Like the charming people, exotic Thai fruits can be found in almost every corner of Thailand. Its fertile plains and the warm tropical climate, as well as its more temperate northern regions, mean that almost anything can grow here. As a consequence, few places on earth can claim to have such an ample variety of beautiful and tasty fruits.
Take advantage of this abundance. Yeah, several may look odd at first sight, the best example could be the spiky durian. But rest assured, you’ll soon be chomping nonstop once you’ve had a try. Eating fruits it is not only inexpensive, safe and nutritious but it is also the perfect way to rehydrate. If you feel very bold, why not take a leap of faith and try your portion with a small bag of salt, sugar and chili like the locals do?
Thai fruits – Mangosteenes
Little known outside of Thailand, mangosteens is a bizarre-looking fruit that contains a small, flavourful white flesh that is eaten in sections in its oval, deep purple shell. The number of parts found within the shell corresponds to the number of petals found on the shell’s rim. It makes delicious, distinctive juices.
Durian is the most divisive fruit on earth, with a rich, unique-taste for its fans. On the other hand to its critics it is a putrid-smelling, lame duck of a fruit. Its incredibly strong scent, which some claim resembles rotting fruit, is enough to put many off tasting it. Through it, some swear. It’s the most expensive of all Thai fruits, and it’s actually banned from several public areas, hotels and planes (yes, you read it right banned!).
The unusual, unearthly looking of the dragon fruit, it is the fruit of a certain variety of cactus plant, it has a lovely soft flesh that looks much like that of kiwi fruit and is usually eaten with a spoon.
Guava, which originated in Central America and the West Indies, is now grown in many tropical countries and is especially preferred for its fragrant, exotic flavor. It is available all year round and it is eaten as a popular snack that, along with salt, sugar and chili, can be eaten green and crunchy. Guava can also be made into delicious cocktails, luscious ice creams or rich jams and jellies, which are extremely refreshing. Also its Thai name, farang, is the word by which foreigners are known.
Its name is derived from the Malay word rambut, a product of the red-and-yellow spiky rind, meaning ‘hair.’ Peeling this away exposes a firm white, translucent flesh that the Thais are particularly capable of delicately carving away from their large seeds.
Thailand is one of the main producers of this flavorful, juicy fruit. It is best planted in the sandy seacoast soil and grows as a low lying plant, growing year-round. The fruit is extremely versatile and makes its way into cookies, drinks and savory dishes.
The papaya is oval in shape and it is cut lengthwise to extract the tiny black seeds in the center, a tasty year-round fruit that’s is its best between March and June. The smooth dark orange-coloured meat is full of flavor when ripe. To make som tam, one of Thailand’s favorite salads, Thais like to shred unripe papaya and mix it with lemon juice, chilies, peanuts and dried shrimp.
There are several types of sweet, refreshing mango and a few different ways of eating one of Thailand’s most well-known fruits. Mango can be halved and consumed with a spoon when ripe, while many opt to enjoy it with sticky rice and coconut milk (Khao Niew Ma-Muang). Others enjoy consuming it half-ripe and dipping it in sugar with the crunchy slices. It also makes fantastic juice.
Similarly to grapefruit in size and taste, the pomelo meat is succulent and has a delicious sour-sweet flavor. Available year-round, several variations are available, ranging from pale yellow to orange or red.
The rose-apple has a glossy skin that is either pink or green in color, with a shape much like a pear. Sometimes eaten with salt and sugar, it’s incredibly refreshing and with a crisp, crunchy flavor.
The jackfruit, which is available between January and May, is approximately the size of a large melon and has a distinctive fragrance and succulent taste. It’s usually eaten raw, divided into several parts, each of which contains waxy meat surrounded by seeds, although some Thais like to fry it in a batter.
These is certainly not an exhaustive list of Thai fruits; however you may find these and many other Thai fruits along the busy street of the Kingdom. One especially indicated place is Or Tor Kor Market which is more than a just a local market. It was once ranked by a popular travel guide as the 4th best market in the world. The products shown here are selected among the best products found in the whole Thailand. Or Tor Kor market should be on the ‘must-see’ list for every chef with an impressive selection of beautiful fruits, incredibly fresh vegetables, meats and seafood. You will find it right next to the popular Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok.
Or, Tor Kor Market is a fun place to walk around, whether you’re just browsing, taking pictures, or shopping for groceries. It’s mostly popular r for fresh, large-sized fruits of all types and varieties, but you’ll also find a wide variety of vegetables, seafood, pre-cut meats and flowers.