I think I must have been about 12 years old when I first started to seriously dream about traveling. It all started when I went with a friend to an enormous used book store (more like a barn) near my home in New Jersey. It was here that I came acro ...by dcampSaturday, 14 December 2013
Zoos are a place that we've all visited at one time or another. Some are good, some not so good. Well, over the weekend I cam across a place that made me look at the keeping of animals in a whole new light. It's called the Pearcedale Moonlit Sanct ...by dcampTuesday, 02 July 2013
My obsession with traveling around the world came from two primary sources – both books. The first was Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Vern and the second was A Vagabond Journey Around the World by Harry Franck. Both of these books made it abu ...by dcampMonday, 15 July 2013
When the travel bug first hit me I wrote down all of the places I wanted to visit in a 150 destination Global Bucket List. Who would have ever thought that this wouldn't end up being enough? You can find the list by reading my blog: A Tale of 2 Buck ...by dcampMonday, 14 October 2013
At one point or another everyone dreams about exploring the world and experiencing all that it has to offer. I first developed the travel bug when I was a young boy and its stuck with me for my whole life (and I'm not exactly a young boy anymore). ...by dcampFriday, 13 December 2013
“A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step” - Lao Tzu. Well, after months of planning I’ve finally taken that first step. Now I find myself in a foreign city on the first day of my Wanderjahr. Thankfully (due to smart planning) ...by dcampSaturday, 20 July 2013
On my travels throughout the world, I've seen many, many great sites, met a lot of interesting people, and tasted lots of food (some good and some not so good.) Although I certainly am not a fruitarian, I do have a keen eye for fruit – and on my tra ...by neytiri12345Wednesday, 02 October 2013
Yes, I've been meaning to write a followup to my earlier blog post "Sunsets" – but, you know how things always get in the way... been busy travelling, you see... A personal goal of mine has been to see a sunrise on as many continents as possible, an ...by foamfollowerThursday, 25 July 2013
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On my travels throughout the world, I've seen many, many great sites, met a lot of interesting people, and tasted lots of food (some good and some not so good.) Although I certainly am not a fruitarian, I do have a keen eye for fruit – and on my travels to Asia and Australia, I came across lots of unique and strange fruits that left a very strong impression upon me. In the UK, at one time the most exotic fruit on the produce shelves was the mango! Nowadays, if you visit any Chinatown, you're bound to come across tasty treats like lychees, jack fruit, dragon fruit, star fruits and the like. But there are some other fruits that are not easily found on local super market shelves, which I remember vividly from my trips...
I came across the noni fruit in India. Sometimes it's called the Indian mulberry or cheese fruit or even dog dumpling (that's a ghastly image!). I didn't eat it for its taste, mind you – it's bitter and pugent. It's a bit strange looking and usually squeezed into a juice, which is supposed to be medically beneficial. They claim it treats a whole host of irregularities, like urinary tract infections to menstrual cramps – like cranberry juice; but some also claim that it stimulates the immune system and helps with diabetes, heart disease and arthritis, etc., etc. I can't testify to any of these claims; but it did cleanse my pallet, though I'm not sure I would seek it out a second time.
In Malaysia, I tried rambutan, which is covered with a spiky red leathery skin and reminded me of a furry red animal that may have escaped from a mad scientist's lab – or arrived with aliens from outer space! But don't let that scare you. It's really popular in Asia, and there is no doubt why. It's succulent and sweet, and you can't eat just one. But don't eat the seed. It's toxic if uncooked. I think it's one of my favorites, next to the luscious lychee, which also has a similar taste to the rambutan.
Next up is the mangosteen, which I tasted in Indonesia. It's purple on the outside with a terrific creamy texture inside. It's a bit citrusy with a hint of peach. Again some claim that it is really good for your health and may fight cancer. That's even a more compelling reason – if it's true – to try this really tasty fruit. On second thought, I may even like the mangosteen even better than the aforementioned rambutan. It's really, really tasty!
The horned melon, which is native to the Kalahari Desert in Africa – which I actually tasted in Australia – is a bit scary looking. It's often referred to as the African cucumber; but when you split it open, you're rewarded with a mix of different tastes like limes and bananas, a bit of passion fruit and a hint of cucumber. It's a heady brew; but it's very tasty, especially when you mix it into a smoothie.
This blog would not be complete without mention of the "dreaded" durian, which I came across in Viet Nam. Often called the "king" of fruits, it's shaped like a spiky yellow watermelon and has a reputation for smelling really awful – think "dead bodies"! With such a reputation, most people steer clear of this fruit. I have come across many strong smells across my travels, but even I had to hold my nose when I tasted the durian. My trepidation was greatly eased when I took my first bite – it tasted pretty good! It was sweet and creamy like custard and melted in my mouth. Although, it may not be the cup of tea for many, I say be bold and take the plunge, you just might like it...
Many of these fruits may look scary and unappetizing, but appearances can be deceiving. Do yourself and try them; you may be pleasantly surprised. Some can be ordered online and others can be found in ethnic grocery shops. Strange they may be to some, but most are really, really tasty. An apple a day can really get boring...
PS: Later, I'd like to write another blog about "strange vegetables" I've come across. Keep me honest and remind me if I tarry on that follow-up!
I'd also recommend taking a look at The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce, and Obsession by Adam Leith Gollner. It's a great read!