One of my favorite things about traveling is trying new food, especially fruit and vegetables that I’ve never seen before. So on our recent trip I was in heaven when we found ourselves surrounded by fantastical fruit in Kauai: mangosteen, longan, rambutan, jackfruit, tiny latundan (apple) bananas, and small sweet low-acid pineapple–just the tip of the tropical iceberg –of exotic fruits and vegetables to be found at farmers markets, grocery stores or simply growing by the roadside.
Jackfruit and pineapple
The flesh of the jackfruit is starchy and fibrous and is a source of dietary fiber. The flavor is comparable to a combination of apple, pineapple, mango and banana.
I loved this fruit! Juicy, silky, decadent, sweet, fragrant with a flavor like strawberry, peach, vanilla ice cream. Long illegal in the U.S., due to the belief that they harbored the Asian fruit fly, mangosteens are no longer contraband. The ban was lifted in October of 2007, which I was delighted to find out.
Pearly white mangosteen sections…yum!
Pineapple and mangosteen
This pineapple was so aromatic and the fruit was sweet and very low-acid. Fabulous!
A bit chewy (grape-like texture) with a lychee-like flavor (but not as drippy).
How could you not like this funny looking fruit?
Tangelo and apple bananas (latundan)
These bananas were the bomb. Small (many times I’ve wanted a little bit of banana which is nearly impossible given the size of bananas we typically see in the U.S.) with a tangy apple taste.
The rain in Kauai might have fooled me into thinking I was still in Seattle. But the fruit–ah, the fruit–definitely tropical paradise.
Take the road less traveled, Beth
And for more exotic eats, check out Wanderfood Wednesday!