Sunday, April 27, 2008

My Quest for the Strangest Fruit





I just came across a story about an interesting fruit, known as the mangosteen, which was forbidden in the US until last year. I've been wanting to try the mangosteen (shown above) for a while now, but I guess I just need a little incentive to get off my butt and go look for one. (According to the New York Times, they can generally be found in gourmet grocery stores and supermarkets that specialize in Asian goods.)

So I'm proposing a "forbidden fruit" scavenger hunt. Over the next few weeks, I plan to hunt down and sample each of the following:

Mangosteen
Cherimoya (Not only have I already tried it, but it's one of my favorite foods--which is why it made the list.)
Granadilla
Pomelo
Jaboticaba
Rambutan
Longan (Which is said to resemble eyeballs.)
Pitaya
Salak
Yangmei
(There are dozens of other exotic fruits that I'd like to try, but I think a list of ten is a good place to start.)

I invite you all to join me! (It may take a little detective work.) Please report your progress and discoveries here!

27 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow...i knew about the mangosteen from a wii game i had but i never thought it would be real(the game is called sims2 castaway and has tons of trees of exotic fruit)

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Catgirl said...

Ok those Rambutans are awesome!!! Do tell how those taste. I want to try one!!

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Spiffy said...

I would like to join you but I live in a rural town that is probably a 20th of the size of NYC.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Kiel said...

i heard mangosteens are really expensive in NYC, like $45 per pound. my friend tried one when she was in Thailand, and said that it was sweet and sort of sour and tasted like a mixture of strawberry, peach and ice cream...

3:26 PM  
Blogger Invisible Turtle said...

I've been wanting to try some weird fruits for a while now. Imagine at lunch: *Sigh* I have an apple. *Sigh* I have a banana. *Sigh* I have an asian fruit that was banned from the US until last year...

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Lara said...

mangosteen are delicious!!!! I had loads while i was in thailand. I think they taste like custard. Does anyone know why they are forbidden???
I cant think of any reason.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City said...

Lara: Not because of the fruit itself, but because of the bugs and other pests that might make it to the US inside the fruit. They've started irradiating the fruit to kill any pests it might be harboring.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous maskedgoddess said...

wow... radioactive formerly forbidden foriegn fruits, that makes me want to try it even more! haha try saying "formerly forbidden foreign fruits" four times fast.

rambutans are pretty common in dallas, texas in asian stores, but in NC, you cant find anything but lychee(which is delicious, I cant believe it was on fear factor...)Gosh, im missing out on so many exotic goodies T__T

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Raph said...

Yangmei looks gorgeous. I'm going to go digging in Chinatown for it.

Pah. Cherimoya is called custard apple here. I've seen it before but never tasted it - the name doesn't sound as appetizing, I guess.

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Raph said...

I just found out yangmei was considered for introduction into Australia! The government seemed to think they could help the ecosystem in some way, according to other reports I found.

The government file is here, if you like:

http://www.rirdc.gov.au/reports/NPP/05-174sum.html

I wonder when the red bayberry will be in my backyard! ^^

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Sekrit7 said...

It was so HOT today! I was buring up. So- I decided to try and boil an egg on the sidewalk. Guess what? It worked. Thats how hot it is. I feel bad for me. : (

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cherimoyas are yummy!!

9:03 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

logan!! (love that stuff, but if you eat too much of it, it'll make your nose bleed XD Their actual translation is "Dragon Eye) All I know it that Taiwan has ALOT of weird fruits! And Catgirl, I LOVE RAMBUTANS TOO! My cousin has a yangmei tree in her backyard! Have you considered star fruit?? Ohh ohh! What about "saturn peach??" (it's shaped kinda like the ring of saturn, a flat peach, another one of China's weird products, lol But if your're searching for a picyure of it, I reckon you not, it has many different names it's literal translation from Chinese it "flat peach")Erm.. budda's hand?? (never tried it) Uhh... (what I'm about to say is not a fruit, but it's really weird!)Threr's a mushroom that has hair growing outta it, no it's not growing mold. It's kinda creepy and it taste's funny (my dad likes it). It tastes like you're swallowing a furball. Well, it looks like a fur ball.

11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man! I really want to try the Rambutan! And I have to dissagree with maskedgoddess... I dont like lychee... it tastes like fish to me :S

3:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooh! I think I've had Longan! At a party I went to they had these weird little berries that looked like fish eyes, and they had a sharp, tangy, watery taste.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Kitty said...

I remember you had a post that talked about durian...

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Marinovska said...

omg i LOVE jabuticaba!!! they're sooooooo yummy!!!!

-Zero

5:27 PM  
Anonymous KuroSignal said...

I like Pitayas...:) I think, but I'm not sure if I tried the pomelo...

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Spiffy said...

I've had dragon's eye. My mom got it from where she works. She works at this place where artists and writers from the US and the world come and work. Hey, you could come ananka! that would be so awesome!
http://www.vermontstudiocenter.org/

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whats that fruit shown in that picture above? It looks delish!^_^

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those rambutans look like Seussfruits!!

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Lara said...

Ananka: Oh, right.....have you heard of Durian??? I had the chance to try it but i just couldnt bring myself to. There is NO WAY you would find it here, tho because they are not even allowed to transport around SE Asia, i think.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i luv luv luv lychee (in fact i finished a botle of lychee juice in about a day! it was big!)

11:17 PM  
Anonymous E-star said...

I have tried Cherimoya and I really don't like it. I think it don't even have a taste!

3:49 AM  
Blogger Emma said...

I have had rambutans and salak. Both are nice.

I suggest you put a peg on your nose and try durian. I don't think you'll like it but try it at least once. They love it in Indonesia and you can get lollies and ice-creams of that flavour.

2:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know the rambutan looks like something you'd find in a Dr. Suess

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Mistress Fyah said...

Lara, The Durian fruit growns in my home town Miami, Florida. I've had the chance the try it but it smells so awful I just couldn't do it.

Actually I've had most of the fruit listed. I remember my dad (who is originally from Jamaica) would bring Pitaya (Drangon Fruit) to my house one day. It was just so interesting I had to try it.

Once it cut it open I was sorta of turned off but once it touched my tongue, WOW! It's something you have to try if you haven't already.

I also ate Cherimoya weekly but, I was warned not to eat the seeds because they're poisonous.

There are some place in Miami that will ship some of those fruit to you. It might take a well but they are worth the money and the wait.

Good luck on your quest!

7:52 PM  

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