25 June 2009

Street vendor fruit, photo essay two

Here's the second post in a two part photo essay series! Thailand's fruits are just too wild to let the photo opportunities pass one by.

While I'm not entirely sure of the spelling and can't even quite get a consistent pronunciation of the fruit featured on the right of the platter, consensus seems to lead me to thinking that it is called Mong-Pong. Just peel open the shells similar to a pea pod fresh from the garden and you will find bright white starchy fruit. Neither sweet or sour, this little fruit serves as a great snack. Think of it as the popcorn of the fruit universe! On the left of the platter is one of Southeast Asia's most gorgeous fruits-- Rambutan. Related to the lychee, the rambutan looks similar. The flesh is somewhat translucent once you peel back the exterior soft spiky shell.

In the picture at left, is one of Thailand's Red Lady Papayas. Split in half, the fruit is still heavy and fragrant. One of most intensely flavored papayas I've ever experienced, the Red Lady almost tastes like flowers smell. Floral with pungent green notes, the texture follows with a dense silkiness.

And, one of the cutest and best fruits I've ever had the pleasure of meeting is pictured here---mangosteen. With a thick outer skin, the mangosteen resembles one of Asia's plump little eggplants. But, slice it open and you're treated to opaque white segments of fruit that will blow you away. Strong intense sweet flavor pack into these tiny things... in fact, think about the best mango you've ever eaten, add some sugar to it and multiply by ten. Then you're getting an idea of what the mangosteen does on your tongue.

Cooking in Thailand, entry no. 57:
Passion fruit Puddings
My absolute favorite food in the world! I can not think of anything else I'd rather eat if presented with the opportunity to consume only one food until eternity. These little puddings are a perfect finish to a spicy Thai meal. If Passion fruit isn't easy to come by in your area of the world, hunt some down (or plan to on your next vacation) and try these adorable little puddings.

4 Passion fruits
1 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon of butter

Cut the tops off of the passion fruits, remove seeds, pulp and juice (do not discard). Rinse and dry the shells of the fruit. Set aside. In a medium saucepan add the cream, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and strain the pulp of the previously set aside passion fruit to remove 2 tablespoons of the juice. Add the 2 tablespoons to the pudding mixture along with the vanilla and the butter. Stir well. Allow to cool slightly and spoon into fruit shells. Place into refrigerator and just before serving, spoon a small amount of pulp and seeds onto the top of the puddings. Serve with small spoons and enjoy!


  1. Mangosteen! I forgot all about that fruit. They are the sweetest little things. Great post. Love the pictures.

  2. oooh - these look amazing - can't wait to make and slurp one down!

  3. I just found passionfruit at the market. I live in Florida. Going to try some of the pudding tonight!


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