  7. Christine says:

    Come to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. You can get most of those.. fresh or canned

  8. Im so jealous! I live in France and can’t get good Thai food or any good spicey ethnic food here. Im crave it constantly so it must be wonderful to have so much yummy food at your finger tips. Thai is my favorite food! Cynthia

  9. Sonia says:

    Yum, I love exotic fruits too! My favorites in Thailand were custard apples, dragon fruit, and of course the world’s most orgasmic mangos. Om nom nom!

  10. Skip Hunt says:

    Gary. I like that you offer general price ranges on stuff. Very helpful. Thanks!

  11. Stephen says:

    To me, durian is reminiscent of a custard filling. Some people can’t stand the smell, it doesn’t worry me, but I don’t go out of my way to find it, either. Same with mangos, They’re all right, but I don’t rave over them.

    I agree, Rambutan are great. Dragonfruit can be good (if they’re properly ripe) and they’ve started growing them in Australia recently, so I can find them in shops now and then. A good pawpaw (papaya/papita) is always great, particularly the red fleshed ones. Langsat and lychees are ok, but again, make sure they’re ripe. I like some good fresh passionfruit, specially some of the varieties you don’t usually see (banana passionfruit, for example). And of course, some sweet pineapple is always nice, and melons.

    A bit different, but a well cooked plantain (cooking banana) is nice. And while I lived in Pakistan, I used to eat kinos by the case. They’re a citrus, a bit like a big mandarin, and I’ve never seen them anywhere else.

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About Gary Arndt

My name is Gary Arndt. In March 2007 I set out to travel around the world...
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