The durian, called “King of the Fruits” in southeast Asia, is a very “unique” fruit! It is large, like the jackfruit I wrote about on April 16, but, it has spikes, and most notably…it has a very distinct, strong smell, which most people consider BAD! So bad, that in many places it is banned from public transportation and hotels (the sign in the picture was posted in a Singapore metro station)! Personally, I think the taste is kind of good, … if you can get past the smell, and sometimes it leaves a weird after taste. I learned the hard way that when you buy it, you need to eat it right away….. otherwise your refrigerator or house will smell for days! Because of the large size, supermarkets will often open one and sell it packaged in smaller amounts. Inside of the segments, it has a very creamy texture, with large seeds, which are supposed to be edible if cooked, although I haven’t tried that. You can find all kinds of durian flavored foods here, that can be a whole separate post someday! It is native to southeast Asia, and there are nine edible species. Here’s a fun video of some people tasting durian for the first time :-)  : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=og5e6wLIU18 

Life in China: A Picture A Day, March 12, 2016

I think the most exotic looking fruit we have here is the dragon fruit, also known as pitaya. It can have either white or bright pink flesh. The white is most common here but sometimes we can get the pink, which I like better. My opinion is that the taste is kind of a disappointment according to what you expect by its looks! Not that its bad, just very mild. I don’t like to eat it plain but mix it with other fruit. The seeds give it a nice little crunchy texture. The Chinese name is “huǒ lóng guǒ”, which actually translates to fire dragon fruit. These are originally from Central America but obviously grow well here with as common as they are.  This one cost about 85 cents USD. They grow on cactuses! The picture of it growing is actually from a couple years ago at a farm in Shenzhen. The flowers supposedly bloom only one day, from evening to midnight, during which time they are pollinated by bats or moths, then die! It is often considered a “superfruit” for its many health benefits.

Life in China: A Picture A Day, February 15, 2016

Pomelos are very popular during Chinese New Year because the Chinese word for pomelo sounds like “to have.” It is also used as a decoration in people’s homes and symbolizes “family unity.” It is a large citrus fruit, native to southeast Asia, and tastes kind of like a mild grapefruit. Great for eating fresh, I like to score the peel in quarters, peel it off, then separate the sections, peel the membranes off, and enjoy the fruit! I’ve read that it is good sprinkled with salt, but I haven’t tried that. It has a very thick skin which can be dried and used, often candied or made into marmalade. I remember on one of our trips in China, we saw a fence full of pomelo peels hanging to dry. I enjoy a Korean tea made from pomelo peels (another picture some day!). The fruit is also made into a paste for cooking. I paid 7.80rmb, or $1.20usd for the pomelo pictured, we used it with breakfast two days and still had some for snacking.