One of the best perks of visiting Thailand is the opportunity to try so many different, delicious fruits. You can eat many as they are naturally, mix them into a salad, or blend them into a smoothie. When visiting a market, it is also helpful to know what you’re look at – especially with so many different varieties that are only grown in this region or in tropical climates.
The Thailand Life has come up with a list of fruits to taste for travellers visiting the Land of Smiles and we agree that half of them are must-tries! So the next time you’re walking around Bangkok, stop and try some of the following:
1. Longkong / ลองกอง
Season: July – September
Not to be confused with longan (lam yai), longkong this sweet and juicy fruit is a little like passion fruit in texture, and is recognisable from its pale yellowy-brown skin and smokey white flesh.
To eat, press lightly with your fingers to break open the skin and eat away!
2. Custard Apple – Noi Nah / น้อยหน่า
Season: June – September
Intensely soft and sweet, custard apple is grown everywhere in Thailand and easy to come by at local stalls.
To eat, divide the fruit into two with your hands and scoop out the soft pulpy flesh with a spoon.
3. Mangosteen – Mung Koot / มังคุด
Season: May – September
Mangosteen is known as the “queen of fruits” due to its extensive health benefits.
Beautiful sweet with a touch of sour, the purple skin is best removed by making an incision down the middle and parting with your fingers to reveal the snow-white flesh. Larger segments may contain seeds.
4. Pomelo – Som-O / ส้มโอ
Season: August – November
Pomelo is a little like grapefruit in many ways, albeit more sweet than bitter. It’s a member of the citrus family and comes in pink and yellow varieties.
You’ll usually find som-o ready peeled in a pack, but if you buy a whole one, simple carve off the outer green skin, peel away the white fleshy bits and enjoy! Arroy mak!
5. Rose Apple – Chom-Poo / ชมพู่
Season: Year round
This Thai fruit is pretty easy to remember; just think of the beautiful Thai actress of the same name. And like Chom Poo (the actress), this fruit is delightfully refreshing, and therefore best consumed on a hot day.
If overripe the fruit can be a little acidy, so don’t leave it in the fridge for more than a day. To eat, cut through the skin, as you would an apple, and remove the hard core.
6. Sapodilla – La Moot / ละมุด
Season: September – December
Probably my favorite fruit found in Thailand, la moot is blessed with caramel brown, honey-flavoured brown flesh that gets sweeter and juicier the more it ripens.
To eat, cut in half and squeeze the fruit free of the skin, or carefully peel with a knife. Mind the hard seeds!
7. Rambutan – Ngoh / เงาะ
Season: May – September
Rambutan is a particular favourite with Thais and foreigners alike. Spiky green stalks and pinkish skin guard this cloud-white refreshing fruit with care, which when peeled reveals a sweet, slightly acidic oval delight.
Veteran ngoh eaters will be adept at peeling with a simple thumb squeeze, but beginners may need to make an incision with a knife.
Be careful not to chow down on the hard seed in the middle.
8. Dragon Fruit – Gael Mangon / แก้วมังกร
Dragon fruit is actually a type of cactus, which explains its colorful yet alien-like appearance. The fruit comes in three colours: two have pink skin, but with different coloured flesh (one white, the other red), while the other type is yellow with white flesh.
Sweet and crunchy, dragon fruit tastes a bit like a cross between kiwi and pear.
When ripe enough the skin is easily torn open, otherwise slice lengthways and squeeze the fruit from its skin.
9. Jackfruit – Khanon / ขนุน
The jackfruit is indigenous to the rain forests of South and Southeast Asia, and found widely throughout Thailand. Huge in appearance, jackfruit has very thick skin and fruits can reach 36 kg in weight and up to 90 cm long!
Its yellow or orange flesh is sweet and unique tasting, and extremely filling, I might add.
It isn’t likely you’ll be cutting open jackfruit yourself, so be sensible and buy a readymade pack at the market. Yum!
10. Durian / ทุเรียน
Season: April – August
Durian is dubbed the “King of Fruits” and, like Marmite, you’ll either love it or hate it. This rather pungent fruit may offend some, and is often banned from entering hotel rooms.
Durian comes in many different varieties, with Morn Thong, Kan Yao and Chanee being the most commonly purchased.
The fruit is housed in a hugely stalked, pendulous skin, and the fruit seated in a capsule that is split into 3 to 5 segments. Each segment contains l to 5 seeds, each of which is embedded in a sweet, rich and creamy pulp.
For more fruit names, including some of the more commonly known fruit like pineapple and mango, check out the full article here.
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