Simply put, Thailand is a real paradise for the fruit lovers.
An incredible array and great quality of the quaint species and long-familiar tropical fruits alike, are handy and meaningly priced all the way around Thailand. A diverse selection of fruits is easily found at numerous fruit shops, supermarkets and market places. Also, lots of street vendors and hucksters sell seasonal fruits on sidewalks, in tourist's spots or right on the beaches. Thai vendors usually retail what is called 'ready to eat' fruit, by hand or with a wooden stick in a plastic bag. Sellers may even invite you to sample some untamed exotic fruit. Undoubtedly, all kinds of Thai fruits, whether these familiar names like melon, apple, banana, mango, grapefruit (some call that citrus pomelo or pummelo), or the newly discovered exotic treats, will pleasantly surprise you.
Just keep in mind that numerous varieties of the same fruit might taste completely different. So keep sampling the treat whenever and whatever is ready to hand. It is also worthy to point out that so much delightful Thai lime or lemon juices, which are widely available in bars, restaurants and hotels all along with the orange, mandarin, pineapple, banana, mango, papaya, watermelon, sugarcane, carrot and many other freshly extracted fruits, herbs and vegetables. Needless to say, the cheapest places to buy fruits and veggies are the fresh fruit markets. Still, the golden rule for choosing fruits (and sexy bargirls alike) is the more expensive, the better!
For instance, a so called 'Floating Market' tour in Bangkok takes you by boat to the Damnern Saduak seasonal fruit and flower market flourishing at all times, refer to the Guided Tours. Besides, take a look at the authentic Thai pictures, MPEG movie clips and illustrations at the following titles Thai Culture and Traditions, Bangkok, Pattaya, and by all odds, for your fruitful vacation in Thailand, take advantage of this special travel promotion and enjoy the luxury and exotic Vacation Package to Bangkok and Pattaya.
Bananas are likely the most popular tropical fruit, and Thailand has around 20 varieties ranging from widely known large banana specimens with thick golden skins to tiny, sweet and fragrant 'Finger Bananas', the same color but thinner peel. The giant leaves of naturally growing banana trees are seen far and wide throughout Thailand and often used in Thai food preparations and decorations. The fruit is highly versatile in terms of how it eaten. Besides fresh at the peak of its ripeness, banana also turns up on the Thai table as smoked, dried, fried, grilled, or boiled in syrups or in coconut milk. Worthy to mention a so called 'Banana Split' - banana crumbs pan-fried within a pancake, a delicious hot desert dish rather popular in Thailand, as well as banana juices and shakes.
Pineapple has been grown in Thailand for several centuries, especially in the sandy soil along sea coasts. On the way between Bangkok and Pattaya you will see lots of road vendors sell top-grade pineapple from the nearby plantations. Thai pineapples are famous for their sweet taste and found in widespread varieties upon its consumption. Presently, Thailand is the world's leading exporter of canned pineapple. Besides being eaten fresh or drunk as juice, the chopped fruit is often used as an ingredient of cooked meals such as main dishes of meat or seafood (shrimp, lobster or fish) fried with pineapple.
Watermelon is certainly one of the most popular and widely available fruits. Thai watermelon is found in familiar ruby-red, and at times, lemon-yellow colors. In Thailand sweet and refreshing chunks of watermelon are an essential part of nearly every fruit platter all year around, though March is the peak season. The delicious watermelon juice is also extracted and widely sold as beverage.
Coconuts along with the tall coconut palms are inescapable in Thailand. Thai coconuts are found in several varieties, which most commonly consist of the sweet light juice surrounded by the white flesh tender, both of which are often eaten fresh. Sellers normally carve big coconuts into a cone shape containers, making them ready to eat or drink. Naturally, the coconut milk is a rather obvious ingredient in countless varieties of Thai meals: obviously soups, main dishes as well as prominent deserts.
Thais regard durian as the king of fruits! A delicacy that consists of several large inedible seeds covered with the creamy golden flesh, altogether hidden within the spiny exterior of this really unique and exotic treat. Durians are easily noted for their highly pervasive and unpleasant smell, though the taste of durian is well worth all efforts to ignore its stink in order to sample the subtle flavor with distinctive smooth texture of this incomparable tropical fruit. In Thailand oftentimes sellers retail durians as 'ready to eat', since it isn't easy to get through its rough rocklike exterior. The species of Thai durians are found in several varieties, of which the most popular one is called "mon thong".
Most of grape varieties growing in Thailand were developed at the Kasetsart Agricultural University to thrive under tropical conditions. Both red and green species are sweet and delicious whether eaten fresh or drunk as juice. At the time being, Thai wine is primarily used for cooking. Although, perpetual attempts have been made to develop special sorts of grapes suitable for making high quality wines.
Originally perceived as Chinese fruit, lychee is a thin brittle shell enclosing a sweet jellylike pulp and a single seed. Today, this lucrative delicacy is becoming rather famous. Nowadays, several varieties of Thai lychee are successfully growing in the northern Thailand and are available both fresh and canned.
Rambutan is one of the most attractive and popular delicacies in Thailand. Visually it reminds a hedgehog, a ruby-red oval in size of a ping-pong ball covered with soft greenish spines. The skin, however, is easily peeled off revealing its pleasant jellylike pulp, which tastes like a combination of sweetness traces by tartness, and a single inedible seed. Originally known as Malayan fruit, Thai rambutans are noted for their sweetness and are most plentiful from May to September, though as canned, it's handy at all times and exported in significant quantities to many countries worldwide. Main growing areas of Thai rambutans are Chanthaburi and the southern province of Surat Thani.
Mango, the large oval smooth-skinned specimen with juicy aromatic flesh and a large hairy seed definitely belongs among the best and tastiest tropical fruits. There are more than a dozen mango varieties growing in Thailand, some were locally developed or hybridized. The "Ok Long", "Nam Dawk Mai", "Keow Savoey" (green and sweet with a pleasing powdery texture) and other light-colored varieties of Thai mango are especially delicious treats. Prepared as the "Mango and Sticky (glutinous) Rice", it is best known and a much popular choice of dessert. Also, some other sorts of mango with a delicate sour flavour are often eaten as salads such as the "Yam Ma-muang", or as a condiment to refine the dish taste sensation. Some mango varieties are pickled, soaked in sugarwater, salted, dried or turned into the jams and chutneys.
Mangosteen is one of the tastiest fruits found in Thailand. This 2-3" in size tropical fruit has the thick and stony dark-red skins with juicy white flesh suggestive of both peaches and pineapples. When slit through its skin, it easily opens revealing garlic alike edible segments of its delicious flesh. Surat Thani province in the south of Thailand is the home of the mangosteen.
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To be continued...
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