Fruit you should definitely try in Thailand
Thailand is a paradise for fruit lovers, with dozens of varieties growing there. So many that you can add a lot of variety to your fruit menu. Bananas, pineapple and mango are known worldwide, as they are also offered in supermarkets or greengrocers everywhere. But who knows rambutan or pomelo? We have created a digital fruit basket with the tastiest Thai fruits for you here. Then you will know what to taste next time you are in Thailand.
Probably Asia’s most celebrated yet most notorious fruit. The smell scares off so many people that they don’t even want to taste it. Because of that legendary smell, the fruit is banned in many hotels and planes. At the same time, most Thai cannot get enough of it. They find durian delicious. Not for nothing is this hefty prickly fruit alternately called the king or queen of fruits. The taste? A bit like fermented banana, some say, while others taste something like caramel or vanilla.
Tip: When you’re in Thailand, try as many types of fruit as you can. You’ll be amazed by the taste, structure and looks. A good opportunity to try fruit is a local food tour with a guide. The guide knows where to buy the best fruit, how to prepare it and how to eat it. Enjoy 🙂
The yellow-green jackfruit looks a bit like the durian, but is larger and less prickly. A jackfruit can weigh as much as 30 to 35 kilos. They grow on tall trees, but fortunately close to the ground. It is a lot of work to open them and get to the flesh, so in Thailand they are cleaned for you on the street or at the supermarket. They have a firm bite, but a mildly sweet flavour.
In Thailand, you have several papayas and the differences are huge. Thai people really like the orange, ripe papaya, but the green, unripe variety is also popular. It is used to make som tum, a real Thai spicy salad. The green version is a vegetable rather than a fruit and tastes completely different from the ripe papaya. The latter resembles melon, but is softer and slightly sweet.
Coconuts are an outlier. How many other fruits do you know you can eat and drink? Everyone knows the taste of coconut, but not usually that of fresh coconut. And that is a shame, because in tropical climates, coconut is not only a welcome thirst quencher (with quite a lot of coconut water in the fruit in Thailand), but its hard white interior fills the stomach. The flavour is mild and fresh, a little nutty.
These red-coloured (or red-brown) hairy round fruits attract plenty of attention. Rambutans look a bit strange, but they are quite delicious. The delicate sweet taste of the white flesh resembles that of lychee. This is not surprising, as the two are related. It also explains the rambutan’s nickname: the hairy lychee.
Another fruit with a striking appearance: mangosteen. The mangosteen’s dark purple, apparently hard exterior is a bit reminiscent of a large chestnut because of its colour, but the mangosteen has an attractive green crown. If you carefully open the fruit with two hands in opposite directions, you will see attractive white flesh. It tastes like a combination of grape, peach, lychee and apple, but still mainly like mangosteen.
If there is a fruit that has made flashy work of its appearance, it is dragon fruit. Its distinct purple colour and oval shape with flame-like green protrusions invite tasting. And the striking name certainly contributes to that. The taste, on the other hand, is calm, resembles kiwi, is not strong or extremely sweet or sour. The flesh is soft and has seeds, which you can just eat.
The pale green pear-shaped pomelo is almost completely filled with large discs of yellow or pink citrus. This largest of the citrus fruits tastes a little bitter, but is sweeter than grapefruit. It is a good thirst quencher, as the flesh contains a lot of juice. Originally the pomelo comes from Thailand and Malaysia, but nowadays it also grows in China, Vietnam and Iran.