Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tasting a Variety of Odd Tropical Fruit in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Recently a friend in Playa was telling us how she went to the local store and bought a bunch of fruit she had never tried before, just to see how they tasted. We thought it was a good idea, so we took up the challenge as well. Expanding one's horizons is always a good idea.  Why not try something native and local - maybe we'd really like it?

At the local grocery store, Soriana, we encountered a selection of fruits that we're not really familiar with and decided to buy one of each.  Do you recognize these fruits?

Once home it was time to go to work and try each one.  Luckily Connie, our assistant, was there to help us with the names of each one rather then having to try to find them online.  The first one we tried was pitaya:

I thought pitaya was the most gorgeous looking fruit I've ever seen. Taste wise I considered it bland, crunchy and tangy - not my favorite, but I didn't hate it either.  Allan loved it, and was quick to remind me we already tried it at a friend's place in Playa.  So much for the new and adventurous.

The next one we tried was mamey, and this by far was my favorite:

Mamey tastes and looks like cooked sweet potatoes with brown sugar and maple syrup.  Yum!!  Allan was very hesitant to try it, but loved it in the end.  Per Connie's recommendation we made a shake out of it with honey and milk.  Now I have my favorite concoction!

Third for us was guayaba, which is not really a new flavor for us since even in Massachusetts they have guayaba juices.  However, I've never actually bought or tried the fruit seen here:

Guayaba was disgusting.  Before I even tried it Luis our maintenance man told me not to eat the seeds since they would make me constipated.  Then Connie chimed in and said they would give me diarrhea rather then bind me up.  So much for consensus.  Connie said to eat the skin and everything inside; Luis said to not eat the seeds.  In the end I just took a bite, and it tasted like orange peel - disgusting as you can see here:

Next we tried tunas, also known as prickly pears.  Driving down through Mexico when we first came down we tried one.  It was time to try again.  Jorge our other maintenance man showed us to how to peel it with a fork and a knife so not to pierce our skin with the prickly outside.

I was hesitant to try it again.  When I did, it tasted like bland raspberry water - not too exciting   Here you can see me smelling it before trying it.

Lastly it was time to try tamarind.  We've tried the tamarind flavored candies but never the actual fruit which grows on trees inside large seeds.  At the store the clerk was laughing at us since we only bought one, and I guess traditionally they are purchased in bulk.

The tamarind was sweet and tasted like a mix between a raisin and a prune.  I much prefer the candy version.  Allan wasn't a big fan either.

In the end we're glad we tried all this new fruit.  We found our favorites: mine was mamey; Allan's was pitaya.  I'm sure our fruit bowl will soon look more colorful with these new flavor's we are going to add to our diets!

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1 comment:

KfromMichigan said...

I agree with Allen .. Pitaya is good and I love the pink color! They are expensive to buy here.