There is nothing quite like fresh fruit to decorate a salad or to make dessert. Especially when it comes to Thai food which is rich is flavour and aroma. To make sure you’ve got the right fruit basket tucked away in your kitchen, here’s a handy guide to help you along the way.
Called “The King of Fruits” for its enormous size, durians are found in all Asian markets. Look for a light brown fruit with spikes. Dark or white patches are signs of under or overripe fruit and should not be picked. Durians contain a lot of fruit, and give off a very strong smell. The pulp itself is sweet and buttery in texture, with little or no juice. These fruits can be eaten fresh or used to make desserts.
Snake fruit, or Salak, along with the durian, is a gem of a fruit native to Southeast Asia. The outside of the fruit is scaly like a snake, thereby giving the fruit its name. The inside, though, is sweet as honey, sour like a pineapple, and unbelievably juicy. Its taste is also slightly acidic, giving your tongue a sharp citric jab.
One among the Thais’ favourite fruit, the jackfruit is unique in both appearance as well as taste. The best time to spot and buy you Thai jackfruit is between October and December. Its outer skin is thick, knotted with dull dumps and stubs. Unlike the durian, the jackfruit is green in colour, sometimes shifting to ochre yellow. The orange coloured flesh is both crunchy and sweet. The jackfruit also has a very distinct smell.
This Thai fruit is best described as the convergence of the brilliant tastes of peaches, pears, cinnamon, honey and perhaps, just a touch of brandy. Soft and sweet, sapodillas have an alluring aroma. It is usually consumed as a fruit, but on occasion, it takes the form of a grand dessert or mousse. Makok is long, pointed, one of the best varieties of sapodiallas, and is native to Thailand.
Tamarind is a sticky fruit that grows in abundance all over Asia and Southeast Asia, making its pulp and seeds very popular in these cuisines. There are two main types of Tamarind available in Thailand. The sour variety which is used in cooking and the sweet variety that can be eaten fresh or made into a delicious drink. Do make sure you buy the right type that you want as sour variety can be extremely sour and impossible to eat fresh.
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