Friday, October 26, 2012

Fruity Fridays - Sri Lankan mystery fruit number two!

I mentioned last week that I went to Sri Lanka for two weeks. And that there was lots of fruit. One day at breakfast I had a choice between a glass of fresh fruit juice or a fruit plate. I asked for the fruit plate, and this is what I got:

That's FAR more fruit than I could ever eat in one sitting, but I gave it a pretty good try!

Anyway, last week I told you all about the fruit stand I stumbled upon that had all sorts of strange fruits. One of them was this:

The guy called it an Australian Ice Cone, but after a lot of searching for various versions of this name, all I've come up with is snow cones in Australia, which are a very different thing! I have absolutely no idea what this fruit actually is.

On the outside it's a bit fuzzy, like a peach, and quite firm. When you cut it open, you see sections of fuzzy white fruit, each with a stone inside. I suspect the fuzziness is where the "ice" name came from.

The taste was a bit like a lychee I guess, but that fuzziness is a somewhat strange texture to have on a fruit! I didn't mind this one, but certainly didn't love it.

So, readers, does anyone have any idea what this might be? Have you seen it or tried it before? Where? What's it really called? I'm very curious!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fruity Fridays - Sri Lankan mystery fruit number one!

I recently came back from a trip to Sri Lanka, which was a place I'd wanted to visit for quite a while. I have to say it was completely worth going, and two weeks wasn't anywhere near long enough so I'll be going back sometime!

Sri Lanka is FULL of fruit. It's everywhere. Stalls like this are very common:

One day in the hill country town of Haputale I went for a long walk, and way out in the midst of the tea fields I came across a fruit stand. This wasn't quite like the one above; instead of being covered in mangoes, pineapples, oranges and bananas, it had avocadoes, soursop, strawberries, and several other fruits I'd never seen before.

So this Friday's Fruit is a fruit from this stand, which I can't actually positively identify.

The guy called it Loket, but after much searching on the internet all I can find is this promising looking (but not particularly useful at all) website, which lists it but doesn't show a picture!

The name makes me think perhaps it's a loquat, but the descriptions I've read about loquats don't quite seem to fit. The most likely possibility I've found is a Palu fruit, (manilkara hexandra), which look the same in the pictures but from the descriptions might be somewhat smaller. Palu fruit is, coincidentally, from the same family of trees as the sapodilla, and the ones I ate had a similar pear-like, slightly grainy texture, with the flavour of a green apple. Apparently sloth bears like to eat them straight from the trees when they're in season!

To eat it, you simply peel back the skin and pop it in your mouth, taking care not to swallow the two small round seeds inside.

Next week's fruit will be another random, unidentifiable one from the same stand!