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Favorite fruits of SE Asia

One of the things I will definitely miss when we leave SE Asia is the fresh tropical fruit and its accompanying cheap price tag! These are a few of my favorites...


Mangosteen, not to be confused with mango (but it's also on the list...) - this is a purple fruit on the outside with a sweet and tart inside.


Mango! We have mangoes year round, but mango season is usually a month or two around May. This is when they are plentiful, sweet, and cheap! We picked these ones up for $0.45/kilo. Off-season, they are are a bit more tart and take a few days to ripen up at home...oh, and they cost about $2.10/kilo.


Don't let the hairy exterior deter you, rambutan is one of our family favorites. Its pearly translucent fruit inside is sweet and juicy! There is an almond sized seed in the middle but it's easy to eat around and worth the effort.


Lychee is in the same family as rambutan, but comes without all that wiry hair. They are slightly sweeter too with an stronger aroma. Lychee require a warm subtropical climate but one that balances both cool and hot seasons and lots of rain, so we only get them a month or so out of the year down from Hanoi.


Growing up in Hawaii, guava has always been one of my favorite fruit flavors. Here they come quite a bit larger and either with green or pink flesh. Imagine my surprise when I ordered a fresh-pressed guava juice and it was green...not the bright pink color I was used to. Guava is an acquired taste and has a grainy texture, but it reminds me of my childhood!

Nearly all of our fruit and veggies can be purchased along the side of the road or in fresh wet markets - the produce is always so fresh! While I stick to a few of the small store-front shops in our neighborhood, I get a little excited when I brave my limited Vietnamese language skills and successfully purchase some from the locals instead.

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